End Citizens United is a political action committee, and it is highly involved in this year’s elections. One of its first actions for the year is the purchase of $250,000 worth of advertising in support of Conor Lamb. Mr. Lamb is running for the 18th District in Pennsylvania as a Democrat.
End Citizens United’s money will go toward television commercials and digital video ads that educate the public about the misdeeds that Republican Rick Saccone has committed as a state representative. Mr. Saccone is suspected of using his expense account fraudulently.
In one television ad that is titled “Clean House,” the announcer states that Rick Saccone pledged not to accept any legislative perks because they are extravagant, but he proceeded to accept them as soon as he got into office. In addition to that, he spent $435,000 on his own personal interests.
The Intercept printed a report that revealed the fact that Mr. Saccone was using the funds in his expense account in a frivolous manner. This expense account has been funded by taxpayers since 2010 when Mr. Saccone was elected to serve in the House of Representatives. Saccone won at a time when the Tea Party was particularly active, but he still likes to praise himself as a genuine actor.
According to the ad mentioned above, Mr. Lamb has pledged not to accept donations from any corporate political action committees or PACs.
Mr. Lamb’s stance is exactly what End Citizens United is seeking. The PAC was created in 2015 to combat the Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United decision where billionaires and special interests were allowed to donate an unlimited amount of money to political campaigns without any semblance of transparency.
The mission of this organization is to end the influence that “Big Money” has on America’s political elections. End Citizens United’s president Tiffany Muller stated, “We’re committed to making sure voters know Lamb’s record of integrity and Saccone’s history of exploiting taxpayers.”
The group planned to begin running its ad on February 26 and continue until March 4. The digital ads started on February 23 and will run until March 13, the day that voters will vote in the special election.
The current ad is the only one that defends Conor Lamb. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee purchased an ad for Conor Lamb in the amount of $224,000 in January, but this ad has already stopped running.
End Citizens United has a particularly large email list, and it used this list to raise $175,000 for Conor Lamb. Mr. Lamb is running in the southwest Pennsylvania district, and ECU has 3,700 members in that area.
The 33-year-old Lamb needs a lot of support from outside groups. His opponent was a military intelligence officer as well as a diplomat, and Republican groups have supported his campaign with millions of dollars. Last month, four Republican outside groups spent more money than Democrat outside groups by a 17-to-1 margin. One of those Republican groups was the Congressional Leadership Fund that is linked to House Speaker Paul Ryan. This group suggested that Conor Lamb will be a stooge of Nancy Pelosi, a politician whom conservatives despise.
The fact that the Republicans are so focused on this election demonstrates that they are worried about the competitiveness of this race.
The President of the United States Donald Trump won this district when he ran for office in 2016 by almost 20 percentage points. He will make an appearance before Election Day to campaign for Rick Saccone. When the president visited the district in January, he mentioned Mr. Saccone in order to bolster the Republican tax cut.
The district is populated by blue-collar voters, so Mr. Lamb made it a point to mention his conservative objectives for coal energy and gun control along with his ideas on labor unions and Social Security. Former Vice President Joe Biden will go to the district to campaign for Conor Lamb before Election Day arrives.
In the event that Mr. Lamb loses in the special election, he is welcome to run again in November in a district that will be much more competitive. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently redrew the state’s congressional districts, and that means that Conor Lamb is now living in the 17th district where he would be able to run against Representative Keith Rothfus. This is the district that President Donald Trump won by 21 percentage points, but The New York Times has stated that the president would have won the new district by only three percentage points.
The Big Money 20
End Citizens United is located in Washington, D.C. It identified 20 House or Senate members who are beholden to corporate donations, and it named these people “The Big Money 20.” The Big Money 20 consist of Dean Heller, Ted Cruz, Speaker Paul Ryan, Mimi Walters, Dana Rohrbacher, Darrell Issa, Duncan Hunter, Mike Coffman, Rod Blum, Peter Roskam, Mike Bost, Mike Bishop, Erik Paulsen, Robert Pittenger, Tom MacArthur, Rodney Frelinghuysen, Claudia Tenney, Ryan Costello, Pat Meehan and Will Hurd.
Benjamin Diaz started working for Debate Report in 2017. Ben grew up in a small town in northern Ontario. He studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married his wife a year later. Benhas been a proud Torontonian for the past 10 years. He covers politics and the economy. Previously he wrote for CTV News and the Huffington Post Canada.