Press Releases

With New Campaign Leaders, Trump Further Immerses Himself into Pool of Special Interests, Super PACs, and Dark Money

Aug 18, 2016

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Contact: Adam Bozzi, [email protected]

With Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway now leading his campaign, Donald Trump further aligns himself with the secretive, big money interests trying to influence and overwhelm our elections.  Their ties to the billionaire Mercer family and to the group Citizens United put a handful of powerful interests at the helm of the Trump campaign.

Pro-Trump Super PAC financier Bob Mercer also invested a reported $10 million in the far-right outlet Breitbart News, of which Bannon is the cofounder and chairman.  Bob Mercer’s daughter, Rebekah Mercer, recently urged Trump to hire Bannon.   Bannon also has a long history of producing propaganda films for the group Citizens United, a dark money organization that seeks to influence politics and hides the source of its funding by claiming non-profit status (and also the organization responsible for bringing us the Supreme Court’s misguided FEC v. Citizens United decision). For her part, Conway previously headed a Super PAC funded by Bob Mercer and has served as a spokeswoman for him.

“Donald Trump is aligning himself with a handful of like-minded billionaires and special interests who are rigging the system for their own benefit.  They’re exploiting election laws to use Super PACs and anonymous money to turn our elections into auctions, and billionaires like the Mercers are taking full advantage,” Tiffany Muller, End Citizens United Executive Director said.  “It’s even more clear now why Trump opposes a decades-old safeguard for churches and charities.  His call to repeal the Johnson amendment would allow his billionaire friends to bring politics into houses of worship, turning them into political organizations that can hide the source of their funding.  The American people want and need someone to give them a voice in our government, not someone who continues to side with a handful of powerful corporate special interests.”

End Citizens United PAC was established in March 2015 to counter the disastrous effects of Citizens United and reform our campaign finance system. To date, more than 1.5 million grassroots members from every state and territory have taken action to support End Citizens United.

Read more on ECU from the San Francisco Chronicle: End Citizens United Aggressively Seeks Campaign Finance Reform.