Those who follow this blog regularly will be aware of my support for Professor Lessig and his campaigns in New Hampshire to try to drive the evil of money out of the business of politics. Professor Lessig has now announced his candidature for a run at President 2016.
Lawrence has no chance whatsoever of being President. I doubt he entertains any hopes of getting very close to the Oval Office but he must be allowed to run. Maybe just maybe like President Bartlett he might be borne aloft on a wave of crowdfunding.
Lessig has one objective, which is that if none of the existing Democratic candidates “commit to making this fundamental [campaign finance] reform the first priority of their administration,” and if his crowdfunding campaign can raise $1 million by Labor Day, then he will run as what he calls a “referendum candidate.” . That means he’d promise to only serve as president until campaign finance reform is passed, and resign once it becomes law.
He will need money – of course $1,000,000 by Labor Day. Its a lot but possible.
Professor Lessig is a Law Professor long involved in politics even if he has not (as yet) achieved elected office. He created Creative Commons and the Mayday PAC. His principal abiding concern though is the pernicious influence of vast sums of money in the political process and how it corrupts absolutely everything it touches.
This is a piece from his campaign. “Four years ago, Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks told Netroots Nation, “There is only one issue in this country,” and he was referring to the corrupt funding of public elections.That corruption is part of a more fundamental inequality that we’ve allowed the politicians to create: we don’t have a Congress that represents us equally. Every issue — from climate change to gun safety, from Wall Street reform to defense spending — is tied to this “one issue.” Achieving citizens equality in America is our one mission.”
Small his campaign may be so far but it is attracting the talent. Jimbo “Wikipedia” Wales is his head of campaign.
Now you might feel this was a matter more suited to a referendum than a full on Presidential campaign, but in the USA you cannot get Referenda. So he is trying to effect the same result by the long route.
My plan is a referendum,” Lessig wrote in the Daily Beast. “My candidacy would be a referendum. Elected with a single mandate to end this corrupt system, I would serve only as long as it takes to pass fundamental reform. I would then resign, and the vice president would become president.”
Lessig has three planks to his campaign.
Funding. This must be taken out of the hands of PACS and individuals who can skew the system. Lessig is looking along the lines of public funding for candidates.
Gerrymandering. This is drawing the boundaries of a constituency so as to lock in voters of a particular party. As we know this is an utter curse. Even Putin can complain that in America the representatives chose the voters!
Tricks for suppress registration. By these Lessig is thinking of the attempts to force a voter to have an ID card etc.
They are all the tricks the Oligarchy use to maintain power.
No he won’t win. Lessig is a Don Quixote in this, but perhaps in the boil that is the campaign to come he may get others to hear his message, and isn’t sending a message and having your voice heard central to the American Dream?
“Bernie moved the issue from #8 to #2 the day I launched,” he said. “That’s progress
I wish him luck. And promise to keep the Oligarch Kings up to date on this campaign.
Copyright David Macadam 2015