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 Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers as the latest member of its Big Money 20, a list of the group’s top targets in 2018 who represent the worst of Washington’s rigged system. End Citizens United will educate voters on these politicians who put the needs of special interests that fund their campaigns over the needs of their constituents.
“Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers is rigging the system for her mega-donors and special interests, and Washington state families are paying the price. We will hold her accountable,” said Tiffany Muller, president of End Citizens United. “We’re mobilizing our more than three million grassroots members, including 10,000 in Washington’s 5th district, to throw these politicians out of office and elect reformers who will focus on all of us, not just those who write the biggest checks.”
For example, McMorris Rodgers received over $343,000 from telecom interests over the course of her career. To put that number in perspective, it is nearly twice the cost of the median home value in Spokane. McMorris Rodgers is one of telecom’s biggest allies in Congress. She voted to nullify an FCC privacy rule in 2017 which would allow telecom companies to share consumer data without their permission. After her vote, McMorris Rodgers received $33,000 from groups and companies that lobbied on the resolution including Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon. Similarly, the same day McMorris Rodgers released a statement in support of the roll back of Net Neutrality, she received a campaign contribution from Verizon which had previously fought to kill Net Neutrality.
This wasn’t the first time McMorris Rodgers fell in line with her mega-donors’ demands. Over her career, McMorris Rodgers took over $660,000 from Wall Street including some of the biggest players American Bankers Association, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan. McMorris Rodgers voted for the Financial Choice Act, which stripped the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of its ability to protect Washington families from fraud and scams by Wall Street Banks. Her industry support included $1,000 she took from the American Bankers Association the day before she voted for the industry-backed TAILOR Act.
McMorris Rodgers also pushed to dismantle the Affordable Care Act which would cost thousands of Washington state families their health care – a position that mirrored some of her biggest mega-donors including the Koch brothers and the American Action Network, the dark money group that spent an undisclosed amount on ads to pressure her to support the repeal.
In addition, McMorris Rodgers has voted to keep Congress’ rigged system in place. Time and again, she voted against reforms such as the DISCLOSE Act which would end secret political spending in our elections. She also voted for a bill backed by the Koch brothers to continue to let secret, dark money organizations hide the identity of their mega-donors from the public.
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. McMorris Rodgers was added to the list following the retirement of Speaker Paul Ryan, and four 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 high priority, ahead of or equal to jobs and health care.Two out of three voters believe the amount of money in politics affects “kitchen table” issues.
In April 2018, End Citizens United endorsed Lisa Brown. Brown is committed to reforming the rigged system, and supports bills including the DISCLOSE Act and Government By The People Act. As a sign of her commitment to unrigging the system, Brown is rejecting corporate PAC money in her campaign.
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 and is entirely grassroots-funded, with an average donation of just $14.