The End Citizens United PAC has recently announced it will fight for the political legacy of President Lyndon Johnson in the wake of President Donald Trump looking to take away the power of one of the major laws introduced by one of his predecessors. The Johnson Amendment has been on the law books since 1954 when then-Senator Johnson introduced his own law to the Senate threatening the tax-exempt status of any Church, charity, or university providing funding for political parties or candidates. Johnson understood the need for charities to take part in the political process and allowed voter registration drives and other political programs without providing direct funding for any political party or candidate.
End Citizens United has been on a collision course with President Trump since the election of 2016 when the Republican entered the Presidential race at the same time as the PAC began its life focused on bringing an end to the Citizens United Supreme Court decision of 2010. Since the arrival of End Citizens United on the political scene the group has operated as a traditional PAC which limits the political donations of any individual to just $5,000; despite the low threshold placed on donors the End Citizens United campaign raised a reported $25 million for the 2016 Presidential election cycle. Soon after its establishment, End Citizens United announced it would be supporting Democratic candidates for office as the political party shares many ideas with those of the majority of Democrat’s who support bringing an end to the Citizens United decision.
One of the Executive Orders signed by President Trump was designed to bring an end to the Johnson Amendment’s powers by limiting the role of the IRS in enforcing this impressive piece of legislation. President Trump has been an opponent of the Johnson Amendment for many months and made its repeal one of his major campaign promises; the irony of the situation remains the fact Johnson’s law was not controversial when introduced and passed the Senate with ease without a large amount of pushback from the Churches of the U.S.
End Citizens United CEO and President, Tiffany Muller explained the problem her PAC sees with the repeal of the Johnson Amendment is the misuse of the opportunity to bring more campaign funding into the politics of the U.S. Not only will Churches be able to fund political parties and influence individual candidates individual donors will also be able to funnel campaign finance funds from their personal accounts to political parties and claim tax refunds on these donations. Bringing an end to the Citizens United decision is just one aspect of the work of the PAC which has become a grassroots movement.