St. Louis, MO — End Citizens United (ECU) today endorsed Senator Claire McCaskill for re-election in Missouri. McCaskill has been a strong advocate for transparency and accountability in Washington, where special interests can spend unlimited money, often in secret, to influence elections.
“ECU is proud to endorse Senator Claire McCaskill. Whether it’s a town hall in rural Missouri or the halls of Congress, Senator McCaskill isn’t afraid to speak out against the dangers of unlimited, undisclosed money in our elections,” said Tiffany Muller, president of ECU. “The race in Missouri is critical to deciding whether the Senate will be controlled by politicians who are in the pockets of special interests or reformers who want to return our democracy to the people. McCaskill is a powerful voice for change and we stand with her against the shady special interests who are trying to prop up her opponent.”
“The Citizens United Supreme Court decision has had a corrupting influence on American democracy in ways that we have never seen before,” said Senator McCaskill. “Missourians — and all Americans — deserve to know who is bankrolling the ads they see on TV and hear on the radio. I am proud to be endorsed by End Citizens United and will continue to fight hard to return transparency and accountability to our elections.”
McCaskill’s fierce support of the DISCLOSE Act and a constitutional amendment to overturn the disastrous Citizens United decision, offers a clear contrast to Josh Hawley, who has been previously endorsed by Citizens United, the group which spearheaded the Supreme Court case. Less than a year after promising to not be just another “ladder climbing politician,” Hawley has decided to run for Senate and tried to have it both ways on campaign finance rules. Last week, a report from The Springfield News-Leader showed that Hawley lied to Missourians, saying he created a “testing the waters” committee back in August when in fact he registered with the FEC as a campaign, a move that allowed him to raise money far beyond an exploratory committee’s limits.
With a recent study showing 90% of Americans believing special interests are running the government and an ECU poll showing 65% of voters in battleground states believing money in politics has an impact on their everyday lives, a robust reform agenda is critical to winning support from voters. A money-in-politics reform message has proven to help move voters, particularly among Independents and unaffiliated voters.
As one of the most competitive Senate races of the 2018 cycle, Missouri will be a hotbed of outside spending by Super PACs and secretive dark money groups. In the 2016 Missouri Senate race, total outside spending reached over $43 million, most of it by groups that raise unlimited or undisclosed money.
ECU’s endorsement this cycle will allow the grassroots-funded PAC to connect its 52,000 members in Missouri with McCaskill’s campaign and activate its 380,000 small-dollar donors to help ensure she has the resources to once again take on the outside special interests.
A major player in U.S. Senate and House races, last cycle ECU aired $1.7 million in ads in support of Senate candidate Jason Kander. This cycle, with an average donation of $14, ECU has directly raised more than $2 million for its endorsed candidates. ECU will also elevate campaign finance reform as a critical campaign issue through a number of advocacy activities throughout the state.