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3Mar/18Off

Senators Gillibrand And Booker Pledge To End Citizens United, Reject Corporate Dollars

As the 2018 midterm election cycle kicks into high gear, more and more prominent Democratic officeholders and candidates for office are taking very public stances against corporate funding of political campaigns. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Booker recently joined some of their colleagues in taking a pledge to reject corporate money.

Both popular northeastern liberal senators made the pledge in partnership with End Citizens United, which is a political action committee that fights for campaign finance reform.

Named to signify the organization's desire to overturn the much-maligned Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the PAC gives endorsements to candidates for office who promise to spurn corporate campaign dollars and fight for reform. End Citizens United also raises grassroots money for candidates it supports.

The judicial ruling that End Citizens United seeks to overturn removed caps on spending done in favor of or opposition to political candidates. The decision basically allowed corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on political advocacy. Candidates that End Citizens United endorses work to take steps to reverse the effects of that ruling.

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By making the pledge to End Citizens United, Senators Gillibrand and Booker are turning away millions of dollars in support from corporate entities. While they will receive grassroots support through the PAC and through individual supporters who are pleased with their stance, both politicians perhaps did so to appeal even more to a national liberal base.

Senator Gillibrand is up for reelection in New York this November, and she is heavily favored to win. While she is in a good position to refuse corporate money and is certainly pleased to have the support of End Citizens United this year, she is perhaps thinking ahead to a potential presidential run in 2020.

Meanwhile, Senator Booker's New Jersey senate seat is not on the ballot during this election cycle. While he will be up for reelection in 2020, many expect him to consider a run for the presidency as well.

Given that both senators are considered highly likely to seek the Democratic nomination in 2020, it is enormously helpful to them to appeal to Democratic primary voters as much as possible, and to also work to help elect other Democrats during the mid-term elections. Rejecting corporate dollars and working with End Citizens United will help them accomplish these goals.

The PAC has praised Senators Gillibrand and Booker for each of their pledges, noting that their rejection of corporate money will resonate with frustrated voters all across the country.

End Citizens United will be working throughout 2018 to convince candidates for office to refuse corporate funding, and will endorse ones who will actively seek to undo the harm caused by the 2010 Supreme Court decision.

See: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/12/05/democratic-pac-end-citizens-united-names-big-money-20-targets-2018/918680001/