Rick Scott is the latest politician to find himself in the crosshairs of End Citizens United. The political action committee will filed a complaint against Scott with the Federal Election Commission alleging illegal campaign support. According to ECU Scott is using a super PAC to circumnavigate federal limitations on campaign contributions. The complaint against Scott is another step in End Citizens United’s quest to end Citizens United. Headquartered in D.C., ECU was founded in 2015 as a direct response to the outcome of the 2010 Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commissions case. The Supreme Court case garnered lots of controversy when the decision for Citizens United passed narrowly by a 5-4 vote.
The decision stretched the definition of free speech to incorporate corporations, stripping any regulation on their contributions to political campaigns. Many cried foul believing that the ruling forever changed elections in America, allowing big business to sway the outcome, and purchase candidate support. End Citizens United was created to support election reform, and that is exactly what they do. The goal of ECU is to push Big Money out of politics. To do this they are attempting to stack the deck with candidates that are against Citizens United. Most of these candidates fall on the democratic side of the equation, although many republicans are also against the decision.
Using grassroots funding ECU supports its candidates and tries to get them into office. The goal is to pass legislation that redefines the first amendment, shortening it to only concern the individual. Scott is a candidate who opposes campaign reform, and therefore is the kind of candidate ECU needs to out. Luckily for them they have evidence of wrongdoing from Scott, who holds firm that it is just a smear campaign. ECU has documentation however, that shows Scott working with the PAC and even getting newspapers like the New Republican to print polls in his favor. Whether this will ruin Scott or not remains to be seen, but is just one more move on the chessboard for End Citizens United.