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Mayday Anti-PAC On Its Second Round of Funding 247

Posted by timothy
from the better-prepare-the-anti-anti-anti-version dept.
wonkavader (605434) writes 'Lawrence Lessig's MAYDAY.US Super PAC to end all Super PACs (and more) is now on its second round of funding. The PAC has been reported on here before, but now the numbers are bigger. They hit their $1 million first goal easily, but now they aim to get another $5 million in the same time period. Lessig says that he's arranged for matching, again. It seems like the goals will be even higher in 2016: "For 2014, our goal is to raise $12 million and use it to make fundamental reform the key issue in five congressional races. And we'll apply what we learn then to 2016."'
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Mayday Anti-PAC On Its Second Round of Funding

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  • We are going to get money out of politics by spending money.. I support the goal, but it just seems to shift where the money is coming from. The idea may fail if those who get in dont actually wanna lose that money, so put up a fake fight to change it.
    • Money isn't the problem, it is simply a tool. Accumulated power is the problem. Money exposes and is a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself. I don't care about money in politics, I care about power. As long as power accumulates power, the system will become more dysfunctional.

      The solution to power accumulation by sending power back to the people themselves. The solution is to take power and responsibility and put it back on the people, not the politicians. However too many people are willing to tr

  • by areusche (1297613) on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @09:24AM (#47202197)
    I've always been curious if it was possible for our system to eventually work itself out without the need for a bloody revolution. There has been so much malinvestment lately at the hands of entrenched political groups. I would be thrilled to see the US fix itself through its own system. My pessimism says otherwise though, but who knows.
    • by stenvar (2789879)

      I've always been curious if it was possible for our system to eventually work itself out without the need for a bloody revolution.

      Sure, countries transition from free societies to welfare states or socialism all the time; I have no doubt we can accomplish the same thing. It's easy: people just vote in ever bigger benefits and public spending.

      The sh*t hits the fan when the money runs out and totalitarians get elected based on empty promises to fix things. We still have a ways to fall before we get there.

      • I think one of the biggest problems with America, besides most of it's people not giving a shit, is that it thinks it's the only country in the world. There are plenty of countries who are what you would consider "socialist", although they all laugh at the term, and they're doing just fine.

        Countries keep going. Empires rise and fall. America will fall because it's an empire, and once it does, it can get back to the business of being a country, and we'll all be better off.

        Look outside the US. Yours is no

    • by sgt_doom (655561)
      If anyone is counting on son of wealth, and misdirection specialist, who has spent much of his adult life attending affairs held by the most neocon of neocon outfits, the Federalist Society, guess again.

      Lessig's the dood the bring out to coopt everything. Your pessimism is well founded!
  • How does an anti-pac work? Do they pay the TV stations not to run the ads from the other super-pacs?

    • Re:How does it work? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @09:34AM (#47202259)

      From what I understand, their goal as a SuperPAC is to pour money into congressional races to help reform candidates win, with the ultimate goal of having them pass campaign finance laws that limit the influence of SuperPACs. They're essentially working against themselves, but that's the entire point - if SuperPACs are done away with, they'll have done their job.

      • by hweimer (709734) on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @10:02AM (#47202483) Homepage

        From what I understand, their goal as a SuperPAC is to pour money into congressional races to help reform candidates win, with the ultimate goal of having them pass campaign finance laws that limit the influence of SuperPACs.

        So, the winning move for any candidate is to support reform until elected and then make a reversal and enjoy the windfall from the status quo. How are they going to prevent that?

      • Do they have any legal recourse against candidates who are elected with their funding, only to split from them after the election?

        • Do they have any legal recourse against candidates who are elected with their funding, only to split from them after the election?

          "An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought." -- U.S. Senator Simon Cameron (1799-1889) [wikipedia.org]

        • If supporters had any recourse when candidates turned on them, such recourse would have been used on Bush Jr. and Obama.

          This is why I steer clear of politicians who talk out of both sides of their mouth and try to avoid saying anything which might bother anyone - there's no telling what they'll actually do. I prefer someone like Chris Christie who says things that piss me off as well as things I agree with - it's pretty plain what he believes and what he intends to do. Whether or not you agree with his pos

    • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @10:01AM (#47202469)

      How does an anti-pac work? Do they pay the TV stations not to run the ads from the other super-pacs?

      They will have a hit list. If you don't support reform, they will fund your opponent. This is how Super Pacs work, they use their money to influence small changes in policy on the part of candidates. Like reform... it's an easy thing to support with very little opposition. The candidate doesn't even have to make a big deal out of it. He just changes some wording on his website and viola, he doesn't have to worry about this PAC giving his opponent money. His opponents thinking the same thing so now BOTH sides of race are pro-reform.

      They will likely do well at first. But when an actual reform bill comes up, the Eye of Sauron will be on them. When this comes up for a vote every other Super Pac in the country will realize their power is being challenged and the full weight of the political establishment will turn on them. They will face literally billions of dollars of opposition. I really doubt their ability to fundraise that kind of cash.

      • I am for reform. I'm just not for the reform leftists want. I want to reform the system towards liberty, and away from accumulated power. I doubt that if I were a candidate, the MAYDAY PAC would support me, because I am not "liberal" enough in some areas. I really doubt that I would garner much of their attention. Yeah, they may be for reform, just one sided reform.

        • Here's one plan that may be doable: http://anticorruptionact.org/ [anticorruptionact.org]
          Scroll down a bit to see the specific points.

          I'm a Libertarian and, while I have reservations, I see this as better than what we currently have. I want liberty from government AND business.

      • by mean pun (717227)

        But at that stage the hope is that the masses of voters like these laws so much that voting against them would be political suicide. Therefore, the Super PACs will have to make these laws controversial in some way, and they will have to start as soon as they can. I have no talent in this area, so I don't know whether these ideas grab your guns, are socialist, harm your children, support terrorism, promote unions/homosexuality/abortion/government, continue the war on christmas, are an IRS complot, don't have

  • Limiting spending in elections inherently favors incumbents. Keep that in mind when you're talking about getting money out of politics.
    • by gstoddart (321705)

      Limiting spending in elections inherently favors incumbents

      No, limiting spending inherently prevents the wealthy from dominating the discourse in a way that the non-wealthy simply cannot.

      It says the more money you have, the more say you get. That's feudalism. Which is pretty much the opposite of the principles on which the US was founded.

    • How is that? I'd think it would level the playing field somewhat between the incumbents who could receive super-PAC money and the newcomers who couldn't.

      • Well, there are two ways to reach the OP's conclusion. The first is to examine the history of "campaign finance reform", where you discover that the re-election rate for incumbents has gone UP after the passage of each such bill. The second is to examine the nature of elections. An incumbent can use government funds in order to make his constituents aware of who he is. A challenger, on the other hand, needs to make people aware of who he/she is.
        • Sounds like the second point is the root of the problem, incumbents shouldn't have more access to public campaign finance than any other candidate. So more campaign finance reform is needed to target that.

          • Incumbents are not using public campaign finance. They are sending out information to their constituents about laws that have been passed. They are appearing at ribbon cutting ceremonies. They are mentioned in news articles about laws they proposed. They are mentioned in news articles about current events. You cannot prevent incumbents from gaining publicity due to the fact that they are in office without making them completely unaccountable for their actions.
            • Well since there's nothing that can be done about it, why make the problem worse by allowing them to gather more money as well? To argue otherwise sounds too much like "X can never be eliminated therefore it makes no sense to attempt to restrict X" logic.

  • by xappax (876447) on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @10:01AM (#47202477)

    Really? You're going to end the corrupting influence of corporate money in politics by out-fundraising them?

    Having money is the one thing corporations are good at, and they're really, really good at it. If your strategy hinges on using money as influence, you're always going to lose, because they are FAR better and more practiced at that game than you are.

    The only way to advance this particular agenda is to exploit the strengths that we have which corporations don't. We can fill the streets with real people, we can make disruptive spectacles and speak earnestly about social problems. Unlike corporations, we don't need to hide behind spokespeople and PACs, because we have authenticity. We are genuinely concerned about the future of our democracy, and though corporations can try hard to simulate that concern, it's never as authentic as the real thing.

    The MAYDAY PAC is like David trying to beat Goliath in a fist fight. Don't fight on his terms, use the sling, idiot!

    • by thoromyr (673646)

      I think this is really what is bothering me about the MAYDAY PAC. The idea that the game can be beat by playing it on the terms of those who have rigged it... I understand the principle is to back politicians who will vote for reform, but a couple of seats -- even if it happens -- don't mean squat. Having a few bought-and-paid-for stooges who will vote for something doesn't actually work: it has to make it into a bill first, in a form that hasn't been mangled into the opposite of the intent, and brought to

    • The MAYDAY PAC is like David trying to beat Goliath in a fist fight. Don't fight on his terms, use the sling, idiot!

      I believe the idea is that the money raised by "real people" will be used differently than that raised by corporations. The PAC is the funding mechanism which will be used to consolidate and coordinate "real people" who want to positively affect change. In other words: this is a campaign to raise the money for a sling.

    • by Qbertino (265505)

      Really? You're going to end the corrupting influence of corporate money in politics by out-fundraising them?

      No. You're going to get most of the people behind the unified cause of repairing the US electorial system. Big difference.
      Them donating money is a secondary side effect. The technical part of what is required to change something. The first step is to get *all* of the 99% of US citizens of their lazy fat asses and actually be willing to do something to 'effing repair their broken system. The money-mete

    • Really? You're going to end the corrupting influence of corporate money in politics by out-fundraising them?

      Having money is the one thing corporations are good at, and they're really, really good at it. If your strategy hinges on using money as influence, you're always going to lose, because they are FAR better and more practiced at that game than you are.

      While corporations have more money in total they still need to decide what to spend where. Pumping $2mill in one race; rather than spreading over many, can have a significant influence on voters. I wonder if there is a spending threshold where more money has greatly diminished returns in terms of voter impact. If that is the case; you don't need to outspend other interests just spend enough to have an impact.

      The only way to advance this particular agenda is to exploit the strengths that we have which corporations don't. We can fill the streets with real people, we can make disruptive spectacles and speak earnestly about social problems. Unlike corporations, we don't need to hide behind spokespeople and PACs, because we have authenticity. We are genuinely concerned about the future of our democracy, and though corporations can try hard to simulate that concern, it's never as authentic as the real thing.

      The MAYDAY PAC is like David trying to beat Goliath in a fist fight. Don't fight on his terms, use the sling, idiot!

      \

      More importantly, we have votes. If people took the time to actually vote in elections, including p

    • Having money is the one thing corporations are good at, and they're really, really good at it. If your strategy hinges on using money as influence, you're always going to lose, because they are FAR better and more practiced at that game than you are.

      Then think like a corporation. Hire their best lobbyists and strategists away with better offers.

    • ...why they brought forth Lessig, the son of wealth and one of Wall Street's professional misdirection specialists, to do this.

      You, in your superb analytical thinking, see right through this sham for what it is, while others, will be fooled and misled by a Lessig, or a Jeremy Rifkin, or a Kevin Philips, etc., etc., etc.

      The revolution will not be foundation funded.

      Your ignorance is their power.
  • by judoguy (534886) on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @10:07AM (#47202527) Homepage
    What does "get the money out of politics" mean? No one is allowed to tell people about their candidacy? The government would be the arbiter of election information? May Day indeed. Money is power. Politics is power. Anyone who thinks they will somehow remove money from politics is an idiot, or at best childlike.

    All you can do is fight over *who* gets to wield it. At least now, bad as it is, I get to contribute to groups that represent my views, even if imperfectly. Seriously, with all the abuses of other moneyed interests,(mine, of course never abuse the system) no one has ever even tried to explain something better to me.

    Just some adolescent rant about "getting the money out of politics".

    • by Nite_Hawk (1304)

      What does "get the money out of politics" mean?

      IMHO, and in a very general sense, preventing things like this:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/... [washingtonpost.com]

      This isn't directly related to Lessig's superpac, but it's part of a general trend where personal gain in politics trumps ethical conduct. It doesn't matter what the issue is (in this case health care, but it could be zoning issues, or tax subsidies, or anything). This is blatant corruption on both sides of the isle. It's almost as if it doesn't matter where the money comes from (unions, hollywood, large corpo

    • This is the most US-centric post I've seen under this story.

      Believe it or not, many places in the world have gotten money out of politics (to the same extent that MAYDAY PAC wants to). Perhaps this may be surprising to you, but it actually is possible. I can only hope that my other fellow Americans aren't as defeatist as you are.

      I support MAYDAY-PAC and WOLF-PAC, because I'm unwilling to bend over and take it. I invite you to clench your asshole and join me in taking a stand against our ass-rapist maste
    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      What does "get the money out of politics" mean?
      [...]
      Seriously, with all the abuses of other moneyed interests,(mine, of course never abuse the system) no one has ever even tried to explain something better to me.

      It means a lot of things.
      Just because you are ignorant doesn't meant there are no good answers.

      Here's a few of them:
      http://anticorruptionact.org/#act [anticorruptionact.org]

      Stop politicians from taking bribes
      Prohibit members of Congress from soliciting and receiving contributions from any industry or entity they regulate, including those industries' lobbyists. Prohibit all fundraising during Congressional working hours.

      Limit super PAC contributions and "coordination"
      Require SuperPACs to abide by the same contribution limits as other political committees. Toughen rules regarding SuperPACs' and other groups' coordination with political campaigns and political parties.

      Prevent job offers as bribes
      Close the "revolving door" where elected representatives and senior staff sell off their legislative power for high-paying jobs. Stop them from negotiating jobs while in office and, once they leave, bar them from all lobbying activity for 5 years.

      Call all people who lobby, lobbyists
      Significantly expand the definition of and register all lobbyists to prevent influencers from skirting the rules.

      Limit lobbyist donations
      Limit the amount that lobbyists and their clients can contribute to federal candidates, political parties, and political committees to $500 per year and limit lobbyist fundraising for political campaigns. Federal contractors are already banned from contributing to campaigns: extend that ban to lobbyists, high-level executives, government relations employees, and PACs of federal government contractors.

      End secret money
      Mandate full transparency of all political money. Require any organization that spends $10,000 or more on advertisements to elect or defeat federal candidates to file a disclosure report online with the Federal Election Commission within 24 hours. List each of the donors who gave $10,000 or more to the organization to run such ads. This includes all PACs, 501c nonprofits, or other groups that engage in electioneering.

      Empower all voters with a tax rebate
      Build up the influence of voters by creating a biennial $100 Tax Rebate that they can use to make qualified contributions to federal candidates, political parties, and political committees. Flood elections with small-donor contributions that will offset the huge spenders. Candidates and political groups will only be eligible for these funds if they agree to a set of contribution limits: they will only accept money from small donors (giving $500 or less a year), other groups abiding by the limits, and the Tax Rebates themselves.

      Disclose "bundling"
      Require federal candidates to disclose the names of individuals who "bundle" contributions for the member of Congress or candidate, regardless of whether such individuals are registered lobbyists.

      Enforce the rules
      Strengthen the Federal Election Commission's independence and strengthen the House and Senate ethics enforcement processes. Provide federal prosecutors the additional tools necessary to combat corruption, and prohibit lobbyists who fail to properly register and disclose their activities from engaging in federal lobbying activities for a period of two years.

    • Re:May Day???? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by aqui (472334) on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @12:27PM (#47203801)

      The issue is that the US has always been an oligarchy of the rich, realistically it came into being due to a tax revolt.
      Money out of politics is not only possible, if you look else where in the world with functioning democracies and functioning electoral systems you can find examples:

      In Germany
      http://www.theatlantic.com/int... [theatlantic.com]

      In Canada (with legislated limits)
      http://www.cbc.ca/news/politic... [www.cbc.ca]

      or see Frances new laws limiting funding
      http://www.loc.gov/law/help/ca... [loc.gov]

      If you believe that money is the only power then you have already been brainwashed to give up your democratic rights.

      The average US Senate seat apparently costs ~ $7 million.

      The entire Canadian Election spending per party ~ $21 million.

      Obama spent well over $400 million for just his presidential campaign.

      Think about what could be done with $379 million to address real problems in the US like education, healthcare etc....

      The reason the rich are willing to waste their money is because they have too much of it (mainly because of tax law changes).
      The average CEO salary in the US is now $10 million per year! Yet they pay less than 20% in taxes!

      Even Warren Buffet thinks its time to tax the rich.
      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11... [nytimes.com]

      If you did that the money that might otherwise be spent on political campaigns might actually do some good like funding education or public healthcare etc...

      But then according to your brainwashing program the only power is money and any country that tries to democratically regulate the market (an artificial construct that only exists because of the enforcement of property laws) must a communist country (Canada) how else can we have publicly funded healthcare...
      keep drinking the kool-aid, in the mean time we'll outlive you. Yes life expectancy is higher here, as is quality of life.

      • .... even Warren Buffett thinks it's time to tax the rich --- sorry, Charlie, once again you've demonstrated you are one of the easily led sheeple.

        Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has been in federal tax court for years, fighting not to pay the zillions they owe in federal taxes.

        Buffett was chair of Salomon Brothers, one of the premier Wall Street firms which lobbied for the adoption of what he calls "economic weapons of mass destruction" --- credit derivatives --- which Buffett then hired lobbyists to
    • At least now, bad as it is, I get to contribute to groups that represent my views, even if imperfectly. Seriously, with all the abuses of other moneyed interests,(mine, of course never abuse the system) no one has ever even tried to explain something better to me.

      Here in Québec we have a campaign contribution limit of $100 per person, and a total campaign spending limit for each party of roughly $1 per elector in the province. This ensured that no one had a disproportionate financial impact in the election, while still allowing me to contribute to the group that I wished. Despite what may seem to be low limits, we had a healthy campaign, with a diverse number of parties. And considering that 4 different parties managed to elect representatives to the assembly,

  • I'm finding quite curious the contrast between the comments that appeared the first time [slashdot.org] this story was discussed in /. and now. Whereas in the first time the comments were balanced and generally positive, now most comments are violently against it. I wonder what caused this change. Perhaps now that it is clear that they are getting money and have a chance of making a difference the corporate shills have woken up?

    • by JWW (79176)

      It think its mostly because before the effort was very undefined.

      Now they've stated their goals and they are all identical to the goals of the left.

      I will not support or believe that this PAC is beneficial until they add the goal of term limits to their proposed reforms.

      Its a far bigger factor in the problems of our government than campaign finance is.

  • The corporations can easily outspend this PAC with a small increase. On top of that, they are trying to buy corrupt politicians, who are just as likely to turn again when someone offers them better coke and prostitutes. I smell a get rich scheme, nothing more.

  • From the text of one of the bills they support:

    Sec. 101. Refundable tax credit for congressional House campaign contributions.

    Seriously? This is literally trading tax dollars for campaign dollars. What the hell kind of reform is this? Even with the proposed $50 limit on the credit it's a bad idea -- and what good is $50 going to do, anyway?

  • by ThatsNotPudding (1045640) on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @01:18PM (#47204247)
    I've seen inklings of a smear campaign against this movement already, trying to exploit the same stupid red meat issues (abortion, gun control, taxes) to alienate potential supporters that would otherwise emphatically agree that corporations are not people and should no longer control our government.

    I do wish them luck. They're gonna need it.
  • Sorry, folks, but it is sooo easy to predict this will all amount to nothing, once Lawrence Lessig's name is mentioned.

    Talk about your professional misdirection specialist, scion of wealth, the guy who couldn't be bothered to tell Aaron Swartz that federal prosecutors had dropped one of the punishments against Aaron they were pushing for --- namely forbidding Aaron from ever going online again, and then Aaron committed suicide!

    Lawrence Lessig, the dood that attended the second-to-the-last Bilderberger

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