When considering which Republicans were likely to lose their seats in the 2018 Midterm elections it is unlikely the names of former Presidential candidate Ted Cruz and House Speaker Paul Ryan would top the list of most casual political observers. However, both politicians were recently named to a list of politicians targeted by the End Citizens United PAC because of their affiliation with Super PACs and major political donors leveraging their influence across the U.S. political system.
The Senate seat of Senator Cruz in Texas has always seemed to be among the safest in the nation but the positive effect Democrats have felt because of their affiliation to End Citizens United is striking once more for liberal candidate Beto O’Rourke; although the candidate is little known in Texas he has closed the gap in opinion polls to just eight percent from a large 18 percent at the turn of the year.
End Citizens United was formed in 2015 in an effort to overturn the negative Citizens United decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in 2010 which allowed almost unlimited funding from private donors, special interest groups, and billionaire donors in U.S. election campaigns. The success of End Citizens United in the buildup to the 2016 election resulted in the group providing its email list to the campaign of Democrat Hillary Clinton in an effort to aid her election.
Beto O’Rourke has pledged not to accept funding from Super PACs and major political donors in return for the endorsement of End Citizens United and does not seem to be suffering any negative effects in terms of fundraising for his bid to overcome the majority of Cruz. In fact, O’Rourke’s filings over campaign financing show he outperformed Cruz in both the last quarter of 2017 despite only accepting grassroots donations towards his campaign.
Ironically, in his own election success in 2010, Cruz shocked the nation by winning a Texas Senate seat by only taking donations from Tea Party members; since his arrival in Washington, Cruz has changed his attitude and is now one of the largest recipients of big money from PACs and special interest groups. Despite the success being achieved by Beto O’Rourke in cutting the lead of Ted Cruz over the course of the last few months an election victory still seems a long way off but End Citizens United believes a close race similar to that seen in Alabama when Democrat Doug Jones overcame the huge lead of Republican Roy Moore would show the tide of public opinion is turning against the donations of PACs and billionaire donors in 2018.
Read “End Citizens United PAC wants to make its name a reality” for more.