A Probe Into The Meddling Of US’ 2016 General Elections

During the U.S 2016 presidential elections, there were massive cases of interference by Russia. They used sophisticated and comprehensive tools to sway the outcome of the presidential results. It has been discovered that a certain Russian firm with a connection to the Kremlin bought political adverts with the intention of favoring Donald Trump. Despite the ban on foreign political spending, election laws and oversight, its enforcement has failed.

There are investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election which is led by Special Counsel Robert Muller. There is hope that the probe will be successful. The probing is expected to determine whether Russia’s meddling in the election was aided by Trump’s team. However, there is doubt that Washington is interested in stopping foreign meddling into the politics of the country.

For a long time, the right-wing allied politicians in conjunction with their special interest cronies have undermined the country’s campaign financing laws. They have opened loopholes for pumping in untraceable and unlimited political funding. This has allowed small groups of people with big pockets to sway the scales in their favor. They have slowly developed a rigged system where few people have their say in the affairs of the country.

The realization that a foreign company dared to buy political ads on Facebook showed how vulnerable and endangered our elections have become. More astonishingly is the reluctance of the government to do anything about it. This paints a grim picture on how any corporation, government and even individual billionaires with self-serving interests can influence government dealings in our democracy.

We might never know the amount of money which was spent by Russia or any country to interfere with the election. However, a $100,000 digital advertisement might have been the kickstart. Prior to news of Russian meddling in the elections, there was news of American Pacific International Capital, spending in elections. The company which is owned by Chinese nationals but incorporated in California is said to have used a loophole to inject $1.3 million into Super PAC which was supporting Jeb Bush.

Democrats have spent several years in overcoming Republican filibusters, DISCLOSE ACT, which requires groups to disclose any secret campaign spending. In the summer of this year, Democrats in Congress reintroduced a bill which is intended to overturn Citizens United and other similar misguided Supreme Court rulings. There are many organizations which are in the forefront in ensuring that there is no foreign influence in our elections. Some of them include End Citizens United.

About End Citizen United
End Citizen United is a political action committee which was formed to challenge laws that govern campaign funding. It intends to drive money out of elections. ECU works hard to ensure that reform-oriented leaders are elected.

In 2016, the group collected over $25 million in donations towards the 2016 general elections. This, year, End Citizens United intends to collect about $35 million towards the 2018 midterm elections. The group solicits funds from its members to help fund campaigns of people they perceive as reform-oriented.

End Citizens United has declared its support for Democratic Senators Jon Tester and Sherrod Brown in defending their Montana and Ohio seats respectively in the upcoming 2018 mid-term elections.

Learn more about End Citizens United: http://www.factcheck.org/tag/end-citizens-united/

End Citizens United’s Hopes For 2018

End Citizens United is a traditional PAC group who is at the top of the ranks of Democratic affiliated groups that spent money in last year’s elections, despite an individual donor cap of $5,000. Their name derives from a 2010 decision made by the Supreme Court in regards to Citizens United. This decision paved the way for union and corporate entities’ ability to donate to candidate elections and super PACs raising and spending funds with no limits.

The U.S. Office of Government Ethics has quietly reversed their own policy, thereby allowing funding by special interest groups and lobbyists to go towards legal defense of White House staff being investigated for collusion during the 2016 campaign. This means anyone, even foreign powers, could anonymously donate funds. This will increase the likelihood of conflicts of interest and unethical behavior as the Russia probe moves forward.

These developments are egregious and disrespectful to the American people. The Trump Administration is becoming notorious for fighting against requests for transparency and disclosure, such as Trump refusing to release his tax information and disclosing the contents of the White House Visitors Log. End Citizens United is demanding transparency and full disclosures regarding all donations made to Trump’s aides’ legal defense fund.

The group has been fundraising towards their goal of getting candidates in favor of campaign finance reform elected to Congress. They raised more than $4 million by April of 2017 and expects to raise $35 million before the 2018 midterm elections. They estimate about 100,000 donated during the first quarter, with 40,000 contributing for first time. The average contribution was $12, as those with the capability of giving more are not supportive of their mission and use their dollars to benefit themselves.

End Citizens United has built ties with campaign finance groups and collaborates on occasion to achieve common goals. An example was working with more than two dozen groups in attempts to persuade Republican senators to recuse themselves from voting on Betsy Devos’ nomination as Education secretary. The final vote was 50-50 with Vice President Pence breaking the tie by voting in her favor. Its worth mentioning the Republican senators that End Citizens reached out to were recipients of campaign donations from Devos and her wealthy family.

There is an urgency to raise funds, brought on by Trump being elected and the democrats’ fight against his administration, their agenda and nominees. Contributors recently donated $500,000 to the campaign of Democrat Jon Ossoff in Atlanta, who is trying to fill a Republican House seat previously held by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. Ossoff is a 30 year old first time political candidate and managed to raise $4 million on his own for the special election that was held this past April, to the surprise of many in the political establishment. End Citizens United is looking towards the future and contemplating favorable candidates in the upcoming 2018 races; more specifically Democratic senators John Tester of Montana and Sherrod Brown of Ohio.