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End Citizens United to back O’Rourke


Rep. Beto O’Rourke

The 2018 Senate election in Texas remains more than 16 months away, but Rep. Beto O’Rourke picked up his first major organizational endorsement Monday in his long-shot bid to challenge Sen. Ted Cruz.

End Citizens United PAC, a progressive group focused on reducing the role of money in politics with three million members across the country, threw its support behind the El Paso Democrat, choosing O’Rourke as the first Senate challenger the group is endorsing in the 2018 cycle.

“Our decision to endorse Beto was an easy one,” Tiffany Muller, the PAC’s president and executive director, said in a written statement. “He stands as a progressive champion and the future of our party with a determined focus to give the people a voice in our democracy. He’s running against the worst of Washington in Senator Ted Cruz who has sold out Texans for the special interests at every opportunity.”

For O’Rourke, picking up the backing of a well-funded group like End Citizens United is particularly critical given his marked disadvantage in the money race against Cruz.


O’Rourke’s longstanding commitment to not take PAC money does limit the help End Citizens United can provide because the group will not be able to contribute to the campaign.

But Adam Bozzi, a spokesman for the PAC, said it will direct its 157,000 members in Texas and 330,000 donors around the state, as well as millions elsewhere in the country, to contribute to O’Rourke’s campaign.

The group will also spend independently on O’Rourke next year, as it has done for other candidates, by running TV ads in Texas — though it will not be able to coordinate the messaging for those ads with O’Rourke’s campaign.

The decision to support O’Rourke early in the cycle and before their other endorsements indicates how significant the Texan will be to the group’s plans in 2018, Bozzi told The Dallas Morning News. But organizers are waiting to see how the political landscape looks closer to next year’s election before dividing resources.

This seems to be a good balance between O’Rourke’s promise to not take PAC money and his need to raise gobs of money to at least make sure the voters know who he is. The quarterly finance reports will tell the tale, and I’ll be very interested to see what the second quarter report, which will be basically all prior to this announcement, looks like. Even with this kind of help, O’Rourke is going to have to raise a ton on his own. He was a Senate candidate for the entire quarter, he got a bunch of good publicity, and he’s running against Ted Cruz. He’ll also have increasing competition for donor dollars from the flood of Congressional candidates around the state. If he can’t start off with a decent report, he’s going to go on the back burner pretty quickly.

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  1. neither here nor there says:

    As a donor to his campaign, that is good, things will change in Texas and Cruz and Patrick are the worse of the worse.

  2. Bill Daniels says:


    Let me be the first to prognosticate on a Cruz/O’Rourke contest. Cruz will be reelected in a landslide, because O’Rourke doesn’t have any identity card to play. There was activism in the Hispanic community that actually got Hispanics who had never voted before to vote against Trump, because Trump hates Mexicans and brown people, but you won’t be able to recreate that scenario again. That was a one-off event, and attempts to recreate it will be especially ineffectual against a brown candidate. That’s the problem with identity politics. Once you have made the rules, it’s hard to change them. Energizing people who generally never vote to vote against Cruz because he hates brown people? I’m not seeing that as a winning strategy. Look for that vote to have a lower, more traditional turnout, which favors the incumbent.

    Look at Handel/Ossoff in Georgia. Remember this:

    “There is a special place in Hell for women who don’t help other women.”

    The woman won that race, and with a bigger percentage than Trump won the district. That tells us that either Pub voters aren’t the misogynists they are made out to be (that can’t be true) or that erstwhile Dem voters found themselves forced to vote for the woman, in order to virtue signal correctly.

  3. neither here nor there says:

    Cruz isn’t brown, he is a white person with a Spanish surname. Besides remember that his dad may have been involved in Kennedy’s assassination, thus said the Russian puppet.

    If Benedict Arnold was alive he would be a Trump supporter.

  4. C.L. says:

    Here’s my prediction… after the umpteenth twit/shitstorm barrage from POTUS against the media or Morning Joe or the NYT or France or whoever, the populace ain’t gonna give a ratzass who the Republican candidate is come Nov 2018, they’re going to remember them as being spineless and complicit and vote a straight (Dem) ticket. The liberals didn’t turn out to vote for Hillary, but they’re going to turn out to vote against anyone with an (R) in front or behind their name.