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The Almighty Buck The Internet United States Politics

Steve Wozniak Endorses Lessig's Mayday Super PAC 209

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, ""

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Steve Wozniak Endorses Lessig's Mayday Super PAC

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 20, 2014 @12:27PM (#47282461)

    But then what will they call the new things that secretly do the same damn thing and spring up in their place? Shouldn't we have a catchier label ready now?

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

    by Stormy Dragon ( 800799 ) on Friday June 20, 2014 @12:30PM (#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 nimbius ( 983462 ) on Friday June 20, 2014 @12:45PM (#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 SteveWoz ( 152247 ) on Friday June 20, 2014 @12:45PM (#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.

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

    by TheSync ( 5291 ) on Friday June 20, 2014 @12:53PM (#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 @01:00PM (#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 [], 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.

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

    by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Friday June 20, 2014 @01:27PM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 20, 2014 @01:40PM (#47283167)

    You seem to be under the impression that the only solution worth pursing is one that will solve everything all at once forever. I, however, will gladly fight on some more, forever and take my victories where I can get them.

    As they say, 'perfectionism is the enemy of progress.'

  • by perpenso ( 1613749 ) on Friday June 20, 2014 @01:41PM (#47283183)

    But then what will they call the new things that secretly do the same damn thing and spring up in their place? Shouldn't we have a catchier label ready now?

    To get rid of the major source of political corruption in the U.S. we need to rewrite the tax codes. The U.S. Tax Code is probably the biggest vehicle by which U.S. politicians reward their friends and interfere with their enemies.

    No credits, no deductions, ... A rate is defined, you pay exactly that rate. Obviously these rates would be much lower than they currently are, however they can be designed using the average effective rates paid so that there is no revenue loss for the government.

  • by MetalliQaZ ( 539913 ) on Friday June 20, 2014 @01:50PM (#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 Prien715 ( 251944 ) <agnosticpope@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Friday June 20, 2014 @01:57PM (#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 [].

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

  • To get rid of the major source of political corruption in the U.S. we need to rewrite the tax codes.

    In order for "we" to rewrite the tax codes, better people need to be elected to Congress and state legislatures. Today, to a great extent, that means PACs, because PACs raise the money for campaigns that make the difference between someone wanting to get elected and someone having a real chance of getting elected.

    The weak link of democracy is... democracy. First, the voting public needs to know who you are, and second, the voting public needs to get off their asses and vote. Seriously. There's a mid-term election coming up... pay attention to the turn-out.

    "We" will continue to elect puppets and pawns, owned by and obligated to the "secret" donors to the PACs (and who will continue to twist the tax code for their benefit), until "we" start coming out in sufficient numbers and elect other people, and thus embarrass all the "secret" donors who sent money to the PACs but got no return on their "investment".

  • by Entropius ( 188861 ) on Friday June 20, 2014 @03:12PM (#47284047)

    So what you're saying is that it's unfair to accomplish what you consider to be proper policy objectives of taxation using a tax code with one free parameter.

    Fine, then. Make it two free parameters: a common one is "your tax is X% of your income minus Y". The point is that every free parameter in the tax code is an opportunity for corruption, and currently we have about eleventy billion.

    You write:

    A true progressive tax, at realistic rates and without any built in "favors" is what is needed.

    The problem is that so long as politicians are able to build in favors, they will. If you rely on the honor of politicians to prevent corruption you're doomed.

    If you have the X%+Y tax system outlined above, there are no special favors; for a given revenue level there is in fact only one degree of freedom, and then it's just the standard rich-vs-poor fight, which is far less vulnerable to capture by special interests than our current behemoth.

"You must have an IQ of at least half a million." -- Popeye