Republican senators have been the recipients of huge sums of campaign cash from wealthy donors, corporations, and organizations who want to push their conservative agendas. Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin is no exception. And, according to activist group End Citizens United, he has taken in $7.6M from donors who may stand to have a windfall if Obamacare is repealed.
Depending on the final version of the new health care bill, some of the donors may receive a $250,000 tax cut, and some, such as mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, may possibly see a $450M tax bonanza. Other donors include the far right Koch brothers and the US Chamber of Commerce.
Meanwhile, almost 395,000 Wisconsonites may lose coverage. That includes 8100 veterans, and of course, many children. Depending on what’s passed, 850,000 more could lose coverage of their pre-existing conditions. Predictions suggest that insurance premiums may double by 2026.
The question is: Will Sen. Johnson stand up for the people of Wisconsin, or will he cave in to the big money interests breathing down his neck?
End Citizens United is a non-profit whose goal is to get rid of the big money in politics. The name comes from the US Supreme Court’s 2010 decision “Citizens United v FEC” which allowed corporations and unions to donate to candidates, opening the door to letting political action committees (PACs) donate unlimited amounts to any candidate.
ECU president and executive director Tiffany Muller says: People “feel like the system is rigged against them, where those who can write the biggest checks get the biggest say. This is their way of fighting back.” She said the group wants to elect “campaign-finance reform champions.”
ECU is also a PAC, but is more traditional, only accepting donations of up to $5000. But they may become one of the top donors to Democratic politicians. During the first quarter of this year they took in $4M and plan to raise $35M by November, 2018, in time for the Senate and House races.
Over 100,000 people donated in the first quarter. The average donation was $12. Last year was their debut, and they won 40,000 donors.