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The Almighty Buck United States Politics

Lessig's Mayday PAC Scrambling To Cross Crowd Funding Finish Line 117

Posted by timothy
from the latest-midnight-they-could-find dept.
First time accepted submitter SingleEntendre (1273012) writes "Time is running out for the Mayday PAC to reach its latest crowd funding goal of $5M. The total currently stands at $4.5M. Led by Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig, the Mayday PAC seeks to reduce the influence of money in US politics by 2016, primarily by identifying and supporting congressional candidates who share this vision. If phase 2 is successful, with matching funds the total raised will be $12M. A self-imposed deadline arrives at of midnight tonight, July 4th, Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time (HAST)." (And now the total's at $4,700,066.)
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Lessig's Mayday PAC Scrambling To Cross Crowd Funding Finish Line

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    So we're going to elect some politicians that promise to do something different? Where have I heard that before? (Every 2-6 years)

    I'm more a fan of the Wolf-PAC strategy - get a constitutional convention by having non-corrupt state-level politicians pass an amendment.

    • "...get a constitutional convention by having non-corrupt state-level politicians pass an amendment."

      Clearly you haven't been paying attention. State level races are as bad as national level when it comes to money as influence.

      "So we're going to elect some politicians that promise to do something different? Where have I heard that before? (Every 2-6 years)"

      Your gutless resignation isn't doing any good. Lessig has a great idea and he understands just how fundamentally broken the system is. He is fighting

      • by Immerman (2627577)

        >He is fighting the system from within the system, something I didn't think was possible
        Quite. I have my doubts as to how successful it will actually be in the long term*, but the only other alternative seems to be violent uprising, about which I have even greater doubts as to the wisdom and efficacy of. So I've got my fingers crossed and am cheering him on mightily.

        * I'm betting there's 160 or so people who will gladly donate a few tens of millions each out of their pocket change to lobby against such

  • Creative Commons (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 04, 2014 @07:30PM (#47386003)

    Lessig is the guy who helped get Creative Commons off the ground. He actually does stuff. This isn't the same old story.

    • Re:Creative Commons (Score:5, Informative)

      by brownerthanu (1084341) on Friday July 04, 2014 @07:54PM (#47386087)
      Yes. He has a long history of general badassery. There are only a few people who I can think of who have the reputation and intelligence to properly navigate a project of this scale, and he is certainly one of them. I really hope that the fund makes it through to the next stage. It looks like it will.
    • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Friday July 04, 2014 @11:55PM (#47386771)

      Right. I disagree with him for the most part politically. But his work so far in my eyes has been intelligent, refined and not of the sort I have a lot of distaste in. When he disagrees with something I support, I can generally look at his argument as a refutation of my own as apposed to some ad hominem attack. He has a point, I can think about it and argue against it or support it. I usually still feel I'm right, but it's not like a line from Anne Coulter or Alan Baldwin where I know I'm going to disagree before they even finish the sentence. He's a worthy opponent which is a rare thing in this modern, black and white, low brow political scene.

  • Made it! (Score:5, Informative)

    by MalleusEBHC (597600) on Friday July 04, 2014 @09:29PM (#47386355)

    The counter just tipped over $5M a moment ago. Let's see what Lessig et al. can do with our (mine and 47K other people's) money.

    • by Blakey Rat (99501)

      If he's successful, he'll take tax money from you and 300 million others and give it to candidates running for office.

      If he's unsuccessful, you'll be a sucker and we'll all be a lot better off.

      • by no-body (127863)

        If he's successful, he'll take tax money from you and 300 million others and give it to candidates running for office.

        If he's unsuccessful, you'll be a sucker and we'll all be a lot better off.

        If a functional democratic system treats every candidate the same way in supporting i. e. financing after a certain popularity threshold is reached, who would that entity be other than an entity of the governing system in place?

        As it is currently in the US, it's a hotchpotch of corruption destroying the very foundation of democracy. Can't even guarantee voting integrity across the board when some goons thinking doing the right thing are turning the screws somewhere in secret.

        As for your aversion of using ta

        • by Blakey Rat (99501)

          I have no problem with laws *limiting* campaign donations. If Lessig's campaign was aimed at that goal, I might even contribute myself.

          But I do have a problem with the government taking my tax money, and giving it to some political candidate so they can buy TV commercials. That is what both of his proposals involve.

          As for your aversion of using tax money used - where do you think is all that corporate money coming from?

          Whether or not it *does* come from there does not change the fact that it *should not* co

          • by no-body (127863)

            I have no problem with laws *limiting* campaign donations

            I have - they should be e-liminated, not limited. There will always be backdoors and workarounds.

            Think the US Supreme Court with it's corporate-tinted philosophy would support that or the politicians cutting off their funding?

            The system is purely money-driven, doubtful if the idea behind MAYDAY-PAC can change that, but worth a try.

            http://www.scu.edu/ethics/publ... [scu.edu]

            • by Blakey Rat (99501)

              I have - they should be e-liminated, not limited.

              Ok. Fine. That works too. But you're missing the point.

              The issue I have with this entire thing is they want to use *my* tax money to buy ads for politicians I don't support. If they have another solution to the problem that doesn't involve spending my money, well great. But that's not what Lessig is soliciting money for right now. He's soliciting money to (effectively) raise my tax rate, with the additional funds going towards political campaigns.

              I also have

              • by no-body (127863)

                I have - they should be e-liminated, not limited.

                Ok. Fine. That works too. But you're missing the point.

                The issue I have with this entire thing is they want to use *my* tax money to buy ads for politicians I don't support.

                Your point: Well, that has been tried, reducing tax you pay being used for stuff you don't like - try holding back the % used for war spending if you don't like it and see what happens. Looks like a hassle.

                The tax system and government should be trustworthy, apparently they are not. Why is a good question. Not sure who the bigger crooks - corporate or government head-hanchos and who is doing more harm to the greater part of a population?

                With Lessing - let's see what happens if he can avoid the ego trip and

              • First, your taxes are spent on things you don't agree with. So are mine and everyone else's. You have a right to complain about how that money is spent, but nobody sane advocates a system where your taxes are only spent on things with which you agree.

                That said, I'm not convinced that spending tax money to support campaigns is the ideal solution. However, it's perhaps the only solution that is politically viable but could still produce meaningful change. The Supreme Court refuses to put any limits on campaig

              • by drinkypoo (153816)

                Either fair elections are important to you, or they aren't. The system you propose is the system we have already (by refusing to consider alternatives) and you will note that your proposal has already been tried and found to be unfair.

                If you have an alternate proposal for making elections fair, and letting voices be heard, we're all interested. If all you want to do is complain, why should anyone care?

                • 'fair' is one of those words like 'good' that are really hard to pin down to what is meant when they are used. Let's substitute in another vague word:

                  Either good elections are important to you, or they aren't. The system you propose is the system we have already (by refusing to consider alternatives) and you will note that your proposal has already been tried and found to be ungood.

                  There. That didn't add to or change the meaning of what you typed at all.

                  • by drinkypoo (153816)

                    There. That didn't add to or change the meaning of what you typed at all.

                    Horseshit, and also horseshit.

  • by emptybody (12341) on Friday July 04, 2014 @09:39PM (#47386381) Homepage Journal

    Well Done All Around.
    It sickens me that we must "buy back" our democracy.

    • If the people don't put effort into democracy, it will disappear. By definition. Voting is cool but it's not enough to make a democracy.
      • by Mystiq (101361)
        "Voting is cool but it's not enough to make a democracy." True in so many ways.

        You did read the bits about the fact that voting seems to have no effect most of the time? [davidalbouy.net] (Or how about this one [washingtontimes.com].)

        Anecdotal evidence could work here just as well. Citizens United represents everything you need to know about politics in the United States. If you don't have enough money, you don't have enough "free speech." The polls say more than 90% of the country does not want Comcast to buy Time Warner Cable, and for some
        • Or what about what happened to Obama's election promises about getting rid of lobbyists and being transparent? I do believe he was pressured by the incumbents into changing his mind. He might have been honest when he first got elected, but, as they say, the system is too strong. He got borged into it.

          Or, he was a lying, conniving SOB from the start, and like any other politician said anything he had to to get elected. Our only option is to cut off the air supply (taxes.)

          It's all about the power, baby.

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      Then you shouldn't have allowed it to be sold in the first place.

      The whole thing is still silly, a single person like Bill Gates, Larry Ellison or Steve Job's wife (to pick the popular easy to recognize names) can easily out fund this PAC with nothing more than a signature and a laugh about it ... there are thousands of people who can do it. This PAC is one.

    • by EmagGeek (574360)

      This isn't an attempt to "buy back" our democracy. It's an attempt by another group of politically-motivated individuals to gain more influence and power in Washington.

  • by Valtor (34080) on Friday July 04, 2014 @09:44PM (#47386387) Homepage

    I am Canadian and actually wanted to pledge for this. :-)

    Hope this works out for you guys.

    • by rewarp (1736742)

      Considering how the US government screws non-US countries, I would have donated too. Hope it all works out.

  • The left already has enough PAC money from billionaire foreigners. No thanks!
  • Presumably the matching funds come from Very Rich People. I don't see how a plan tha depends on VRP can suucced in freeing politics from them.

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