There is a troubling relationship today between American politics and unlimited corporate money being funneled into their campaigns. The current plan to deal with this issue is a constitutional amendment by Democratic Senator from New Mexico Tom Udall. While it seems, on the surface, like a good idea, anything that Sen. Ted Cruz and the ACLU both object to needs a second, reflective look.
Still, what to do about this problem in the short-term? There is an election happening in America right now – not that anyone would know since most of the political talk is on the 2016 race, specifically Hillary Clinton – that is very important to immediate governance. Harvard Professor Larry Lessig has developed a short-term solution to try to even the odds between highly-funded corporate PACs and the average citizen.
Lessig has started his own political action committee called the Mayday PAC, using the term “aviators and mariners” have used to call for aid. Calling it a “Super PAC to end all Super PACs,” Mayday’s ultimate goal is to be able to fund candidates who will seek to effectively reform campaign finance.
According to an interview with VICE, Lessig was one of the people behind the publication of the Congressperson’s daily schedule, which blocked out four hours per day for fundraising. Lessig said, “members of Congress were like, ‘What the hell? Why am I here? I didn’t want to become a telemarkter.’”
In fact, Lessig says this is why the latest Congress has been the most unproductive of our history, because while it is very difficult to pass legislation, it can be very easy to block it. The corruption doesn’t come in these legislators writing bills for their donors – that’s what lobbyists do – it is in their ability to block legislation their donors don’t like.
Although, Lessig’s experiment may die before it is born. With only 10 days left for donations, they have so far only achieved a quarter of their proposed $5 million goal.