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End Citizens United Supports Candidates Refusing Corporate PAC Money

Many Democratic candidates this election cycle are refusing to take money from political action committees that are funded by corporations. They will instead only rely on grassroots supporters to fund their campaigns for office. They want to show voters that they don’t owe corporations anything and aim to keep it that way.

This pledge is mostly symbolic, the political action committee End Citizens United has said, but it’ still important. Most nonincumbents don’t receive this sort of money anyway and if they do it’s just a small amount of what they raise. Nonetheless, voters will be hearing more Democrats running for office refusing corporate money not just in this election but also in the 2020 presidential elections.

In all, End Citizens United says that 185 Democratic candidates have stated that they won’t accept any corporate PAC money. This is a Washington D.C-based PAC that is focused on campaign finance reform. They got their name from the infamous Supreme Court ruling that resulted in corporations flooding the political system with money to buy votes. Learn more about the group on Crunchbase.

So far, of these 185 candidates, 85 have won their primaries. Some of them have come to national prominences such as Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania, Randy Bryce in Wisconsin, and New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who are all running for Congress. On the Senate side the people that have made this pledge are Cory Book, Sheldon Whitehouse, Kamala Harris, and Kirsten Gillibrand.

The team at End Citizens United has said that voters across the nation sense that Washington is completely dysfunctional anymore. It’s for this reason that Democrats running for office are tapping into this sense and the anger that Washington only serves corporate interests with Republican in power in Congress, the Senate, and the Presidency.

End Citizens United is an ideological type of PAC. There are also labor PACS and corporate PACS. Any of these three types of organizations can give up to $5,000 to a candidate. There are also super PACS who are the ones that raise money from corporations and wealthy people and can spend as much as they want but are prohibited from providing funds directly to a candidate.



Betsy DeVos, Friend or Frenemy?

A mixture of warmth and criticism is what awaited Betsy DeVos after a February 2017 announcement by the Trump administration that rescinded a federal policy that previously allowed transgender students to use the restroom that corresponded with their gender identities. The public reaction may be attributed to what could be considered two-faced behavior by DeVos where she has defended transgender rights while at the same time backed opposing policies by the Trump administration.


Hours before the February 2017 policy change was announced, DeVos met with an employee representative from the Department of Education to discuss the changes that were to come. While an aide assured the representative that DeVos opposed the change, the public wondered why there had been very little public warning that a rift existed between herself and the administration. The move came as a surprise to many, especially those aware of DeVos’s time in the Michigan state government.


Former state attorney general, Republican Mike Cox, had only good things to say about the education secretary.


“She was fierce in state politics,” Cox said. “She instilled fear in a lot of people, and it wasn’t because she’s wealthy. I’ve known her to be determined when it comes to reaching her goals.”


Randi Weingarten, a Democratic supporter and president of the American Federation of Teachers, also backed DeVos.


“People consistently underestimate Betsy DeVos,” Weingarten said. “She is quiet and personable, but she is also dangerous.”


DeVos had little experience in public education when she was confirmed as the U.S. Secretary of Education in January 2017. Critics worried that she lacked experience with the public education system, particularly the federal student loan program.


DeVos, who was born in western Michigan, is the daughter of a billionaire industrialist. She attended private schools in her hometown before attending Calvin College, where she graduated with a degree in business economics. DeVos entered state politics in 1982, just three years after completing college. She married former Amway CEO Dick DeVos, and in 2016, Forbes listed the DeVos family in the top 100 wealthiest families in America.


Betsy and Dick DeVos are known for their charitable contributions in Michigan and to Christian education. Many members of the public praise DeVos for standing by her convictions and personal beliefs while others feel that the family’s immense wealth has separated her from the reality of the public sector.


“I believe she does not want to deal with people who think and feel differently than she does,” one anonymous public educator said. “It seems like whenever someone opposes DeVos that she feels people are just after her money.”


Calvin College student Nolan Wolffis gave DeVos both criticism and praise.


“You can be bad at your job and still be a good person,” Wolffis told the media.


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