The premier left-wing group that works to reduce the influence of money and special interests in politics just gave a six-figure boost to Rep. Kendra Horn (D., Okla.), who once advocated against money in politics but now benefits from large checks from Wall Street executives.
The End Citizens United PAC poured $400,000 into an advertising blitz backing Horn, filings submitted to the Federal Election Commission on Thursday show. The media buy is the group's first 2020 foray into Oklahoma's Fifth Congressional District race, which is slated to become one of the most competitive in the country this November.
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End Citizens United first endorsed Horn in 2018, when she pushed for sweeping campaign finance and ethics reform. The ad buy shows the group is still supporting her campaign, even though she's now benefiting from donations she vowed to combat.
Wealthy individuals who represent big monied interests are now giving large sums to Horn's reelection efforts. The House Victory Project, for example, a joint fundraising committee created and primarily funded by Wall Street executives to inject large sums into key House races, transferred $255,000 to Horn's campaign this cycle.
Horn did not receive cash from the House Victory Project in 2018. The transfer is the largest the campaign has received this cycle. It is not, however, the only sizable transfer from a committee fueled by donors that she once shunned.
The freshman Democrat also received $38,000 from the Hold the House Victory Fund, a joint fundraiser between the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and 30 Democratic candidates. It is heavily bankrolled by deep-pocketed liberal donors who each have given up to $350,000 for its 2020 efforts.
Horn's reformist mindset landed her the initial endorsement from End Citizens United in 2018. The group's mission is getting large cash infusions from wealthy donors out of the political process, and their endorsements go to "campaign finance reform champions" who fight against "corrupting influence" and vow to pass legislation to tackle the issue. The group has said that Wall Street executives only care about their "bottom line and influence in Washington," not helping the American people.
Horn's campaign and End Citizens United did not respond to requests for comment.
The race in Oklahoma’s Fifth Congressional District is rated as a toss-up by Sabato’s Crystal Ball. Horn squeaked out a one-point victory in 2018 over former Rep. Steve Russell (R.) in a district Trump won by 13 points just two years prior. Horn will face the winner of the Republican runoff scheduled for Aug. 25 between Terry Neese and Stephanie Bice.