During the 2016 election cycle, Russian agents purchased thousands of ads on American social media sites – many of them pro-Trump and many more anti-Clinton. But few Americans knew where those Twitter and Facebook ads came from, or who paid for them.
They came from Russia, bought and paid for. But today’s campaign finance rules are so loose and inadequate, a hostile foreign power was able to have enormous sway over who U.S. citizens chose as their leader.
Now a group called End Citizens United is putting pressure on the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) to open its rule-making process for a reexamination of how digital political ads should be regulated.
End Citizens United submitted more than 150,000 signatures from citizens who are demanding that the FEC do a better job to provide better regulation of the kinds of ads that can pop up on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more.
As of today, such regulation is nonexistent.
End Citizens United is a political action committee (PAC) formed in 2015. It was a reaction to the now infamous 2010 Supreme Court decision that came to be known as the
Citizens United” ruling. What this Supreme Court did was allow unlimited amount of political “dark money” to flood into the U.S. election process.
The Supreme Court essentially ruled that “money is free speech” and thus could not be regulated. The ruling also established the idea that an international mega-corporation was essentially the same as “a human being.”
After the 2010 Supreme Court ruling, giant corporations and billionaires could donate as much money as they wanted to a candidate of their choice – in effect, “buying” the Congressman and Senators who serve as the representatives of all the American people.
The long-term goal of the new End Citizens United PAC is to overturn the 2010 Supreme Court ruling. To get that done, the people of America must support an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution – it’s the only way to countermand a final Supreme Court decision.
A new Amendment requires two-thirds of the 50 states to ratify it, and then it must survive approval by Congress also on a two-thirds majority vote. It’s a long road to haul, but the members of End Citizens United are determined to make it happen.
In the meantime, there are more immediate fights — such as the alarming invasion of American social media platforms by outside agents, such as Russian troll farms. That’s why End Citizens United is working hard to pressure the FEC into tightening the rules on who can and cannot buy ads on Facebook, Twitter and other popular social media sites used by millions of American every day. Learn more:http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/end-citizens-united-pac-wants-make-its-name-reality