MAYDAY: Larry Lessig launches a Superpac to get money out of US politics

I’m not because improvements are still improvements.

I do agree that we need to do something about the huge advantages that incumbents have though. Especially on the Democratic side where it’s almost impossible to run a better Democrat against a “mainstream” (i.e. to the right of Nixon) DNC incumbent. The Party system is largely to blame for a lot of the problems with incumbents. Maybe we should just have a rule where after 2 terms in any office they have to be put down (saves on that amazing health insurance for life they all get).

Well here’s a crazy thought for the Sheeple of America: Instead of voting for the candidate with the most commercials, or the one with the snappiest one-liner on late night TV, or against the one they mocked the most on Saturday Night Live…how about the Sheeple do their research before stepping into a voting booth and pulling the trigger. Hey…maybe even vote for individuals, instead of parties! (Oh my…what a crazy thought!!) But “raising money to outspend the big spenders…” is laughably naive, and disingenuous at best. The implication by some that “Big Money” is a Republican problem is also fraudulent to the extreme.

Grow up, people, and stop blaming ad campaigns for your personal voting failures, when just a wee bit of research will allow to you ignore all the ads and vote for the individual you actually believe in. But I know…that means you might have to turn off The Voice and Comedy Central and…<sigh…there is no hope…>

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A state has big purchasing power because it needs to, because of the social contract of the state to provide the basis of a functioning society. The state has a responsibility to built roads and fix bridges. And if it has that responsibility, then it has to have the power to disburse tens of millions to achieve that responsibility.

If you disagree that the state should have the responsibility to fix roads and bridges, then this isn’t a discussion we’ll see eye to eye on.

Assuming that a state will always have this power, you say that the laws of economics then says that a politician has a high fair-market value, and therefore that they can always be bought. I disagree with you.

The whole point of state’s regulatory system is to affect the balance of simple economics. If the state ran on pure economics, we would not have cheap oil or corn (both of which are heavily subsidized), and we would have almost-free marijuana (weed grows like a weed but it’s illegal). These examples aren’t supposed to be positive or negative, they illustrate the effect of the state’s laws and regulations on simple economics.

Likewise, if it becomes significantly harder to give a check to a politician or campaign, through laws and regulations, then there will be significantly less money in politics.

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Aaaand that’s as far as I read.


Sorry, I missed the rest of your post; my brain stops parsing words any time someone uses the word “sheeple” unironically.


“the state should have the responsibility to fix roads and bridges”

Yes it does, along with national defense, the court system and a few other things. Though heaven knows there is more than enough opportunity for massive graft in those functions alone. Read up on the Shuster family of Pennsylvania for an instructive example.

What is not within the “responsibility” of the state is the tweaking of taxes, subsidies, and regulations to benefit one industry, one firm, or even one factory over its competition. But straightforward rules that apply to everybody in the same way are never going to be endorsed by either Republicans or Democrats, because they offer zero opportunity for graft.

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Maybe my perspective is off but, what chance does this have? They’re going to raise one million (“One MILLion dollars!”) to counteract billionaires’ SuperPACs? They’re going to raise five million? Ten million? Will that even match a single billionaire’s political purchases? Is it possible for a population that only controls a small percentage of the nation’s capital to stand out among the big spenders?

From the article by Matt Miller: “He wants 50 patriotic billionaires to pony up $20 million to $40 million dollars each (provided their fellow tycoons do the same).” Is that still the plan? That would help.


If all the federal government did was build roads and bridges the government would not need to spend $3.7 trillion a year. The scope of this federal government is far beyond roads and bridges. For example, 2012 spending for the Department of Transportation (those in charge of building roads and bridges) was a mere $73 Billion in 2012. The US electorate spent $7 Billion in 2012 on “influencing” the 2012 elections. No one would not spend $7 Billion to get a piece of a mere $73 billion dollars.

Politicians can always be bought if they are unethical. Unethical politicians is a fact of life that “reform” is not going to fix. But we can make the price of buying them so low that no one really cares to.

“The whole point of state’s regulatory system…” paragraph is not worth responding as it is tangential as it is inaccurate.

“Likewise, if it becomes significantly harder to give a check to a politician or campaign, through laws and regulations, then there will be significantly less money in politics.” Like there is less money is marijuana, cocaine and other “illegal” items that people want? Increasing regulation will not reduce money in politics. Smart people will always find a way around the laws and regulations. Lawmakers will always leave loopholes because they want to privately collect the money they rail against in public.

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Is their pledge form seriously on an HTTP URL? It looks like it submits to an HTTPS service, but still… asking people to type their credit card into a page that is not clearly marked as secure seems like a bad way to successfully raise funds.

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Thanks to everyone who’s donated!

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Be fair. ‘An extra buck’ surely has a little more slack than being literal. If you make a second donation on Cory’s behalf, then that levels it a little I reckon.
I wish LL the best of luck. Nothing can really change in politics until the filthy lucre is sorted out.

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That would be your guilty conscience, no doubt, causing you to stop lest you be challenged.

No doubt that is as far as you read anything. I’m sure even reading that much was a strain on your intellect.

I remember the last time there was a huge Powerball jackpot, I was trying to buy a quart of milk at the 7-11 and the line for tickets was huge, and I thought “man, I bet whatever joker wins that thing is going to donate a good amount of it to his/her church, like that’s gonna help anything!” I really hope someday somebody wins one of those ridiculous 100+ million jackpots and just gives it all to Lessig. I admit it’s pretty ironic to use money to try and get money out of politics, but then that seems to be the only language politicians understand, and you gotta play by their current rules if you want to change the rules.


Very important note: 47% of the eligible voters who actually voted voted for Romney.

Only 57.5% of all eligible voters even voted in that election, a lower turnout than 2008 and 2004. [source, which could be a better source, but it summed it up succinctly, paralleling info I saw elsewhere.]

So, that’s nearly 58 million people that voted for Romney. Nearly 93 million eligible voters didn’t even vote. That comes nowhere near to 47% of the population.

In some ways I wish that not voting was a form of vote, but that can be complex. And the right not to vote is the right to be free.

Well here’s a crazy thought for you: Instead of insulting people, try debating your beleifs with them.

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I think he uses it twice. I’m not completely sure, though. After three tries, I realized that at some point I uncontrollably started wondering about controlled demolition and chem-trails, and realized that my water tasted suspiciously like fluoride…

So much anger from such a little man.