The Big Money 20 represents the worst of Washington – those who rig the system for their big donors at the expense of their constituents
Big Money 20 members are top targets for End Citizens United in 2018
End Citizens United today named Representative Keith Rothfus as the latest member of its Big Money 20, a list of the group’s top targets to defeat in 2018. The Big Money 20 represent the worst of Washington’s rigged system, where politicians write the rules to benefit their biggest donors at the expense of the American people. End Citizens United has launched a $35 million campaign to kick them out of office and elect reformers in 2018.
“Congressman Keith Rothfus has a terrible record of stacking the deck in favor of his mega-donors while ignoring Pennsylvania families,” said ECU President Tiffany Muller. “We’ve inducted Rothfus to the Big Money 20 because he’s one of Washington’s worst offenders and Pennsylvania families are paying the price. We’re mobilizing our grassroots members to help throw him out of office and elect a reformer who will fight for the needs of families in the district.”
Throughout his career, Rothfus has been a staunch ally of Wall Street, his second largest contributor, by sponsoring, co-sponsoring, and helping pass key bills that allowed big banks to engage in the kind of risky behavior that led to the 2008 financial crisis. With over $490,000 in campaign contributions from Wall Street, Rothfus is one of its strongest supporters in Congress. As congressman, Rothfus introduced a resolution blocking reforms to prohibit companies like Equifax from forcing consumers into arbitration. He also sought to limit the powers of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which protects families from fraud, scams, and abuse by big banks by co-sponsoring the Financial Choice Act which would have gut additional consumer protections.
In addition, Rothfus protected the rigged system by voting against the DISCLOSE Act, which would require all groups that engage in political spending to disclose their donors so voters know who is trying to influence their vote.
The members of the Big Money 20 are incumbents who do the bidding of special interests like drug companies, Big Oil, Wall Street, and others with deep pockets, while also voting to protect the rigged system. Rothfus was added to the list following the retirement of Speaker Paul Ryan, and five other members of the Big Money 20. The full Big Money 20 list can be found here.
Over the past two years, ECU has conducted extensive polling and research showing that getting big money out of politics is a key issue for voters. In fact, independent and unaffiliated voters consistently rank it a top priority, ahead of or equal to jobs and health care. Two out of three voters believe the amount of money in politics affects their bottom line.
In January 2018, ECU endorsed Conor Lamb for the PA-18 special election, which coincided with Lamb’s announcement that he was rejecting corporate PAC money. Lamb overcame long odds to win the race, in large part because of his commitment to reform. ECU engaged early and supported Lamb by raising over $300,000 in small-dollar donations and running a $250,000 ad campaign. For the November midterm election, ECU has endorsed Lamb, who is once again rejecting corporate PAC money.
End Citizens United is dedicated to getting Big Money out of politics. The group is working to elect members of Congress who will fight to overturn Citizens United and pass meaningful reforms. Established in 2015, End Citizens United has over three million members, including 4,100 in PA-17, and is entirely grassroots-funded, with an average donation of just $14.