END CITIZENS UNITED: ENDING DARK MONEY IN AMERICAN POLITICS

A time comes when people can no longer stomach the injustices in the society. They get so fed up that they set a trap for the snake of injustice and cut off its head. In 2010, when the Supreme Court passed its decision in the End Citizens V. F.E.C case, nobody really predicted its effects. However, in a few years times, the amount of money being used in the American politics started rising drastically to amounts that many people had not thought of. Dark money cartels began influencing the politics towards their interest by bring in lots of unaccountable and untraceable money.

End Citizens United is a Political Action Committee that seeks to see the end of these dark money cartels and thus removing this excess money that is taking the United States politics by storm and a bad storm for that matter. It was established in March 2015 with three main goals. The first is creating awareness about the issue of money in politics thus making it a matter of national priority. Through this awareness, many Americans will stand up against the Citizens United decision and thus foster campaign finance reforms. The second is to use grassroots membership to show the relationship between political power and such money. To achieve this, the group has developed a petition and it is requesting members to sign it so as to pressure congress for such reforms. Only five months after establishment, this committee had managed to have 325,000 signatures.

The third goal of End Citizens United is to foster election of leaders who are supporting the reform of the campaign finance system in the United States. Given the reaction of congress to this issue, End Citizens United has seen that most of the Democrats are the ones in support of such reform. The committee has therefore endorsed and supported democratic leaders for the various Senate and House seats. It also seeks to improve their campaigns through direct mailers, polling and even television advertisements.

Operations of End Citizens United are funded by their grassroots supporters. These people make small donors but at the end of the day, their contribution tends to amount to huge amounts. For example, they were looking to have at least $25 million contributions by the 2016 election to foster their action. The expenditure of the group is also rather transparent and accountable. They ensure to file their statements with the Federal Elections Commission.

The actions of End Citizens United have been criticised by some people among them an expert in campaign finance regulation called Rick Hasen. He argues that rather than using the money to support democratic leaders, they should focus more on creating awareness on the issue. However, this should not be a viable basis since End Citizens United has combined these two goals and what they have is totally working. Soon actually sooner than most think, America will restore its elections to the free and fair regime and kick out all the dark money in politics. That’s a sure bet. Watch out for it!

 

Economic Woes Embolden Right-Wing Opposition to Government of Nicolas Maduro

Right-wing opposition leaders in Venezuela have announced a recall referendum against leftist president Nicolas Maduro. This move comes in conjunction with calls to protest the current government as revealed by SlideShare.com. An attempt to shorten the president’s term through a constitutional amendment has also been proposed, but the Venezuelan Supreme Court has previously held that such a change would not effect the term of a standing president.
“In large part, the strength of the opposition to Maduro’s government comes because Venezuela’s economy has struggled in recent years” says expert Mr. Osio. Low oil prices and significant problems with the country’s exchange rate have been two of the primary drivers of economic downturn. Economic struggles have led to lower popularity of the Maduro government. Another factor working against the Maduro government is the policy of the United States. As Mark Weisbrot of Angel.co recently wrote, “The Obama administration’s policy of supporting regime change in Venezuela has continued to this day, with renewed economic sanctions and various public relations efforts aimed at undermining the government.” Despite these challenges, Weisbrot also writes that if the leftist Venezuelan government can reform its dysfunctional exchange rate system and diversify its asset holdings beyond oil, it can improve the Venezuelan economy and strengthen the position of leftist politics going forward.