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The Almighty Buck The Internet United States Politics

Steve Wozniak Endorses Lessig's Mayday Super PAC 209

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-am-the-internet-and-i-approve-this-message dept.
Funksaw writes: Steve Wozniak, co-found of Apple Computer, has come out to endorse Lawrence Lessig's MAYDAY PAC in an animated audio recording. Mayday.US, (formerly MayOne.US) is Lessig's crowd-funded (citizen-funded!), kick-started Super PAC to end all Super PACs. In the video, Wozniak points out that we're never going to get anywhere on issues important to the Internet community and technology advocates if we don't fix the root cause of corruption. The video can be found at the Mayday PAC's new landing page, "theInternetHasASuperPAC.com."

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Steve Wozniak Endorses Lessig's Mayday Super PAC

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  • "The Internet" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Stormy Dragon (800799) on Friday June 20, 2014 @11:30AM (#47282487) Homepage

    I seem to have missed the election where everyone on the internet elected Steve Wozniak and Lawrence Lessig to speak for us. The Internet does not have a super pac. A handful of people with a particular view on how the internet should be run have a super pac. To characterize themselves as the only legitimate voice on the matter is the height of arrogance.

    • by presidenteloco (659168) on Friday June 20, 2014 @11:37AM (#47282541)

      I seem to have missed the part where everyone on the Internet is a US citizen.

      But as a proud resident of Lower Banwidthistan, I am happy to contribute as requested.

    • Re:"The Internet" (Score:5, Informative)

      by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Friday June 20, 2014 @11:40AM (#47282565)

      Here's the thing though: a lot of people want a lot of changes to happen. Everyone doesn't agree on all of the changes, sure, but a lot of people want to see fundamental changes to our political system, starting with removing the corrupting influence of money. A lot of people want to support something moving in that direction, but what are our options right now? Really, who would you support in order to effect the kind of change that you want to see in politics? What Lessig did was step up and lead. He might not be the leader that everyone wants, but he's actually stepped up to lead an effort. There are a lot of people who want to get behind change in politics, but very few people leading the way. Mayday is a high-profile example with the goal of leading the effort to reform our political system. You don't need to agree 100% with what they say, but if you want to see change then this is a good way to hopefully get that process started. Other groups include things like WOLF-PAC, although it is much less visible. And if you don't like anything out there now, then start your own group and get the word out. Anything to create the kinds of changes that all of us need in order to have our political system work for us instead of the other way around.

      • Re:"The Internet" (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TheSync (5291) on Friday June 20, 2014 @11:53AM (#47282679) Journal

        starting with removing the corrupting influence of money

        I have news for you, the corrupting influence of money will remain AS LONG AS POLITICIANS HAVE POWER. Money will "route around" such "campaign finance reforms". That is why all the campaign finance reforms put in place since the 1970's have consistently achieved nothing (except for allowing incumbents to hold on to power more strongly).

        Politicians are always answerable at the ballot box. If you vote for politicians who promise to REMOVE POWER FROM GOVERNMENT, you will REMOVE THE POTENTIAL FOR CORRUPTION.

        Most of our "Internet problems" are last mile problems. These are not national problems. You need to show up to your local government meetings and work on last mile access. I suggest local government reduce barriers to entries for new local ISPs (my suggestion). Or perhaps local governments should build open FTTH (which of course would be open to corruption to the contractors who build it, but perhaps that is better). But local is where to deal with this issue.

        • Re:"The Internet" (Score:5, Insightful)

          by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Friday June 20, 2014 @12:00PM (#47282767)

          I have news for you, the corrupting influence of money will remain AS LONG AS POLITICIANS HAVE POWER.

          That is true, that's why campaign finance reform is not a magic bullet. Another necessary change is term limits for all of Congress [termlimits.org], so that we can replace career politicians with civilian public servants, as it was meant to be. Legislators and representatives should come out of the private sector to serve their term, and then leave and return to the private sector. We don't need people like Mitch McConnell spending their entire career in politics while they amass a personal fortune of tens of millions of dollars.

          • I thought term limits contributed to the so-called "revolving door" by guaranteeing that a legislator who finishes his term can spend 12 months preparing to jump into a position with a big company to lobby his old buddies in the legislature. Chris Dodd of the MPAA anyone?
            • Ideally financial reform would also affect the ability of lobbyists to influence politicians. They could get a job wherever they want, but they wouldn't be able to buy politicians.

              There are a lot of changes we need. Changes to campaign financing, lobbying, and term limits are all necessary. Changes to some of those areas might not be very effective without changes to the others.

          • Re:"The Internet" (Score:5, Insightful)

            by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Friday June 20, 2014 @12:27PM (#47283067)

            Another necessary change is term limits for all of Congress

            Plenty of states and local governments have implemented term limits. There is NO evidence that this has led to better government. By filling government with inexperienced people, you end up with no institutional memory of past mistakes, and legislators that rely more than ever on the advice and guidance of lobbyists.

            • Laws are not set in stone, not even the constitution. If a law gets passed that is ineffective or harmful, it can be repealed. I would rather have decades of non-politician legislators making our laws than another 4 years of the current assholes getting paid by anyone with money to screw over everyone else. It needs to end.

            • By filling government with inexperienced people, you end up with no institutional memory of past mistakes, and legislators that rely more than ever on the advice and guidance of lobbyists.

              "By filling government with experienced people [incumbents], you end up with no voter memory of past mistakes [because people just keep voting for familiar names, regardless of record], and legislators that rely more than ever on the advice and guidance of lobbyists."

              There, FTFY.

              Here's the problem with this debate -- the vast majority of the government is filled with more-or-less permanent employees. Underneath almost every executive official or legislator or department head that is elected or appointe

          • by Krishnoid (984597)

            Another necessary change is term limits for all of Congress [termlimits.org], so that we can replace career politicians with civilian public servants, as it was meant to be.

            We can do that now, by voting, and in my awkwardly-worded opinion, improved communication among the masses [slashdot.org] is causing unprecedented changes [slashdot.org] along these lines.

          • by bigpat (158134)

            That is true, that's why campaign finance reform is not a magic bullet. Another necessary change is term limits for all of Congress [termlimits.org], so that we can replace career politicians with civilian public servants, as it was meant to be.

            I might agree with you if you also term limited other public officials and even low or mid level bureaucrats. The real power in Washington is the Bureaucracy which can outlast any single administration or any 8 years of Congress. The entrenched interests are not limited to the elected politicians, but all the individuals that make careers out of government money, government contracts and playing the system. It can take years or decades to fathom just part of the Federal Bureaucracy, let alone be in a pos

        • by ADRA (37398)

          That all may be true, or it may not. Taking power away from the fed means that that vacant space is going to:
          1. State / local governments
          2. Organized groups with special interests
          3. The populace

          Odds are #3 will have exactly as much say as they've always had, and there's more money to be had be groups 1/2 if the fed shrivles up. My opinion is that if you want power, you need to trade it off with harsh real panalties for violating the trust put upon you. The problem is the people with

          • by tepples (727027)

            The problem is the people with the most to lose from the scheme are the only ones who have the power to enact it (barring armed revolt).

            How so? Three-fourths of the states can amend the Constitution with no help from the Congress.

            • by Duhavid (677874)

              Can you get 3/4's of the politicians from the states to enact such legislation?

              They are also benefiting from this arrangement, so, I don't think it will fly.

        • I wanted to add something about the solution through local politics. That is an important step. We the people have the right and ability to change the federal government through constitutional amendments. We can restrict Congress ourselves by using an Article V convention of the states [wikipedia.org]. We can ratify an amendment starting at the state level in order to effect the kind of change that Congress would not make on their own. Instead of counting on Congress to limit their own power, we can do it for them.

          • by Duhavid (677874)

            Get started.

            • Indeed [wolf-pac.com]. Several states have already approved their applications for a convention. We need 34 states to approve them and start the convention.

              • by Duhavid (677874)

                How can people help?

                • Wolf-PAC has a petition on their site, plus this page [wolf-pac.com] with information about volunteering or donating. Volunteering would include actually meeting with local legislators to pitch the case for a convention and try and get a local resolution passed supporting it, so that eventually the state would approve its application for the convention.

                  The Convention Of States [conventionofstates.com] project is also actively seeking a convention. At least 3 states so far have approved their applications.

        • More importantly, it isn't an attempt to get MONEY out of politics, it is an attempt to get non-establishment MEDIA money out of politics.

          All this does is turn politics back over to Time Warner, Fox, Disney, etc, who own the news stations and papers, and out of the hands of the People.

          No thanks.

          "We don't want your money in politics... but would you like to buy our news station?"

        • by Duhavid (677874)

          Campaign finance laws demonstrably have not achieved nothing, or the monied persons would not have bothered to weaken these laws, and would not be seeking to weaken them further.

          Politicians are patently not answerable at the ballot box, by and large, or so many unpopular bits of legislation would not be passing.

          If you remove too much power from the government, you will create a power vacuum. Someone will step in and fill it. Warlord or (maybe even well meaning) revolutionary. The government needs to be a

        • by Darinbob (1142669)

          If power is removed from government, some other entities will gain that power and become the new evil that must be fought. Most of these fights aren't about removing power, but in taking power or moving it around. Ie, diminish government's power in order to increase corporate power, which may be a bigger problem due to lack of accountability to citizens.

      • a lot of people want to see fundamental changes to our political system, starting with removing the corrupting influence of money.

        So, you're going to get rid of the corrupting influence of money by...spending money to buy politicians?

        That's what PACs do, you know - they buy politicians to counter the other guy's bought politicians....

        • That's right, Mayday's goal is to fund and elect politicians committed to campaign finance reform. The way our political system is set up is that the politicians with the most money get elected, so if we are going to change anything, including campaign finance laws, we need to buy the politicians to do it (or pass a constitutional amendment via an Article V convention).

          • We've had campaign finance reform in the past. It made matters worse, not better. So what makes you think that this time will be different?
            • "Campaign finance reform" in the past included things like Citizens United, which directly contributes to the problems we have now. The current brand of reform is aimed at getting rid of things like that. We are trying to correct the problems that were made in the past.

              And I don't know if it will work, but I want to try. One thing that I am not willing to do is to sit here and do nothing, expecting that other people are going to fix the problem.

              • Don't forget that Citizen's United was ultimately about whether you need the government's permission to make a movie about a politician. Do you really want the government deciding what movies we're allowed to see? I also notice people screaming about Campaign Finance Reform are never demanding regulation for, say, Michael Moore or Jon Stewart. How come it's okay for Miramax and Viacom to pollute politics with their corrupting corporate money?

                • Do you really want the government deciding what movies we're allowed to see?

                  That would not be constitutional, I'm not worried about that.

                  How come it's okay for Miramax and Viacom to pollute politics with their corrupting corporate money?

                  It's not.

              • How do you get that Citizens United was part of campaign finance reform? Citizens United was a case where the Supreme Court found that the last "campaign finance reform" law over-reached and violated the Constitution. You may not know if this will work, but I've seen this same song and dance played before, so I know that it will not work. None of the people who cry about the money in politics want to do what it takes to actually fix the problem. The only way to get money out of politics is to reduce the pow
                • Citizens United was a case where the Supreme Court found that the last "campaign finance reform" law over-reached and violated the Constitution.

                  And you would disagree if I said that Citizens United brought that case against the FEC because Citizens United wanted to reform the campaign finance rules?

          • The way our political system is set up is that the politicians with the most money get elected

            Eric Cantor had WAY more money than David Brat. Meg Whitman spent more on her campaign than any other non-presidential candidate. She lost. Money certainly helps, but plenty of elections are won by the less well funded candidate. It is difficult to precisely determine the influence of money on elections, because not only does the money help the candidate get the message out, but donors looking for influence are more likely to donate to someone that was already popular.

            • Yeah, I made a blanket statement that isn't true 100% of the time. It sounds like Cantor's base didn't think he was representing them anymore. I'd love to see the results of that election happen nationwide, frankly I'd love to see every single incumbent lose.

            • by Duhavid (677874)

              If the large pocketed donors are looking for influence and continue to donate they are either insane or effective.

              Neither sounds like a good reason to continue a bad habit.
              All people, wealthy and poor should have equal redress to their government.
              Right now, the wealthy, effectively, are the only ones who have much say.

            • by dgatwood (11270)

              Meg Whitman spent more on her campaign than any other non-presidential candidate. She lost. Money certainly helps, but plenty of elections are won by the less well funded candidate.

              Ironically, she was too well known to win in California. To be precise, most Californians had actually used eBay by the time she ran, and nobody wanted someone who could create that kind of train wreck to be in charge of the entire state. :-)

        • by riverat1 (1048260)

          Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire. Just because you have to work within the current system doesn't mean you can't work to change it.

      • Here's the thing though: a lot of people want a lot of changes to happen. Everyone doesn't agree on all of the changes, sure, but a lot of people want to see fundamental changes to our political system, starting with removing the corrupting influence of money. A lot of people want to support something moving in that direction, but what are our options right now?

        Money is not the problem. The problem is apathetic voters who are OK with the status quo. Money does not control politicians, votes do. Money is just a tool to influence voters who don't really care one way or the other.

        A member of the 1% has 1 vote, the same as a member of the 99%.

        If a voter cares about an issue no amount of PAC money, no amount spent on media campaigns, is going to change their position.

        Two of the most power political lobbies the US, the NRA and the AARP, have the attention of po

        • Oh, and that political apathy that I mentioned. A big part of that is loyalty to your political party.

          If you are loyal to your party then you are irrelevant. Your party can ignore you because they have your vote, the other party can ignore you because they can not obtain your vote.

          The people who control the outcomes of elections in the US, and those to whom the politicians show some responsiveness, are those who vote for candidates and not political parties.

          Belong to whatever party you want, whatev
      • by sgt_doom (655561)
        But Lessig is not the one to lead, he is that wolf in sheeple's clothing the misinformed will follow. Find out his comments before the Federalist Society (which he has appeared at many, many times) and at the Bilderberger form he attended with those execs from Stratfor and Palintir Technology.
    • by wolfhead (919963)

      A handful of people with a particular view on how the internet should be run have a super pac.

      That completely misses the point of what the super pac is for, which is campaign finance reform. That's it. Nothing else. What I think Woz is saying is that any intelligent political debate about the internet and technology policies can't happen in the current political system, and campaign finance reform is the best bet at changing that system.

    • To characterize themselves as the only legitimate voice on the matter is the height of arrogance.

      They didn't, and they're not. It's an ADVERTISEMENT.
      Things need to be simplified in an advertisement to get the general point across. It's up to you to not jump to idiotic conclusions and go out and do research on your own.

      If you want to be pedantic, go do it somewhere else.
      This is an important issue, and we all need to speak as one.
      If you don't want to join the chorus, then get the hell out.
      If I'm trying to perform CPR, I don't need some asshole (you) standing behind me telling me I'm doing it wrong, I'm n

      • The lack of self-awareness here is hilarious. You deny they're claiming to be the only legitimate voice for the internet followed immediately by multiple demands that anyone who disagrees "get the hell out" because you're the only legitimate voice for the internet.

        We don't all need to speak as one. YOU need us all to speak as one because then you don't actually have to convince people your view point is right.

    • I seem to have missed the election where everyone on the internet elected Steve Wozniak and Lawrence Lessig to speak for us. The Internet does not have a super pac. A handful of people with a particular view on how the internet should be run have a super pac. To characterize themselves as the only legitimate voice on the matter is the height of arrogance.

      Not just that. I've been saying for a long time that Lessig's idea may be a short-term boon but a long-term disaster. Why? Because he thinks "the problem" is that corporations have too much "money influence" on government, and the people too little.

      I have argued with him that the problem is NOT that "corporations influence with too much money, and the people too little"... the real problem, the underlying problem, is big money in politics, period.

      By giving money to "peoples' voices", he may be helping

      • Keep in mind that Lessig also thought Obama was "The Answer", and fought hard for his election.

        To be fair, a lot of people did. I voted for him the first time because he claimed that he was going to repeal the Patriot Act and close Guantanamo Bay. He did neither of those, so I didn't vote for him again, and a lot of people felt the same way. Obama had around 5 million more votes in 2008 than he did in 2012.

  • On the site, it asks "Who to fund?" and gives the options "Whatever Helps", "Democrats Only", and "Republicans Only".

    Their FAQ states: "In 2014, our objective is to win seats on the basis of reform, and to show that we can win seats on the basis of reform. We don’t see any independent candidates on the federal level who could win this election cycle. Spending our donors money to support independent candidates doesn’t advance our objective."

    Whoa whoa whoa... what? Supporting candidates who
  • by TaxSlave (23295) <[lockjaw] [at] [lockjawslair.com]> on Friday June 20, 2014 @11:36AM (#47282537) Homepage Journal
    It's couched in all kinds of nice geek speak, but basically this is a PAC being created for one goal, campaign finance reform. As I do not believe that campaign finance reform should be used as a method to limit the speech of others, i'm out of this one. Sorry, Woz, not gonna be on your side of this fight. "Campaign finance reform" as a term used today is an attempt to stop grass-roots individuals such as those who funded this PAC from being able to donate in the future to organizations that support their own beliefs. Only those who can afford to pay for political ads personally will be able to play, and those who can't won't be able to band together as they do today.
    • by SteveWoz (152247) on Friday June 20, 2014 @11:45AM (#47282613) Homepage

      Thanks. I understand and appreciate where you are coming from.

      As a founder of the EFF, I do stand up for the small consumers vs. the wealthy and powerful. There is no perfect solution.

      • Thanks for supporting Mayday, there isn't a whole lot of time left but it looks like around $300,000 more has been contributed since yesterday. I hope the momentum can continue.

      • by mu51c10rd (187182)

        I certainly appreciate this venture. While I disagree with the idea of SuperPAC's and wish campaign finance reform did not take a political backseat...this is fighting fire with fire. Thank you.

    • by JWW (79176) on Friday June 20, 2014 @11:47AM (#47282623)

      Correct. Plus if campaign finance reform is achieved and campaign speech becomes subject to severe limits, then incumbents will hold a massive and largely unassailable power to dominate campaigns over newcomers.

      And with incumbency being a root cause to many of the problems in Washington, I won't support this PAC either until they make term limits a core part of the reforms they are calling for.

      • by ADRA (37398)

        That's an easy one too. Set caps on campaign spending or set limits on the amount of TV/radio based ad time that can be spent on a campaigner. That would very quickly set a more balanced playing field for having people over the top bombarded with the message. It still allows for street signs, internet bombardment, etc.. but those are also generally grass roots in nature, so it may actually benefit people getting elected where they may not have been recognized prior.

        • Set caps on campaign spending or set limits on the amount of TV/radio based ad time that can be spent on a campaigner.

          So, you advocate censoring the newspapers, TV news, etc? Because there's nothing to stop an incumbent from getting publicity during an electoral cycle just by doing his job and making the news.

          Note that ALL spending limits favor the incumbent. HE/SHE has easy access to all sorts of free publicity (propose a popular bill to get free publicity, for instance) that the challenger can't match.

          • by Duhavid (677874)

            Why the jump from spending caps to censoring?

            Can you see that no spending caps is much more "censoring", for a much larger group of people?

          • by dgatwood (11270)

            Because there's nothing to stop an incumbent from getting publicity during an electoral cycle just by doing his job and making the news.

            Actually, there is, and it is enshrined in communications law, but thirty years of weak, ineffectual FCC commissioners has mostly gutted it, between the removal of the fairness doctrine in 1987 and the consistent failure to enforce the equal time rule....

    • by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Friday June 20, 2014 @11:50AM (#47282647)

      Because ordinary people have so much say today in elections, don't we?

      Here is the reality [usnews.com]: 196 people contributed 80% of super PAC contributions in the 2012 election cycle. Your grass-roots efforts are pretty meaningless when they can only raise a quarter of the financial influence of 196 people. The goal of campaign finance reform is to level that playing field, so that the opinions of ordinary people are weighted more against the opinions of the super wealthy. Sheldon Adelson does not deserve to have a larger say in who gets elected than I do, it doesn't matter how much money he has.

      "I'm against very wealthy people attempting to or influencing elections... But as long as it's doable I'm going to do it."

      • This is to say nothing of the large number of sub $100 donations that required just a name and address. There is no verification of this micro donations. If you want to give a candidate a million dollars that does not seem to be a problem as long as you donate under $100 at a time. Rocco
      • by sgt_doom (655561)
        Plus 10,000 points, good citizen!
    • Oh and don't forget the political parties (limited to just the established ones) that will be exempted.
  • by nimbius (983462) on Friday June 20, 2014 @11:45AM (#47282609) Homepage
    The real power of a superPAC is its recurring ability to fund numerous candidates on a yearly basis during elections in order to build a substantial political concensus on an ideology or legislative policy the PAC members want. this PAC cannot be the next NyanCat, Doge, or Kony2012, and must persist and be funded for more than a decade to produce any meaningful change. It also doesnt factor in things like closed primaries and gerrymandered districts, for which no amount of PAC cash will change. Finally theres the issue of this PAC existing as a live wire.

    expect and prepare for every candidate endorsed and successfully elected by this PAC to receive major criticism if not outright condemnation from every news network in america. It is, after all, designed to deprive their commercial sponsors of the ability to purchase an election. Expect every single form of media in the american household to deride Mayday PAC and its candidates as unamerican restriction of the first amendment (as it applies to corporations.) Expect commercial television airtime to be difficult to purchase, and dont count on endorsing a candidate for the republican party who routinely shill for big oil and shun everything from climate change to renewable energy. And even if thye seem to stand a chance of winning, expect the rules to change a-la rand paul in the republican party to ensure absolutely, positively no possibility of ever being seated in office. dont expect the nuclear option of disclosing PAC donors to be off the table as it would only just confirm what everyone already knows about existing pac's while serving to further denegrade yours. Expect 'walking dead' lifer politicians like John McCain to insist a lack of everything from competence to experience and military service in regard to your reform candidate(s).
    • by jfengel (409917)

      You are absolutely right about the way Super PACs work. Real change comes only from a concerted, long-term effort. Campaign finance reform is going to be a very hard sell, not just because of entrenched interests but also because it's easier to get people to agree to "something should be done" than "let us do this particular thing". It will take a steady, well-thought out effort.

      I'm slightly less cynical about the ability to get media. The media sell air space, and they don't much care to whom they sell it.

  • by Dave Marney (2977859) on Friday June 20, 2014 @11:56AM (#47282725)
    Otherwise we'd have a hard time creating our own superpac!
    • by jfengel (409917)

      Super PACs predated Citizen's United by some time; it's just that the term wasn't coined until then. People had been doing it for a while, including the group after which the decision is named. CU just made it legally certain and thus increased its popularity.

  • Instead of trying to get rid of the money causing the corruption, why not get rid of the power that attracts the money that causes the corruption?
  • "Cast it into the fire! Destroy it!"
    "No."
    And he kept the corrupt political system of big money. It should have ended that day, but evil was allowed to endure. There's no strength left in the world of Men. They're scattered, divided, leaderless.

  • Sorry to be so cynical of what know are noble goals, but how exactly is being complicit in the very cause of political corruption supposed to end political corruption?

    The extraction of wealth through massive and long-term fraud, the extreme deterioration of the middle class and degree of political corruption with impunity has become so immense in the last few decades... makes this effort a laughable piss-ant by comparison. Incredibly powerful interests with huge political influence will end this by snappin

  • by MetalliQaZ (539913) on Friday June 20, 2014 @12:50PM (#47283261)

    I contributed to the first round that raised $1 million, and I contributed to the ongoing second round that is trying (with less success) to raise $5 million.

    Please contribute if you can. As Lawrence said in his TED talk: your favorite issue may be the more important thing to fix, but this has to be the FIRST thing we fix. There can be no meaningful reform as long as the big money has the only voice in politics.

    I understand how silly it sounds. Fight money in politics by raising money? How could that ever work? But just remember that we have to get our foot in the door somehow. We need the same lobbyists to get through to the people who need to hear us.

    Lawrence is a good guy, a smart person, and incredibly passionate about his cause. He's someone we can get behind. Please donate if you can. Remember they don't take your money unless they make their goal.

    Net neutrality, patent reform, etc. They all start here

    • by T.E.D. (34228)

      I understand how silly it sounds. Fight money in politics by raising money? How could that ever work?

      I have heard folks say that, or other such noise about it being "hypocritical", but frankly that attitude is beyond stupid.

      Politics is like a game of Great Dalmudi [wikipedia.org]. If you hate the current rules, you can change them, but you have to win a hand using those sucky rules first. Refusing to utilize a rule you don't like is not just counter-productive, but actively stupid.

  • by Prien715 (251944) <agnosticpope@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Friday June 20, 2014 @12:57PM (#47283341) Journal

    Until politicians stop being bought by the highest bidder, there can be no political progress in this country. While not everyone may agree with Lessig representing them, you may want to take some time to research the terrific things he's done as lawyer for the EFF.

    For example, many /. may dislike the "unlimited copyright" rule where companies essentially own a copyright forever. Lessig fought the good fight in the Supreme Court [wikipedia.org].

    Unless politicians represent actual people and not the Supreme Court's idea of people, corruption won't end in our political process.

  • by Beeftopia (1846720) on Friday June 20, 2014 @02:43PM (#47284265)

    It is amazing to me that politicians can take money from people and businesses with the expectation of favors in return.

    This is perfectly legal. It is nothing but legalized bribery.

    From a recent article on a court case which further loosened campaign finance restrictions: "For the donors, they really prefer to cut the vast number of checks,” he said. “For them, it’s not about giving money, it’s about building a relationship. You’re not going to get any face time, they’re not going to hear your story.” Individual donors want to feel gratitude from the candidate — legal, “completely non-corrupting gratitude,” Backer hastened to note." [opensecrets.org]

    Politicians shake down big donors. Big donors try to influence politicians. It's a symbiotic relationship. What's lost are the interests of the populace. Granted, those interests can be varied, in direct conflict and not monolithic. But the politician's incentives - while always self centered of course, they're only people - should be more aligned with the public interest rather than merely with the interest of a few large donors.

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