This is the last day for the second Mayday.US fundraiser, where you can help Larry Lessig raise $5M to elect Congressmen who will fight for campaign finance reform and against the corrupting influence of money in politics.

Lessig's idea is to create a "super PAC to end super PACs," using the funds raise to run a small number of campaigns upcoming elections, and those to prototype campaigns for a full slate in 2016. The structure of campaign finance today means that even if a Congresscritter wants to be an honest broker for the constituents she represents, she can only get elected (and re-elected) by sucking up to monied interests. Only through creating effective campaign finance reform can we set the stage for a less corrupt, more evidence-based policy.

I can't donate to Mayday.US (I'm not a US citizen), but this is an urgent cause for all of us. I would consider it a personal favor if you would kick in a few bucks for me.

The funders of campaigns are holding our democracy hostage. We want to pay the ransom and get it back.

We need a team of legislators in Congress who will champion the public policies necessary to fix our broken government, starting by ending the stranglehold of big money on our political system.

For 2014, our goal is to create a $12 million fund. With that money, we will make fundamental reform the key issue in five congressional races. And win.

Then we’ll apply what we learn to 2016 — when we’ll run a much much bigger campaign in many more districts for this one purpose: to win a Congress committed to fundamental reform.


Notable Replies

  1. There are so many things that need clearing up in these questions that I don't even know where to begin. I will agree with you that it's fucked up. But the way you've broken it down is off.

    1. We can fix this fundamental problem by stanching the flow of money into campaigns from corporatists.
    2. They are trying to fund campaign-finance-reform candidates to go up against non-campaign-finance-reform candidates and elected officials to change the laws on campaign finance. It's the best we've got right now.
    3. With targeted funding of sympathetic candidates, they are trying to initiate a groundswell of support for campaign finance reform. Again, it's the best we've got right now.
    4. I'm still on the fence about this. I want us to get through #'s 1 through 3 first.
    5. TV, my friend. Nowhere else in the world do candidates spend so much on advertising. I have asked around and the attack ads you see on TV in the USA are virtually unique. I have heard this kind of thing doesn't happen in Europe or Australia. Canada and Mexico have them, on a totally different, smaller scale. The USA is unique on what campaign $$ are spent on. Notice that I have not even MENTIONED PACs until just now. Most of the attacks happen through PACs and SuperPACs, not even directly affiliated with the candidate's campaign, but loosely through party. And we have only two viable parties. To be a candidate who gets elected, you have to first be a member of that party, and they will then have members who back you with attack ads on the other party. Of all the fucked up things, this is the most fucked up.

    Quick, can you think of a way to control this unregulated PAC of wild dogs tearing every candidate to shreds?

  2. I just made a small pledge to donate whether they reach the goal or not. Thank you for the heads up. It would not have happened otherwise.

  3. That's coming. We don't have those candidates now, not real ones who get elected. They all eventually get bought, one way or another. It's a chicken-and-egg problem. So we have to first buy some effective candidates (by giving them an alternative way of being funded rather than corporatists) to pave the way for candidates later on who simply stand up to do the right thing, get noticed, get elected, make the changes.

    I think what Lessig is planning is a new style of ad campaign that moves past the attack ad developmental phase that we seem to be stuck in. The money isn't just to buy attack ads for reformers to defeat opponents. It's to change the way campaigns are run with new styles of ads and reaching out to people, holding candidates accountable after election, removing some of the burden of their incessant fundraising. Generally changing the demeanor of how an elected official behaves. That's the hope. We aren't there yet. This is just the first step in a long chain of stuff that has to happen piece by piece.

    I hate our political system. It's so corrupt. It's not the worst, because a lot of it is out in the open. But in another sense, with the way much of the corruption is out in the open is like living in a garbage dump with stinky stuff everywhere. It's nasty.

  4. Bingo. Lessig is taking the very high road in doing this. The only way to win is to fight with the same tools. Then, when we have won we will have earned the right to change the rules back to what they should have been all along. I say Lessig is taking the high road because the alternative is to wait until things get bad enough to give people the excuse for violence. I would rather we didn't go that way.

    Lessig is providing a chance to actually do something about the system. Gutless resignation will not get us to a better future. Only action will.

  5. Naysayers: This will never work anyway, there's no way in hell they'll ever get FIVE million dollars in the first...

    Thank you for helping us to reach our goal!

    Naysayers: Oh, I guess I need to just shut the fuck up then.

    To all those naysayer who said it couldn't be done. Where are you? It's very curious how you never seem to muster the energy to apologize or at least admit error after the dust settles, yet you always have the energy to naysay in the first place. Very curious, indeed.

    And, to those that didn't listen to the naysayers and supported, THANK YOU.

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