Mayday PAC’s Campaign to Get Money out of Politics

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July 30 (Bloomberg) –- Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig discusses money in politics and his crowdfunded PAC’s election strategy. He speaks on ‘Market Makers.” (Source: Bloomberg)

People in washington of something that they say is actually not true, that americans care about corruption they see the government suffering under.

We wanted to prove that first and 2014 by running an election in 5 cycles that would demonstrate in these 5 districts why people will vote on the basis of this issue and they will take people -- kick people out on the basis of this issue.

If that is successful we want to come back in a very big way so that we can win in congress minute to funnel model reform by 2016. larry, it is alec ross here.

I understand you have partnered with a well-known republican, mark mckinnon, here.

Are you committed to making this a bipartisan effort and not just something to eat act progressive democrat -- to elect progressive democrats?


There is no way we can win on this issue in congress unless it is across partisan issue.

I have worked with mckinnon for many years on this issue but our objective is to bring people from both sides in.

We announced this week the first to 2 races we are going to be in.

One is a republican primary in new hampshire.

The other is a democrat where we are supporting in iowa, the iowa 3 district.

We are fiercely committed to the idea of talking about this issue in a way that appeals to republicans and democrats alike, because reform is not a liberal issue.

Reform is as important to conservative republicans to get what they want as it is to democrats to get what they want.

Professor, as part of this you need to find the money but you also need to find candidates.

How are you going to find candidates and have you found a couple that you support?

That is actually very hard because when candidates get to be competitive, the political experts descend upon their campaign and they tell them this one thing, don't talk about money in politics because people don't care about it.

We have got to come back at them and show them the data and show the responsiveness of the people to this issue to convince them to talk about what they really want to talk about.

One of the first races we announced here in new hampshire, republican primary, is for a two-term state senator from new hampshire, entrepreneur, businessman, conservative republican but literally the only republican running for the united states senate who has openly endorsed the idea of changing the way we fund elections.

He is rare.

Part of the reason he got away with that is that he was such a longshot that people weren't really paying attention to him.

But now that we have focused on this campaign, i think we need to demonstrate why when we talk about this issue, when candidates talk about this issue, the public will react and respond in a way that gives candidates a reason to try to make this the issue they find out.

Larry, you have raised over $10 million so far.

Have you raised that from a handful of people or from everyday people who have been compelled by what you are trying to build here?

Ok, so that was the softball.

I appreciate that.

[laughter] 50,000 people who have contributed to this.

We have a handful of large contributors.

We did this in a number of stages.

The first stage was $1 million and we did that and 13 days.

That was matched by 16 people.

Then we launched a $5 million project, the contingent commitment to raising $5 million by july 4, which we did by 9:00 eastern time.

I am in the process of securing the final matches for that.

That will be another handful of people to match that.

We have an extraordinary number of people, literally more than 5000 people who have given less than $100 -- i'm sorry, less than $20 to support this campaign.

The average contribution missing is just about $100. -- do average contribution we have seen is just about $100. this is a broad-based campaign.

And it successful -- in a successful election year you get 10 members of congress committed to this.

How do you go from those 10 to the rest of the 500-on, is usually -- 500-odd, a huge leap?

We need to be hugely successful in the next round, 2016, to get to 218 in the house and 60 in the senate.

We think that is a plausible number, given the calculations we have commissioned over the years to study this district is this -- district by district.

The first step is to convince americans in the beltway in washington that this is an issue.

Then 2016 will be more plausible to people and we will give the next president, whether hillary clinton or randy paul, a congress they can work with because it is focused on getting the right answers as opposed to raising the money to get reelected.

Thank you so much for joining

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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