The controversial Citizens United decision of 2010 led to a rise of the idea of corporate person-hood, which recognized corporations as people who would have the ability to fund political campaigns with financial contributions. Corporations quickly proceeded to stock the coffers of political candidates who they saw as sympathetic their needs.
Many rose up in protest of the idea that corporations have the same rights to participate as citizens, forming such campaign finance reform groups as End Citizens United to serve as watchdogs of campaign donation abuses and advocate for a constitutional amendment to combat the controversial Supreme Court decision.
While there are limitations to what a person or a corporation can openly donate to any particular candidate, ways around these limitations involved groups which accepted potentially unlimited sums of money, called Super PACs, serving as campaigns’ piggy banks.
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Candidates often feel emboldened by the current law, and takes steps outside of the current campaign finance laws. End Citizens United has been working hard to counteract such actions by making public these improprieties and filing complains with the federal government. One such case turned the attention of End Citizens United to former Florida governor and Senate hopeful, Rick Scott.
While the Super PAC has the ability to gather as much money as it can, and spend as money as it feels is warranted, it must remain separated by a gap from the campaign by remaining a third party entity. A candidate’s campaign cannot work directly with the Super PAC, a complaint filed by End Citizens United with the Federal Election Commission stated in relation to Rick Scott’s campaign.
The group alleged that Rick Scott was the chairman of this the New Republican PAC, which has pledged to get Scott elected to the Florida Senate seat. There is a clear conflict of interest at play when a candidate is involved at the top of a group which he then uses to sidestep the current campaign finance laws, and use the money to assist his campaign. The group is also continuing to obtain evidence of Scott campaign’s misuse of the Super PAC.
By bringing such violations to light and putting them on government records, End Citizens United continues to take steps to draw public attention to the legalized corruption that comes along with the Citizens United ruling, building a wider base of support for overturning it via a constitutional amendment.