Wikify the problem of ending corruption

Earlier this month, I wrote about Larry Lessig's announcement that he was switching his focus to fighting corruption. Larry has just left on his annual month-long Internet fast/family retreat (of all his inspirational examples, this might be the most inspirational), but he's left a wiki up for his friends and fellow travellers to start wikifying the problem of overturning institutional corruption.

When I talked to Larry about this move, he blue-skyed a neat little idea that's stuck with me: what if lawmakers were required to abstain from votes over issues in which they had a financial interest? For example, if you take money from the health industry, you can't vote on health-related issues. I serve on a bunch of boards, some for-profit and some non-profit, and it's standard that board members abstain from voting on governance issues in which they have a conflict of interest. It's just common sense — so why not apply it to Congress?