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Mayday Anti-PAC On Its Second Round of Funding

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the better-prepare-the-anti-anti-anti-version dept.

Government 247

wonkavader (605434) writes 'Lawrence Lessig's MAYDAY.US Super PAC to end all Super PACs (and more) is now on its second round of funding. The PAC has been reported on here before, but now the numbers are bigger. They hit their $1 million first goal easily, but now they aim to get another $5 million in the same time period. Lessig says that he's arranged for matching, again. It seems like the goals will be even higher in 2016: "For 2014, our goal is to raise $12 million and use it to make fundamental reform the key issue in five congressional races. And we'll apply what we learn then to 2016."'

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interesting (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 4 months ago | (#47202165)

We are going to get money out of politics by spending money.. I support the goal, but it just seems to shift where the money is coming from. The idea may fail if those who get in dont actually wanna lose that money, so put up a fake fight to change it.

Re:interesting (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47202289)

It won't get money out of politics. If this group manages to accomplish everything they propose, we'll just go back to the old way of unlimited donation options for unions, limited or no donations options for anyone else.

Since there is a distinct effort to hide any actual details about what this PAC supports, here's some information on the founder [wikipedia.org] . He's not a caricature of a political philosophy, but the timings and his biography make it pretty clear what he's trying to do.

Re:interesting (4, Informative)

thaylin (555395) | about 4 months ago | (#47202329)

Took me a few minutes to find out what they support, http://reform.to/#/reforms [reform.to] .

Re:interesting (1)

JWW (79176) | about 4 months ago | (#47203541)

Looking at reforms, I don't see much that will do anything.

If they succeed in getting the money out of politics, we will still be faced with incumbents having a disproportionate amount of power in staying in office.

For me to root for the Mayday PAC, they must include implementing term limits on congress as one of their goals. If we don't get that, their "getting money out of politics" will solve nothing. We'll still end up with ancient geezers who have been in office forever writing crappy law about copyrights and patents because they know shit about technology.

term limits don't matter (1)

whistlingtony (691548) | about 4 months ago | (#47203631)

As long as we have money in politics, does it matter if the rep is named Alice, Bob, or Charlie? They all vote with the money anyway. They're basically interchangeable. We MUST get the money out of politics.

Re:interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47202427)

we'll just go back to the old way of unlimited donation options for unions, limited or no donations options for anyone else

I don't remember a time in the history of unions where it was ever this way. We are talking about the U.S. right? If you have a reference that gives more detail on that it'd be appreciated.

Re:interesting (3, Insightful)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about 4 months ago | (#47202499)

Naturally he means it's totally unfair that a union, with hundreds of thousands of members, can tell all those members that they think it would be really great to donate to party X.

And then all those members can go and donate up to the individual maximum, and tend to do so because they actually like their union.

And it's totally unfair that the CEO of the company they all work for, can't use the profits of their labor, to unilaterally decide to give an unlimited amount of money from the company's coffers to the opposing party, and call it a business expense, that also just so happens to align to his personal interests as well.

I mean, how is that democracy? When the masses of people can popularly choose to support a politician and not be completely overridden by individual capital interests?

Re:interesting (1)

thoromyr (673646) | about 4 months ago | (#47202603)

You know, I think you are on to something there. if that is the end goal then it must be stopped. The founding fathers were anti-democracy http://www.dailykos.com/story/... [dailykos.com] http://www.godlikeproductions.... [godlikeproductions.com] http://www.thecommentfactory.c... [thecommentfactory.com] and we, too, should be against the tyranny of the masses and promote the enlightened government by and for the elite. To this end it is imperative that the general public be kept uneducated and in the dark -- and above all, disempowered.

Re:interesting (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#47202687)

So, instead of the tyranny of the masses, you're advocating the tyranny of the wealthy?

Because that works out so much better.

Re:interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47202855)

So, instead of the tyranny of the masses, you're advocating the tyranny of the wealthy?

Because that works out so much better.

It positively boggles my mind that you could take your parent comment seriously.

Re:interesting (1)

thoromyr (673646) | about 4 months ago | (#47202871)

and here I thought the tongue was so firmly planted in cheek, and in the context of a response to a sarcastic post, and with the absurd links, that -- ah well...

Re:interesting (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 4 months ago | (#47203087)

The newer version of 'Hanlons' Razor' - never ascribe to sarcasm that which could, possibly, somehow be twisted into being a real complaint.

Re:interesting (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 4 months ago | (#47202971)

Democracy is inherently problematic, and subject to hysteria mob rule. Two Wolves and a sheep deciding what's for dinner. Remember, Hitler was elected by popular support.

Tyranny arises when the "group" has more power and more rights than the individual. It is able to take from one to give to the group. Our society has long passed the line towards tyranny, and that is the problem. The group has more meaning and power than the individual. Thus the rise of the PACs and SuperPacs and all the other forms of Group Politics.

Want to fix the problem, fix the group politics. Only Citizens can donate only to candidates they can actually vote for. Otherwise they can form a group and run their own campaigns. That way, unions have to run their own campaigns for candidates, directly, as would the Koch Brothers and Soros would be prohibited (being a convicted felon) of donating to anyone.

This would drive the politics back locally, and away from accumulated power at the Federal and State levels. Problem is, this is inherently anti (D) and (R) proposal, and party politics in general.

Re:interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47203039)

Only Citizens can donate

Sounds fair. After all. to the corporate Citizens, you're merely Customers.

Re:interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47202985)

So, instead of the tyranny of the masses, you're advocating the tyranny of the wealthy?

Better to be ruled by the smartest people in the room than by the dumbest. They wouldn't be wealthy if they weren't smart, farsighted people with plans for the betterment of society. Right?

Philosopher kings, and all that.

Re:interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47203361)

Better to be ruled by the smartest people in the room than by the dumbest. They wouldn't be wealthy if they weren't smart, farsighted people with plans for the betterment of society. Right?

Except that becoming wealthy can often occur through nearsighted people who harm society--the financial crisis. Beyond that, being smart in one area says nothing about being smart in another.

Philosopher kings, and all that.

Like Bush and Obama.

PS - Like a lot of these posts, it's hard to tell just how sarcastic you're being and about what. But the overall problem in all of these discussions is precisely that "tyranny" is a subjective thing and few people want to be ruled in ways they don't want to be ruled which arrives at just as much through "the masses" as "the wealthy" given just how fickle people and money are towards some philosophical, ideological, or pragmatic end. No man is an island, though, so we can't be king of our own castle....until we all have robot slaves and accept the ethics of having sentient robots being treated horrible to sate the cruelty of man.

Re:interesting (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 4 months ago | (#47203561)

and we, too, should be against the tyranny of the masses and promote the enlightened government by and for the elite.

Those in government automatically form an "elite" no matter who they are; that's the nature of government and power. I prefer that elite not to be a professional class of politicians, who use government as a way to substitute for having a real job and enrich themselves and their buddies at the tax payer's expense.

Re:interesting (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#47202749)

Naturally he means it's totally unfair that a union, with hundreds of thousands of members, can tell all those members that they think it would be really great to donate to party X.

And then all those members can go and donate up to the individual maximum, and tend to do so because they actually like their union.

Sort of like how the "Big Evil Companies(TM)" spend money on "advertising" which expresses "opinion" which unfairly brainwashes unwilling, hive-minded thralls into voting for a candidate that they really didnt want.

Re:interesting (1)

JWW (79176) | about 4 months ago | (#47203611)

Unions don't tell their members to personally donate to politicians, they take their members money and give it to the politicians, regardless of what the members want.

Hey wait!!! That's exactly what you accused the CEO of doing.

To be fair, it is completely in the CEO's rights to ask employees to donate their own money to candidates.

The point here is that it would be the employees choice in either case.

You compared apples to oranges and then just stated that oranges are evil.

Re:interesting (1)

NoImNotNineVolt (832851) | about 4 months ago | (#47202811)

If you don't already know who Larry Lessig is, you're obviously new here.

I support MAYDAY-PAC [mayday.us] and I support WOLF-PAC [wolf-pac.com] . If you're tired of elections being bought, you should too.

Re: interesting (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47202455)

Here is an alternative, too anyone interested:

http://www.wolf-pac.com/petition

Re:interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47202571)

We are going to get money out of politics by spending money.. I support the goal, but it just seems to shift where the money is coming from. The idea may fail if those who get in dont actually wanna lose that money, so put up a fake fight to change it.

It's called "fighting fire with fire."

Same basic idea as copyleft.

Hack the system to work against itself.

Lessig proves, once again, his genius.

Re:interesting (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 4 months ago | (#47202881)

Money isn't the problem, it is simply a tool. Accumulated power is the problem. Money exposes and is a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself. I don't care about money in politics, I care about power. As long as power accumulates power, the system will become more dysfunctional.

The solution to power accumulation by sending power back to the people themselves. The solution is to take power and responsibility and put it back on the people, not the politicians. However too many people are willing to trade Liberty for Security, and we are seeing that this results in gaining us neither Liberty nor Security.

It is hard for power to accumulate power if we are inoculated against power accumulation. Politicians without power would not gain any money to wield to gain more power.

Re:interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47203267)

And it's all well and good but misses all the lobbyist shills that the Big Corps send in all the time unless we can get the "chosen ones" to commit to ignoring lobbies.

silly middle class reformists (0)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 4 months ago | (#47202169)

This is a bourgeois dictatorship.

Step in the right direction (3, Interesting)

areusche (1297613) | about 4 months ago | (#47202197)

I've always been curious if it was possible for our system to eventually work itself out without the need for a bloody revolution. There has been so much malinvestment lately at the hands of entrenched political groups. I would be thrilled to see the US fix itself through its own system. My pessimism says otherwise though, but who knows.

Re:Step in the right direction (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 4 months ago | (#47203595)

I've always been curious if it was possible for our system to eventually work itself out without the need for a bloody revolution.

Sure, countries transition from free societies to welfare states or socialism all the time; I have no doubt we can accomplish the same thing. It's easy: people just vote in ever bigger benefits and public spending.

The sh*t hits the fan when the money runs out and totalitarians get elected based on empty promises to fix things. We still have a ways to fall before we get there.

Reduce the importance of money in politics... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47202209)

by asking money??

I know... fight fire with fire, but 1m isn't going to be enough ;)

How does it work? (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 4 months ago | (#47202231)

How does an anti-pac work? Do they pay the TV stations not to run the ads from the other super-pacs?

Re:How does it work? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47202259)

From what I understand, their goal as a SuperPAC is to pour money into congressional races to help reform candidates win, with the ultimate goal of having them pass campaign finance laws that limit the influence of SuperPACs. They're essentially working against themselves, but that's the entire point - if SuperPACs are done away with, they'll have done their job.

Re:How does it work? (3, Insightful)

hweimer (709734) | about 4 months ago | (#47202483)

From what I understand, their goal as a SuperPAC is to pour money into congressional races to help reform candidates win, with the ultimate goal of having them pass campaign finance laws that limit the influence of SuperPACs.

So, the winning move for any candidate is to support reform until elected and then make a reversal and enjoy the windfall from the status quo. How are they going to prevent that?

Re:How does it work? (1)

NoImNotNineVolt (832851) | about 4 months ago | (#47202823)

Do you have a better idea? (I also support WOLF-PAC)

reform candidates (0)

rossdee (243626) | about 4 months ago | (#47202513)

Reform Party? Wasn't that Ross Perot's party ? Is he still around?

I think Jesse (the body) was part of that at one stage, but I don't think he is standing again. I would vote for him if he ran for Gov again.

Re:reform candidates (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47202547)

I meant candidates who are for reform, not the Reform Party.

Re:How does it work? (2)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 4 months ago | (#47202577)

Do they have any legal recourse against candidates who are elected with their funding, only to split from them after the election?

Re:How does it work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47202805)

They don't, I don't think. There's a risk of that happening with any political donation. However, the Mayday PAC will almost certainly be doing lots of research and investigation into the backgrounds of the candidates they back. The ones they'll be supporting will be the ones with a strong record of voting for reform. At the same time, people who run for office typically want to stay there once they get elected, and if Mayday is one of your biggest donators, you're going to think twice about going against them if you want to stay elected.

Further, you probably wouldn't see the corporate-backed PACs donating to these candidates, for the reason I mentioned before: risk. They'd want to back the guy who has spent his entire career in politics advocating for corporate rights, because there's less risk involved.

Re:How does it work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47202853)

Aw, come ON! Who ever heard of a political candidate saying one thing and doing the opposite?

Re:How does it work? (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 4 months ago | (#47202859)

Do they have any legal recourse against candidates who are elected with their funding, only to split from them after the election?

"An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought." -- U.S. Senator Simon Cameron (1799-1889) [wikipedia.org]

Would have been used on Bush II and Obama (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 4 months ago | (#47202969)

If supporters had any recourse when candidates turned on them, such recourse would have been used on Bush Jr. and Obama.

This is why I steer clear of politicians who talk out of both sides of their mouth and try to avoid saying anything which might bother anyone - there's no telling what they'll actually do. I prefer someone like Chris Christie who says things that piss me off as well as things I agree with - it's pretty plain what he believes and what he intends to do. Whether or not you agree with his position, it's extremely clear what his position is.

Re:How does it work? (3, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 4 months ago | (#47202469)

How does an anti-pac work? Do they pay the TV stations not to run the ads from the other super-pacs?

They will have a hit list. If you don't support reform, they will fund your opponent. This is how Super Pacs work, they use their money to influence small changes in policy on the part of candidates. Like reform... it's an easy thing to support with very little opposition. The candidate doesn't even have to make a big deal out of it. He just changes some wording on his website and viola, he doesn't have to worry about this PAC giving his opponent money. His opponents thinking the same thing so now BOTH sides of race are pro-reform.

They will likely do well at first. But when an actual reform bill comes up, the Eye of Sauron will be on them. When this comes up for a vote every other Super Pac in the country will realize their power is being challenged and the full weight of the political establishment will turn on them. They will face literally billions of dollars of opposition. I really doubt their ability to fundraise that kind of cash.

Re:How does it work? (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 4 months ago | (#47203013)

I am for reform. I'm just not for the reform leftists want. I want to reform the system towards liberty, and away from accumulated power. I doubt that if I were a candidate, the MAYDAY PAC would support me, because I am not "liberal" enough in some areas. I really doubt that I would garner much of their attention. Yeah, they may be for reform, just one sided reform.

Re:How does it work? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 4 months ago | (#47203273)

Here's one plan that may be doable: http://anticorruptionact.org/ [anticorruptionact.org]
Scroll down a bit to see the specific points.

I'm a Libertarian and, while I have reservations, I see this as better than what we currently have. I want liberty from government AND business.

Re:How does it work? (1)

mean pun (717227) | about 4 months ago | (#47203307)

But at that stage the hope is that the masses of voters like these laws so much that voting against them would be political suicide. Therefore, the Super PACs will have to make these laws controversial in some way, and they will have to start as soon as they can. I have no talent in this area, so I don't know whether these ideas grab your guns, are socialist, harm your children, support terrorism, promote unions/homosexuality/abortion/government, continue the war on christmas, are an IRS complot, don't have a proper birth certificate, land you in FEMA camps, deserve a dog whistle, or introduce death panels, but the mud will be ready.

I'm sure the Eye of Sauron is already on this initiative. The memos have been written, and the mud will start flying as soon as it gathers any momentum.

"Fundamental Reform" (-1, Flamebait)

Kohath (38547) | about 4 months ago | (#47202307)

They say they want "fundamental reform", but they won't be specific about the "reform" they're proposing. Without specifics, "reform" can mean anything (or nothing).

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has ruled (correctly) that spending money to print pamphlets, create a video, or publish a book about politics is free speech. So how "fundamental" can any reform actually be? Are they planning to amend the Constitution so the government can arrest people for making videos or publishing books?

I can't believe people are giving money to these guys.

Re:"Fundamental Reform" (1)

dinfinity (2300094) | about 4 months ago | (#47202347)

What's your plan?

Re:"Fundamental Reform" (1)

Kohath (38547) | about 4 months ago | (#47202493)

Drastically smaller government. When the government can't do much of anything for (or to) anyone, there's very little to gain by corrupting it and very little harm when it gets corrupted.

Take the money out of politics by taking the money and the power out of government.

Re:"Fundamental Reform" (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 4 months ago | (#47203159)

And just how do we get from here to there? An overarching theme like 'drastically smaller government' sounds great. Until you get to the messy details. How do you de fang the NSA? Get the Pentagon to accept some rational budget? Keep Texas from starting (another) war with Mexico?

You can 'reboot' the system and hope to hell it comes up with a command prompt instead of "Disk Not Found". Or you can (slowly) work at the edges to clean the system up. No it doesn't work well and it's slow as hell - certainly slower than any human lifetime - but it sounds quite a bit more sane than the other ways.

Re:"Fundamental Reform" (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 4 months ago | (#47203609)

And just how do we get from here to there? An overarching theme like 'drastically smaller government' sounds great. Until you get to the messy details. How do you de fang the NSA? Get the Pentagon to accept some rational budget? Keep Texas from starting (another) war with Mexico?

Vote for different representatives, representatives that actually cut the budget. It has happened in the past and it's happening elsewhere.

Re:"Fundamental Reform" (1)

jimmifett (2434568) | about 4 months ago | (#47202517)

A better plan to get less money in politics is to remove the biggest impetus for political authority, the ability to decide winners and losers via the tax code.
Remove income tax and replace with a revenue neutral consumption tax such as the Fair Tax. Without the ability to offer favorable tax breaks to potential donors, who are seeking to ultimately alleviate tax costs on their interests, a large portion of corporate money will dry up, leaving the ideologues.

On a side note, how much more left leaning can one get than to name one's thing May Day? This guy is, IMO, bad news. According to wikipedia (had to look him up), advancing a populist agenda, removing the representative nature of having a representative republic by getting rid of electoral college and having a constitutional convention with random delegates instead of those selected by elected state governments to represent state's rights and interests. IMO, Lessig appears to be a Statist of the worst kind and I want nothing to do with him or the tyranny he would advance.

Re:"Fundamental Reform" (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 4 months ago | (#47203073)

Until we realize that all taxes are regressive, the problem will remain.

Re:"Fundamental Reform" (1)

jimmifett (2434568) | about 4 months ago | (#47203605)

Apparently you are John Snow Know Nothing when it comes to the Fair Tax.
Allow me to enlighten you.

The Fair Tax is a 'progressive tax' with 2 key parts.

Part 1: The Consumption Tax

An inclusive consumption tax at a flat rate (at last reading, would be around 22%-23%) placed on all *NEW* goods and all services at the retail level.
This can only work if income and corporate taxes are repealed, as those are embedded invisibly into the final retail cost of a product or service along the supply chain. By removing those embedded taxes, the retail price would fall by approx 22-23%. Apply the inclusive consumption tax and the final retail price returns to almost the same as it's present value +- 1-2%.
Used or second hand products would not be taxed, as only NEW goods and services. States would facilitate the collection of the consumption tax as they already have in place the mechanisms for collecting sales tax. The inclusive tax would show up on receipts as a line item to make it's cost transparent to the consumer.

Part 2: The Prebate (aka, the progressive portion)
Each household of citizens will receive, based on family size, a prebate equal to the poverty limit for a family of that size, divided into 12 monthly payments over the course of a year. This prebate payment is to cover the cost of the consumption tax up to 100% spending of the poverty line for that family size.

Example 1:
presuming the poverty line for a single individual is $10,000, a single person household would get a prebate of (23% x 10,000) / 12, or $191.67 each month to cover the consumption tax. Consumption tax spent over the poverty line for that single person household would then be the responsibility of that person.

Example 2:
Presume a 5 person family poverty line is $30,000, that household will recieve a prebate of (23% x 30,000) / 12, or $575.00 each month to cover consumption taxes.

Example 3:
Lets take that same family of 5, and presume the household has an income of $50,000 (note not payroll, personal income taxes, medicare, etc taxes, they get 100% of check), and that family chose to spend 100% of their income on new goods and services. They would have ended up paying $11,500 in consumption tax over the course of the year. However, they also get their prebate for a family of 5 at the poverty level, which would be $6,900 over the year. This offsets the $11,500 in consumption tax, reducing the amount the household has to be responsible for down to $4,600 over the course of the year, or $383.33 monthly in inclusive consumption tax paid, presuming 100% of income spent on new goods and services.

Example 4:
Let us presume a wealthy individual that makes say, $250,000 a year. If that individual spent 100% of their income on new goods and services as in the above examples, this individual would have paid $57,500.00 in consumption taxes over the course of a year ($4,791.67 monthly in tax paid). However, this individual also gets their pretbate for the exact same amount as the person in example 1, as the poverty line for a single person is presumed in these examples to be $10,000. Thus this individual would recieve $2,300 a year ($191.67 monthly), to cover the consumption tax, reducing their tax to $55,200 yearly ($4,600 monthly).

Consumption tax liability covered by prebate assuming 100% spending on new goods and services:
Example 1: 100% covered by prebate, $0 out of pocket monthly tax expense
Example 2: 100% covered by prebate, $0 out of pocket monthly tax expense
Example 3: 60% covered by prebate, $383.33 out of pocket monthly tax expense
Example 4: 4% covered by prebate, $4,600 out of pocket monthly tax expense

Thus, a family living in poverty will never pay the consumption tax as it is covered by their prebate and wealthier households will spend considerably more with the same spending habbits.

Additional benefits include:
Tax free second hand market place, only new goods are taxed at retail.
No tax loopholes.
No more IRS
Corporate decisions no longer influenced by taxation
Massive incentive for hiring and capital investments due to no coporate taxation, leading to biggest economic growth, ever. (Business don't pay taxes, they collect them from the consumer in the form of embedded costs or firing employees and pass along to government)
Drug Dealers, Off-the-books workers, and illegal aliens would all pay tax.
Repeal of income tax.
Removal of estate, medicare, and payroll taxes.
100% of your paycheck in your pocket

Win-Win for everyone but the politician who can't make new exceptions or loopholes to the tax code. Changing the rate or the plan would require... i believe it was 70% majority.

Re:"Fundamental Reform" (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 4 months ago | (#47202377)

Actually their site has links to several things want. Even never hearing of them before, it took me only a minute of my time to find it.. http://reform.to/#/reforms [reform.to]

They dont seem to be able blocking "pamphlets, create a video, or publish a book about politics", but about stopping the direct large scale donations, and quid pro quo that goes on in our government.

Re:"Fundamental Reform" (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 4 months ago | (#47202503)

They say they want "fundamental reform", but they won't be specific about the "reform" they're proposing. Without specifics, "reform" can mean anything (or nothing).

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has ruled (correctly) that spending money to print pamphlets, create a video, or publish a book about politics is free speech. So how "fundamental" can any reform actually be? Are they planning to amend the Constitution so the government can arrest people for making videos or publishing books?

I can't believe people are giving money to these guys.

Yes they are. You have to read their FAQ lol
Basically all they are doing at first is planning to back the opponents of candidates that do not support "reform" They don't have to be specific, they just need to state they want "reform" in any form.

Later they will do more fund raising and get behind a particular proposal. The specifically mention 5. 2 democratic, 2 republican and 1 bipartisan.

So if you're donating to this particular campaign you're donating to get congress to agree that "Reform" is an issue that needs to be addressed. When it's time to support a specific proposal there will be new fundraisers and you can decide at that time if you support that particular proposal.

Re:"Fundamental Reform" (1)

Kohath (38547) | about 4 months ago | (#47202569)

I read their FAQ. "Reform" can mean anything. Anyone can pledge to support "reform". Later if there's a bill, they can say they're against the bill because of specific items but they still support "reform". Without specifics, it's meaningless.

Specifically, it means change. and hope. (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 4 months ago | (#47202983)

> They say they want "fundamental reform", but they won't be specific about the "reform" they're proposing. Without specifics, "reform" can mean anything (or nothing).

I think specifically it means "change". And "hope". Hope and change. Is that more clear for you?

Re:"Fundamental Reform" (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 4 months ago | (#47203045)

print pamphlets, create a video, or publish a book about politics is free speech

Is it not free speech to do these things? Or you're just opposed to people doing these things for a cause you do not support? You are part of the problem because you think the problem is free speech for causes you don't support. I'll be dollars to doughnuts that you support your side (I don't know if you're (D) or (R)) having the right to "print pamphlets, create a video, or publish a book about politics". My guess, is you're a liberal though because liberals are well known for their hypocrisy regarding free speech.

Re:"Fundamental Reform" (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 4 months ago | (#47203061)

Reading further, you almost sound Libertarian. However, I don't know a single libertarian that is opposed to people who "print pamphlets, create a video, or publish a book about politics".

Re:"Fundamental Reform" (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 4 months ago | (#47203357)

print pamphlets, create a video, or publish a book about politics is free speech

Is it not free speech to do these things? Or you're just opposed to people doing these things for a cause you do not support? You are part of the problem because you think the problem is free speech for causes you don't support. I'll be dollars to doughnuts that you support your side (I don't know if you're (D) or (R)) having the right to "print pamphlets, create a video, or publish a book about politics". My guess, is you're a liberal though because liberals are well known for their hypocrisy regarding free speech.

It's not a matter of what you want to say, it's how loud you shout.

Money buys a bigger megaphone. And unfortunately, we tend to elect whoever shouts the loudest.

Re:"Fundamental Reform" (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 4 months ago | (#47203601)

"Yes We Can" - shouts the loudest

So, it's just another Democrat PAC masquerading (0, Insightful)

jnaujok (804613) | about 4 months ago | (#47202363)

This "Anti-PAC" is just a PAC supporting the two largest Democrat campaign finance bills which are more properly termed the "Silence Dissent Acts" or "Incumbent Protection Act" then any kind of real campaign finance reform.

So, all they are is another Democrat PAC masquerading under a fake name. Oh, they claim to support three other bills with bi-partisan support, which are bills sponsored by four back-benchers (Tom Petrie anyone? 30+ years in Congress and I don't think he's successfully sponsored one bill.) that will never make it out of sub-committee.

So, two hyper-left (Barbara Boxer, Henry Waxman, Dianne Feinstein type) proposals, and three non-events.

Anti-PAC, it's another way of saying "Democrat".

Makes you wonder why they feel they have to lie about their intentions.

Re:So, it's just another Democrat PAC masquerading (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#47202453)

So, do you really believe you get a good system of government when the more money you have the more access you have to political speech?

Or do you end up with a system which is heavily skewed to the wishes of a handful of wealthy people -- which is pretty much what you have now.

If rich people can pay lots of money to convince government to lower their taxes while cutting services for everybody else ... well, sooner or later, that 'everybody else' might decide they've had enough and do something about it.

And that didn't work out so well for Marie Antoinette and others who felt they should be entitled to cal the shots.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

Unless you have lots of money, in which case you're more equal, and the governed be damned because you can make what you want happens. So, we're back to "four legs good, two legs better".

And then the governed decide that they're tired of putting up with your shit.

If you're going to build your society around what the wealthy can afford to buy in terms of political action, you will end up with an inherently unjust society.

Re:So, it's just another Democrat PAC masquerading (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47202899)

So do you really believe that murdering people is the right way to reform a political system that has end results you don't like?

If you're going to build your society around murdering people to gain power, you will end up in a grave just like everyone else.

Re:So, it's just another Democrat PAC masquerading (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#47203095)

So do you really believe that murdering people is the right way to reform a political system that has end results you don't like?

I'm not advocating it. I'm saying it's something which might happen.

And the more you skew your system to favor the outcomes bought and paid for by the wealthy, the more of an unjust system you have.

If you built your society around being inherently imbalanced, it usually doesn't work out well in the long run.

Re:So, it's just another Democrat PAC masquerading (1)

butalearner (1235200) | about 4 months ago | (#47203123)

So, do you really believe you get a good system of government when the more money you have the more access you have to political speech?

Of course he doesn't believe that, but those bills are sponsored by a bunch of Democrats. Don't be fooled by how the political process worked in the past; these days, the only item of importance in any given bill is the letter between the sponsor's name and home state.

Re:So, it's just another Democrat PAC masquerading (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47203573)

these days, the only item of importance in any given bill is the letter between the sponsor's name and home state

And the highly specific disconnect with reality (ie that matches your own) between their ears.

Many Americans now openly support things which in my lifetime would have been things they'd have gone to war against.

Ban donations (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47202393)

One solution would be to ban political donations completely. Make the parties funded only by fixed membership fees - with each member paying the same fee.

Re:Ban donations (1)

stiggle (649614) | about 4 months ago | (#47202693)

Add to that a clause that you can only fund politicians within your own state.
So you can fund any locally based politician and a presidential campaign within your own state, but presidential campaign funds cannot be used in other states.

Might cut the senator for Hollywood being voted in by Utah.

Incumbent Protection Acts? (1)

dfenstrate (202098) | about 4 months ago | (#47202423)

Limiting spending in elections inherently favors incumbents. Keep that in mind when you're talking about getting money out of politics.

Re:Incumbent Protection Acts? (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#47202485)

Limiting spending in elections inherently favors incumbents

No, limiting spending inherently prevents the wealthy from dominating the discourse in a way that the non-wealthy simply cannot.

It says the more money you have, the more say you get. That's feudalism. Which is pretty much the opposite of the principles on which the US was founded.

Re:Incumbent Protection Acts? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 4 months ago | (#47202509)

How is that? I'd think it would level the playing field somewhat between the incumbents who could receive super-PAC money and the newcomers who couldn't.

Re:Incumbent Protection Acts? (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 4 months ago | (#47202839)

Well, there are two ways to reach the OP's conclusion. The first is to examine the history of "campaign finance reform", where you discover that the re-election rate for incumbents has gone UP after the passage of each such bill. The second is to examine the nature of elections. An incumbent can use government funds in order to make his constituents aware of who he is. A challenger, on the other hand, needs to make people aware of who he/she is.

Re:Incumbent Protection Acts? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 4 months ago | (#47202933)

Sounds like the second point is the root of the problem, incumbents shouldn't have more access to public campaign finance than any other candidate. So more campaign finance reform is needed to target that.

Re:Incumbent Protection Acts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47203421)

I'd think it would level the playing field somewhat between the incumbents who could receive super-PAC money and the newcomers who couldn't.

Except that the incumbent's name is already recognized. And he can use government money to send informational newsletters to everyone in his district. And he can go to a grocery store opening or a local construction project and get free TV news coverage. None of those things may be technically campaign events, but they do influence elections. Challengers start with a substantial disadvantage, and money is the only way they overcome the natural media monopoly of the incumbent.

PACs will give money to whomever they think will serve their purposes. Whether that's because he's susceptible to suggestion or just agrees with the PAC by disposition is irrelevant.

Left money for a middle cause? I don't buy it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47202443)

OK so they raised $1M from unsuspecting id10ts on Kickstarter, good for them. Then a list of really nice, politically clean and pure people matched the $1M. What a load of BS. Hope and change baby!

Fundamental Reform? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47202465)

Like 'Hope and change'?

How is this any different from any other PAC? Pour money in to promote some worm as a 'good politician. Like Obama - w/o the mass media effect and tons of money this bum wouldn't have made the White House lawncare.

Did you at least request lube before the pounding began?

the naivety is painful (3, Interesting)

xappax (876447) | about 4 months ago | (#47202477)

Really? You're going to end the corrupting influence of corporate money in politics by out-fundraising them?

Having money is the one thing corporations are good at, and they're really, really good at it. If your strategy hinges on using money as influence, you're always going to lose, because they are FAR better and more practiced at that game than you are.

The only way to advance this particular agenda is to exploit the strengths that we have which corporations don't. We can fill the streets with real people, we can make disruptive spectacles and speak earnestly about social problems. Unlike corporations, we don't need to hide behind spokespeople and PACs, because we have authenticity. We are genuinely concerned about the future of our democracy, and though corporations can try hard to simulate that concern, it's never as authentic as the real thing.

The MAYDAY PAC is like David trying to beat Goliath in a fist fight. Don't fight on his terms, use the sling, idiot!

Re:the naivety is painful (1)

thoromyr (673646) | about 4 months ago | (#47202669)

I think this is really what is bothering me about the MAYDAY PAC. The idea that the game can be beat by playing it on the terms of those who have rigged it... I understand the principle is to back politicians who will vote for reform, but a couple of seats -- even if it happens -- don't mean squat. Having a few bought-and-paid-for stooges who will vote for something doesn't actually work: it has to make it into a bill first, in a form that hasn't been mangled into the opposite of the intent, and brought to a vote. To actually get a bill into law requires seniority and support from senior politicians. And those will be the ones least susceptible the MAYDAY PAC. This seems like much ado about nothing.

I think the people behind it have good intentions, but I fail to see how the effort will produce any meaningful change or reform.

Re:the naivety is painful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47203049)

I think this is really what is bothering me about the MAYDAY PAC. The idea that the game can be beat by playing it on the terms of those who have rigged it...

It's a level playing field; no one's dollar is worth than anyone else's. The issue is that some 'teams' have way more funding currently. You don't need to spend as much as private companies to be effective in countering their lobbying, but you do have to spend something. Take net neutrality for example. Vast amounts are spent in financing candidates who turn out to be against it (tens of millions of dollars or more). If a group of citizens put just $1 million in targetting the most blatant corporate shills by funding anti-neutrality opposition then they would likely get rid of a couple, and scare the hell out of other congressmen who are doing the same. You don't have to actively oppose every candidate, you just need to put the fear of consequences into them.

It's about getting information out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47203125)

We have a significant population in the US that has Fox News on all day and their World view has been distorted by it and by Talk Radio.

Old people.

The old people in this country have been so brainwashed that they are using their significant political clout to screw everyone - including themselves.

I know. I see it everyday. And they won't listen to anyone who is not part of the establishment. Look at Occupy Wall Street. The Fox News brainwashed old people were all for the cops "handling" those "ungrateful lazy kids" and "getting them back to work".

The old people do not understand how college educated people could be out of work. They firmly beleive that having a degree - any degree - makes you employable. It was with great surpirse to them when I informed them that those days are long gone - if they even existed.

They lived and worked during the best times the US ever had and they still think they are still going on and have no understanding what their grandchildren's generation is going through. They just think they are lazy.

tl;dr: We need this PAC to inform the ignorant old people - 65 and older.

Hope you're just trolling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47203389)

I sure hope you're just trolling, because your post is completely ridiculous.

And they won't listen to anyone who is not part of the establishment.

Who is "the establishment"? Would that be the major (non-Fox) news networks like CNN? Or perhaps the current US president and Senate majority party?

"The Fox News brainwashed old people were all for the cops "handling" those "ungrateful lazy kids" and "getting them back to work".

LOL! (That's pretty much all that needs to be said here.)

The old people do not understand how college educated people could be out of work. They firmly beleive that having a degree - any degree - makes you employable. It was with great surpirse to them when I informed them that those days are long gone - if they even existed.

So... you informed all old people? Or perhaps you just lectured an old person at hand who was polite enough to pretend that you were saying something important, and you interpreted such politeness as abject awe at the sharing of your wisdom which they had never heard before? See? It's fun to make generalizations about people you don't really know, and I can do it just as well as you can.

They lived and worked during the best times the US ever had

My grandma was a poor person during the Great Depression. This may come as a shock to you, but she didn't have a smartphone or a TV. In fact, she sometimes didn't have enough to eat. The wealth and technological advancement of the first world countries in general has accomplished something never before seen (at least on a large scale) in the history of the world until the late 20'th century -- our "poor people" today are often fat. Food for thought, no?

and they still think they are still going on and have no understanding what their grandchildren's generation is going through. They just think they are lazy.

I don't know whether all old people think you are lazy or not. But I am solidly of the opinion that you are intellectually lazy.

tl;dr: We need this PAC to inform the ignorant old people - 65 and older.

Correction -- nobody needs this PAC. However, the PAC needs naive people like you to throw their money at it.

Re:the naivety is painful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47203199)

If you think 'a few seats' don't matter, you haven't been paying attention to the radical red-shift in the Republican party's stance after the Tea Party primaried them out of a few seats...

Dream on. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47202935)

We can fill the streets with real people, we can make disruptive spectacles and speak earnestly about social problems.

Like Occupy Wall Street which failed? Naivety indeed.

There has not been any reforms. Wall Street is business as usual.

In the meantime, the OWS people were harrassed,, beaten, ridiculed in the media, and dispersed.

Americans are so brainwashed by the system that anyone pointing a finger at said system i sconsdiered to be a radical, leftist, Liberal, or some other term to dismiss them.

To be taken seriously, one must play by the corrupt rules to make it look like one is part of the system; otherwise, they will be dismissed. Do not forget, the people driving politics - the angry rable that gets all the attention (old people) - do NOT want any changes. They demand the status quo and any attempt to disrupt it will be met with fierce opposition. Why do you think that all issues are framed as "old timey values"?

I see this everyday. I hear the old people talking. And THEY are the ones running to the polls in Nov of this year. Their agenda - NOTHING to do with anyone's platform - it's all about preserving the status quo.

Re:Dream on. (1)

Destoo (530123) | about 4 months ago | (#47203177)

To be taken seriously, one must hit them where it hurts.

Here is why the Snowden story got so big. One single little facet of the whole "government is spying on us" thing.
One Program.
Bullrun.

"Because of Snowden, we now know that the listeners undertook to do what they repeatedly promised respectable expert opinion they would never do. They always said they would not attempt to break the crypto that secures the global financial system.
That was false."
"...attempting to break the encryption that holds the global financial industry together, it had also stolen the keys to as many vaults as possible. With this disclosure the NSA forfeited respectable opinion around the world. Their reckless endangerment of those who don't accept danger from the United States government was breathtaking."

The Occupy Wall Street was all fun and games until one bullet point item came up. (Delaware being a tax heaven for Congressmen). As soon as that point made the news, all of the police forces, in sync, shut everything down.

The PAC needs something as effective and dealdy, and keep their mouth shut about it until it's too late to go back.

re: naivety (1)

drew30319 (828970) | about 4 months ago | (#47203017)

The MAYDAY PAC is like David trying to beat Goliath in a fist fight. Don't fight on his terms, use the sling, idiot!

I believe the idea is that the money raised by "real people" will be used differently than that raised by corporations. The PAC is the funding mechanism which will be used to consolidate and coordinate "real people" who want to positively affect change. In other words: this is a campaign to raise the money for a sling.

Re:the naivety is painful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47203143)

That's cute, "speak earnestly". You must not be paying attention.

The past few decades have proven unequivocally that money is the only way to shape policy. If you want money out of politics it's going to take vast sums of money to make that happen.

It very much appears that political dissent is not acceptable in the US, you get pepper-sprayed (or have your life ruined, whatever) for trying.

No. (1)

Qbertino (265505) | about 4 months ago | (#47203575)

Really? You're going to end the corrupting influence of corporate money in politics by out-fundraising them?

No. You're going to get most of the people behind the unified cause of repairing the US electorial system. Big difference.
Them donating money is a secondary side effect. The technical part of what is required to change something. The first step is to get *all* of the 99% of US citizens of their lazy fat asses and actually be willing to do something to 'effing repair their broken system. The money-meter is just a gauge of that will to finally make a change that lasts. And I mean we, the people, making that change.

It's like in eastern German. When fat-cats say "This is how it goes." like they have been for decades and 99% say "Nope. Not anymore. Game's over. New rules." you have a peaceful revolution and the wall goes down the next day. It's really that easy.

Same here. If Lessig and his crew can get this show on the road and the 'effed up US electorial system repaired that would be really cool. And I see a real chance of that happening here.

You should all get behind this folks. You can do it. It's not that hard.
Keeping my fingers crossed for this SuperPAC.

My 2 cents.

May Day???? (2)

judoguy (534886) | about 4 months ago | (#47202527)

What does "get the money out of politics" mean? No one is allowed to tell people about their candidacy? The government would be the arbiter of election information? May Day indeed. Money is power. Politics is power. Anyone who thinks they will somehow remove money from politics is an idiot, or at best childlike.

All you can do is fight over *who* gets to wield it. At least now, bad as it is, I get to contribute to groups that represent my views, even if imperfectly. Seriously, with all the abuses of other moneyed interests,(mine, of course never abuse the system) no one has ever even tried to explain something better to me.

Just some adolescent rant about "getting the money out of politics".

Re:May Day???? (1)

Nite_Hawk (1304) | about 4 months ago | (#47202865)

What does "get the money out of politics" mean?

IMHO, and in a very general sense, preventing things like this:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/... [washingtonpost.com]

This isn't directly related to Lessig's superpac, but it's part of a general trend where personal gain in politics trumps ethical conduct. It doesn't matter what the issue is (in this case health care, but it could be zoning issues, or tax subsidies, or anything). This is blatant corruption on both sides of the isle. It's almost as if it doesn't matter where the money comes from (unions, hollywood, large corporations, drug lords, etc) so long as the people in office can derive the maximum profit. That couldn't be right though right?

Re:May Day???? (1)

NoImNotNineVolt (832851) | about 4 months ago | (#47202877)

This is the most US-centric post I've seen under this story.

Believe it or not, many places in the world have gotten money out of politics (to the same extent that MAYDAY PAC wants to). Perhaps this may be surprising to you, but it actually is possible. I can only hope that my other fellow Americans aren't as defeatist as you are.

I support MAYDAY-PAC and WOLF-PAC, because I'm unwilling to bend over and take it. I invite you to clench your asshole and join me in taking a stand against our ass-rapist masters.

I like Lessig but this won't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47202583)

People will ally with whoever is most powerful. Sure, he might get one or two into office. How long before they are quickly realigning themselves to get to the next level?

It is a system, this is a patch on a symptom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47202593)

In a system, you can't do just one thing. This 'fix' will have side-effects, including the need for candidates to raise more $, and so give more power to the suppliers of that $.

The problem is that there is power to be bought, and politics is the auction mechanism. The only thing that can effectively reduce the price, given political control of the system of justice, is reducing the power to be bought.

Trying to move America to the Left (0)

roccomaglio (520780) | about 4 months ago | (#47202789)

The name of the PAC is May Day, which is a pro union and pro leftist holiday. It is a prominent holiday in many socialist countries. I am not sure why that is a good pick for a supposed non-partisan PAC with a mission to end PAC money.

Re:Trying to move America to the Left (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47202895)

MAYDAY (one word) is also widely known as a distress call.

Re:Trying to move America to the Left (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47203113)

Shh, you're expecting a crazed right winger to know what words mean. Obviously those damn libroool Democrats went back in time and started Walpurgisnacht [wikipedia.org] . I bet Saint Walpurga [wikipedia.org] was a dirty communist, she wasn't even a Christian!

Re:Trying to move America to the Left (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47203185)

Skip the 'union' and 'socialist' part and get to the heart of it: It's a day to honor the worker.

Why is everbody against it now? (1)

iris-n (1276146) | about 4 months ago | (#47202911)

I'm finding quite curious the contrast between the comments that appeared the first time [slashdot.org] this story was discussed in /. and now. Whereas in the first time the comments were balanced and generally positive, now most comments are violently against it. I wonder what caused this change. Perhaps now that it is clear that they are getting money and have a chance of making a difference the corporate shills have woken up?

Outfund? (1)

Princeofcups (150855) | about 4 months ago | (#47203091)

The corporations can easily outspend this PAC with a small increase. On top of that, they are trying to buy corrupt politicians, who are just as likely to turn again when someone offers them better coke and prostitutes. I smell a get rich scheme, nothing more.

Seriously? (1)

asylumx (881307) | about 4 months ago | (#47203175)

From the text of one of the bills they support:

Sec. 101. Refundable tax credit for congressional House campaign contributions.

Seriously? This is literally trading tax dollars for campaign dollars. What the hell kind of reform is this? Even with the proposed $50 limit on the credit it's a bad idea -- and what good is $50 going to do, anyway?

Good Luck with that (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47203525)

I'm managing a Congressional campaign for a first-time candidate and I can tell you it's all about fundraising. You raise some funds from friends and family to appear viable enough that others will think you have a shot at making it until November. Then you get their donations and go out again to ask for more. Then you go out and try to get an endorsement from whichever of the two major political parties your candidate is aligned with. The major parties won't even back you unless you raise tens of thousands of dollars. It's just like getting a mortgage, they won't give it to you unless you can prove that you don't need it. Once that happens you use their endorsement and funds to get more endorsements and more money from PACs to fund the campaign, with implied strings attached. Meanwhile the incumbent candidate is raking it in from lobbyists and special interest groups and can easily outspend you 100:1. Check out opensecrets.org and take a look who wins races, it's almost always the candidate who can get the most funds. MAYDAY PAC's FAQ says they will give the funds to candidates who can win races- that's not reform candidates, it's incumbents or party members entrenched the political machine. Even if you're registered to vote as a member of one of the major parties, you're still an outsider unless you've been a party apparatchik for many years. MAYDAY PAC would have to raise tens of millions of dollars to fund reform candidates against incumbents, and they'd have to be third party or NPA to affect any real change. Five million split five ways is a drop in the bucket.

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