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Steve Wozniak Endorses Lessig's Mayday Super PAC

Soulskill posted about 5 months ago | from the i-am-the-internet-and-i-approve-this-message dept.

The Almighty Buck 209

Funksaw writes: Steve Wozniak, co-found of Apple Computer, has come out to endorse Lawrence Lessig's MAYDAY PAC in an animated audio recording. Mayday.US, (formerly MayOne.US) is Lessig's crowd-funded (citizen-funded!), kick-started Super PAC to end all Super PACs. In the video, Wozniak points out that we're never going to get anywhere on issues important to the Internet community and technology advocates if we don't fix the root cause of corruption. The video can be found at the Mayday PAC's new landing page, "theInternetHasASuperPAC.com."

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Well, this certainly should kill PAC corruption. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47282461)

But then what will they call the new things that secretly do the same damn thing and spring up in their place? Shouldn't we have a catchier label ready now?

Re: Well, this certainly should kill PAC corruptio (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47283167)

You seem to be under the impression that the only solution worth pursing is one that will solve everything all at once forever. I, however, will gladly fight on some more, forever and take my victories where I can get them.

As they say, 'perfectionism is the enemy of progress.'

Re: Well, this certainly should kill PAC corruptio (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47283505)

I never stated a need for attempting perfection in legislation - I said whatever happens, something secret doing the same damn thing will spring up in its place.

I think there is a systemic problem and you don't fix systemic problems with incremental bandaids. Ask the financial industry, ask anyone.

Major source of corruption is Tax Code not PACs (4, Insightful)

perpenso (1613749) | about 5 months ago | (#47283183)

But then what will they call the new things that secretly do the same damn thing and spring up in their place? Shouldn't we have a catchier label ready now?

To get rid of the major source of political corruption in the U.S. we need to rewrite the tax codes. The U.S. Tax Code is probably the biggest vehicle by which U.S. politicians reward their friends and interfere with their enemies.

No credits, no deductions, ... A rate is defined, you pay exactly that rate. Obviously these rates would be much lower than they currently are, however they can be designed using the average effective rates paid so that there is no revenue loss for the government.

Re:Major source of corruption is Tax Code not PACs (4, Insightful)

WheezyJoe (1168567) | about 5 months ago | (#47283483)

To get rid of the major source of political corruption in the U.S. we need to rewrite the tax codes.

In order for "we" to rewrite the tax codes, better people need to be elected to Congress and state legislatures. Today, to a great extent, that means PACs, because PACs raise the money for campaigns that make the difference between someone wanting to get elected and someone having a real chance of getting elected.

The weak link of democracy is... democracy. First, the voting public needs to know who you are, and second, the voting public needs to get off their asses and vote. Seriously. There's a mid-term election coming up... pay attention to the turn-out.

"We" will continue to elect puppets and pawns, owned by and obligated to the "secret" donors to the PACs (and who will continue to twist the tax code for their benefit), until "we" start coming out in sufficient numbers and elect other people, and thus embarrass all the "secret" donors who sent money to the PACs but got no return on their "investment".

Re:Major source of corruption is Tax Code not PACs (2)

perpenso (1613749) | about 5 months ago | (#47283547)

To avoid redundancy let me refer you to my other posts in this discussion, "Votes not money controls politicians", http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org] , and "Party Loyalty is Political Apathy", http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org] .

"The Internet" (4, Insightful)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 5 months ago | (#47282487)

I seem to have missed the election where everyone on the internet elected Steve Wozniak and Lawrence Lessig to speak for us. The Internet does not have a super pac. A handful of people with a particular view on how the internet should be run have a super pac. To characterize themselves as the only legitimate voice on the matter is the height of arrogance.

Re:"The Internet" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47282539)

I seem to have missed the election where everyone on the internet elected Steve Wozniak and Lawrence Lessig to speak for us.

It was on the anniversary of the day all melanin-rich Americans elected Jesse Jackson as one of their voices.

Re:"The Internet" (5, Funny)

presidenteloco (659168) | about 5 months ago | (#47282541)

I seem to have missed the part where everyone on the Internet is a US citizen.

But as a proud resident of Lower Banwidthistan, I am happy to contribute as requested.

Re:"ayub syaifullah" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47282721)

I seem to have missed the part where everyone on the Internet is a US citizen.

But as a proud resident of Lower Banwidthistan, I am happy to contribute as requested.

hello, i am from indonesia,i am love this website.
  http://ayubsyaifullah.mywapblog.com [mywapblog.com]

Re:"The Internet" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47282557)

Boo hoo. Do you disagree with Woz & Lessig on this? Talk about that then.

Re:"The Internet" (5, Informative)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 5 months ago | (#47282565)

Here's the thing though: a lot of people want a lot of changes to happen. Everyone doesn't agree on all of the changes, sure, but a lot of people want to see fundamental changes to our political system, starting with removing the corrupting influence of money. A lot of people want to support something moving in that direction, but what are our options right now? Really, who would you support in order to effect the kind of change that you want to see in politics? What Lessig did was step up and lead. He might not be the leader that everyone wants, but he's actually stepped up to lead an effort. There are a lot of people who want to get behind change in politics, but very few people leading the way. Mayday is a high-profile example with the goal of leading the effort to reform our political system. You don't need to agree 100% with what they say, but if you want to see change then this is a good way to hopefully get that process started. Other groups include things like WOLF-PAC, although it is much less visible. And if you don't like anything out there now, then start your own group and get the word out. Anything to create the kinds of changes that all of us need in order to have our political system work for us instead of the other way around.

Re:"The Internet" (4, Insightful)

TheSync (5291) | about 5 months ago | (#47282679)

starting with removing the corrupting influence of money

I have news for you, the corrupting influence of money will remain AS LONG AS POLITICIANS HAVE POWER. Money will "route around" such "campaign finance reforms". That is why all the campaign finance reforms put in place since the 1970's have consistently achieved nothing (except for allowing incumbents to hold on to power more strongly).

Politicians are always answerable at the ballot box. If you vote for politicians who promise to REMOVE POWER FROM GOVERNMENT, you will REMOVE THE POTENTIAL FOR CORRUPTION.

Most of our "Internet problems" are last mile problems. These are not national problems. You need to show up to your local government meetings and work on last mile access. I suggest local government reduce barriers to entries for new local ISPs (my suggestion). Or perhaps local governments should build open FTTH (which of course would be open to corruption to the contractors who build it, but perhaps that is better). But local is where to deal with this issue.

Re:"The Internet" (4, Insightful)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 5 months ago | (#47282767)

I have news for you, the corrupting influence of money will remain AS LONG AS POLITICIANS HAVE POWER.

That is true, that's why campaign finance reform is not a magic bullet. Another necessary change is term limits for all of Congress [termlimits.org] , so that we can replace career politicians with civilian public servants, as it was meant to be. Legislators and representatives should come out of the private sector to serve their term, and then leave and return to the private sector. We don't need people like Mitch McConnell spending their entire career in politics while they amass a personal fortune of tens of millions of dollars.

Term limits and the revolving door (1)

tepples (727027) | about 5 months ago | (#47282897)

I thought term limits contributed to the so-called "revolving door" by guaranteeing that a legislator who finishes his term can spend 12 months preparing to jump into a position with a big company to lobby his old buddies in the legislature. Chris Dodd of the MPAA anyone?

Re:Term limits and the revolving door (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 5 months ago | (#47283049)

Ideally financial reform would also affect the ability of lobbyists to influence politicians. They could get a job wherever they want, but they wouldn't be able to buy politicians.

There are a lot of changes we need. Changes to campaign financing, lobbying, and term limits are all necessary. Changes to some of those areas might not be very effective without changes to the others.

Re:"The Internet" (4, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 5 months ago | (#47283067)

Another necessary change is term limits for all of Congress

Plenty of states and local governments have implemented term limits. There is NO evidence that this has led to better government. By filling government with inexperienced people, you end up with no institutional memory of past mistakes, and legislators that rely more than ever on the advice and guidance of lobbyists.

Re:"The Internet" (2)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 5 months ago | (#47283105)

Laws are not set in stone, not even the constitution. If a law gets passed that is ineffective or harmful, it can be repealed. I would rather have decades of non-politician legislators making our laws than another 4 years of the current assholes getting paid by anyone with money to screw over everyone else. It needs to end.

Re:"The Internet" (1)

ADRA (37398) | about 5 months ago | (#47282783)

That all may be true, or it may not. Taking power away from the fed means that that vacant space is going to:
  1. State / local governments
  2. Organized groups with special interests
  3. The populace

Odds are #3 will have exactly as much say as they've always had, and there's more money to be had be groups 1/2 if the fed shrivles up. My opinion is that if you want power, you need to trade it off with harsh real panalties for violating the trust put upon you. The problem is the people with the most to lose from the scheme are the only ones who have the power to enact it (barring armed revolt). Have fun!

Re:"The Internet" (1)

tepples (727027) | about 5 months ago | (#47282915)

The problem is the people with the most to lose from the scheme are the only ones who have the power to enact it (barring armed revolt).

How so? Three-fourths of the states can amend the Constitution with no help from the Congress.

Re:"The Internet" (1)

Duhavid (677874) | about 5 months ago | (#47283475)

Can you get 3/4's of the politicians from the states to enact such legislation?

They are also benefiting from this arrangement, so, I don't think it will fly.

Re:"The Internet" (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 5 months ago | (#47282853)

I wanted to add something about the solution through local politics. That is an important step. We the people have the right and ability to change the federal government through constitutional amendments. We can restrict Congress ourselves by using an Article V convention of the states [wikipedia.org] . We can ratify an amendment starting at the state level in order to effect the kind of change that Congress would not make on their own. Instead of counting on Congress to limit their own power, we can do it for them.

Re:"The Internet" (1)

Duhavid (677874) | about 5 months ago | (#47283481)

Get started.

Re:"The Internet" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47283217)

> I have news for you, the corrupting influence of money will remain AS LONG AS POLITICIANS HAVE POWER. Money will "route around" such "campaign finance reforms"

That is the fallacy that because there is no 100% solution we should do nothing.

The reality is that it is a constant struggle and if we don't keep the fight up, the powerful will dominate. Every time we do something to move the balance in our favor the powerful will come up with something to move the balance back in their favor. But it does not happen over night, every day that the balance is tipped away from the powerful is a victory for the rest of us.

Do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

Re:"The Internet" (1)

EverlastingPhelps (568113) | about 5 months ago | (#47283251)

More importantly, it isn't an attempt to get MONEY out of politics, it is an attempt to get non-establishment MEDIA money out of politics.

All this does is turn politics back over to Time Warner, Fox, Disney, etc, who own the news stations and papers, and out of the hands of the People.

No thanks.

"We don't want your money in politics... but would you like to buy our news station?"

Re:"The Internet" (1)

Duhavid (677874) | about 5 months ago | (#47283301)

Campaign finance laws demonstrably have not achieved nothing, or the monied persons would not have bothered to weaken these laws, and would not be seeking to weaken them further.

Politicians are patently not answerable at the ballot box, by and large, or so many unpopular bits of legislation would not be passing.

If you remove too much power from the government, you will create a power vacuum. Someone will step in and fill it. Warlord or (maybe even well meaning) revolutionary. The government needs to be answerable to us, and it never will be as long as it can be bought.

It's worse than that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47283559)

"Campaign finance reform" is strictly an incumbent protection plan. Money will continue to flow to politicians, legally and illegally, as long as the political systems allows Washington to pick winners and losers.

You won't get the money out of politics until you get politics out of money.

Re:"The Internet" (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 5 months ago | (#47283663)

If power is removed from government, some other entities will gain that power and become the new evil that must be fought. Most of these fights aren't about removing power, but in taking power or moving it around. Ie, diminish government's power in order to increase corporate power, which may be a bigger problem due to lack of accountability to citizens.

Re:"The Internet" (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 5 months ago | (#47282841)

a lot of people want to see fundamental changes to our political system, starting with removing the corrupting influence of money.

So, you're going to get rid of the corrupting influence of money by...spending money to buy politicians?

That's what PACs do, you know - they buy politicians to counter the other guy's bought politicians....

Re:"The Internet" (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 5 months ago | (#47282935)

That's right, Mayday's goal is to fund and elect politicians committed to campaign finance reform. The way our political system is set up is that the politicians with the most money get elected, so if we are going to change anything, including campaign finance laws, we need to buy the politicians to do it (or pass a constitutional amendment via an Article V convention).

Re:"The Internet" (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 5 months ago | (#47283025)

We've had campaign finance reform in the past. It made matters worse, not better. So what makes you think that this time will be different?

Re:"The Internet" (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 5 months ago | (#47283081)

"Campaign finance reform" in the past included things like Citizens United, which directly contributes to the problems we have now. The current brand of reform is aimed at getting rid of things like that. We are trying to correct the problems that were made in the past.

And I don't know if it will work, but I want to try. One thing that I am not willing to do is to sit here and do nothing, expecting that other people are going to fix the problem.

Re:"The Internet" (1)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 5 months ago | (#47283271)

Don't forget that Citizen's United was ultimately about whether you need the government's permission to make a movie about a politician. Do you really want the government deciding what movies we're allowed to see? I also notice people screaming about Campaign Finance Reform are never demanding regulation for, say, Michael Moore or Jon Stewart. How come it's okay for Miramax and Viacom to pollute politics with their corrupting corporate money?

Re:"The Internet" (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 5 months ago | (#47283717)

Do you really want the government deciding what movies we're allowed to see?

That would not be constitutional, I'm not worried about that.

How come it's okay for Miramax and Viacom to pollute politics with their corrupting corporate money?

It's not.

Re:"The Internet" (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 5 months ago | (#47283137)

The way our political system is set up is that the politicians with the most money get elected

Eric Cantor had WAY more money than David Brat. Meg Whitman spent more on her campaign than any other non-presidential candidate. She lost. Money certainly helps, but plenty of elections are won by the less well funded candidate. It is difficult to precisely determine the influence of money on elections, because not only does the money help the candidate get the message out, but donors looking for influence are more likely to donate to someone that was already popular.

Re:"The Internet" (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 5 months ago | (#47283213)

Yeah, I made a blanket statement that isn't true 100% of the time. It sounds like Cantor's base didn't think he was representing them anymore. I'd love to see the results of that election happen nationwide, frankly I'd love to see every single incumbent lose.

Re:"The Internet" (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 5 months ago | (#47283041)

Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire. Just because you have to work within the current system doesn't mean you can't work to change it.

Fight fire with? [Re:"The Internet"] (1)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | about 5 months ago | (#47283139)

Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire...

But actually, most of the time, it makes more sense to fight fire with water.

Re:Fight fire with? [Re:"The Internet"] (1)

Duhavid (677874) | about 5 months ago | (#47283629)

Yes, but sometimes, firemen, in a brush fire, will set fire to burnable things in the path of the fire in a controlled way as a fire break.

Votes not money controls politicians ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about 5 months ago | (#47283329)

Here's the thing though: a lot of people want a lot of changes to happen. Everyone doesn't agree on all of the changes, sure, but a lot of people want to see fundamental changes to our political system, starting with removing the corrupting influence of money. A lot of people want to support something moving in that direction, but what are our options right now?

Money is not the problem. The problem is apathetic voters who are OK with the status quo. Money does not control politicians, votes do. Money is just a tool to influence voters who don't really care one way or the other.

A member of the 1% has 1 vote, the same as a member of the 99%.

If a voter cares about an issue no amount of PAC money, no amount spent on media campaigns, is going to change their position.

Two of the most power political lobbies the US, the NRA and the AARP, have the attention of politicians **not** because of campaign contributions. The real power of these two organizations are their memberships. They have millions of members who will show up on election day and will vote according to their respective positions. These members showing up at the polls is the source of their incredible influence in Washington.

And the recent election in Virginia shows the power of motivated voters against big money. The candidate with the big money and power position in the Congress, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, lost to an university professor who spent only $100,000 on his campaign. Why, because the professor had motivated voters and Cantor only had money.

You want to do something? You want change? Then educate and motivate voters.

You want to see things stay the same? Then focus the wrong thing, money.

Party Loyalty is Political Apathy ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about 5 months ago | (#47283437)

Oh, and that political apathy that I mentioned. A big part of that is loyalty to your political party.

If you are loyal to your party then you are irrelevant. Your party can ignore you because they have your vote, the other party can ignore you because they can not obtain your vote.

The people who control the outcomes of elections in the US, and those to whom the politicians show some responsiveness, are those who vote for candidates and not political parties.

Belong to whatever party you want, whatever party most closely expresses your positions. But do not blindly vote for that party's candidates. Do note vote because of a party platform that a candidate is completely free to ignore. Look at the respective candidates and their track records, their voting history. Vote for whichever one you think will do the better job regardless of their party.

Voting for candidates rather than political parties is the only way for voters to regain control of politicians. Politicians must not have a political base they can count on regardless of how they vote, they must fear that every single vote they received must be earned.

Get out the base first (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47283697)

Obama got less votes in 2012 than McCain did in 2008. Had Romney gotten all of those "for granted" votes he would have easily won. Romney won the independents by 20%. By your claim, Romney easily beat Obama by courting those in-between voters, but to your surprise Obama is still in the White House.

So, you are basically wrong, period. 2.5 Million GOP voters did not bother to come out for Romney, and had those taken granted for voters not been taken for granted it would have been different. Same thing happened to the DNC, but to a much smaller scale which is how they won.

Re:"The Internet" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47283457)

It is not money that corrupts the political system; it is coercion, specifically the power to initiate coercion against innocents as a means to an end. Since coercion is the first and most important prerequisite of government, I conclude that corruption in government is permanent.

Re:"The Internet" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47282567)

I think they are trying to emphasize how the internet should not be run.

Re:"The Internet" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47282611)

Speaking about how the Internet should not be run is also speaking about how the Internet should be run.

Re:"The Internet" (2)

wolfhead (919963) | about 5 months ago | (#47282693)

A handful of people with a particular view on how the internet should be run have a super pac.

That completely misses the point of what the super pac is for, which is campaign finance reform. That's it. Nothing else. What I think Woz is saying is that any intelligent political debate about the internet and technology policies can't happen in the current political system, and campaign finance reform is the best bet at changing that system.

Re:"The Internet" (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#47282937)

To characterize themselves as the only legitimate voice on the matter is the height of arrogance.

They didn't, and they're not. It's an ADVERTISEMENT.
Things need to be simplified in an advertisement to get the general point across. It's up to you to not jump to idiotic conclusions and go out and do research on your own.

If you want to be pedantic, go do it somewhere else.
This is an important issue, and we all need to speak as one.
If you don't want to join the chorus, then get the hell out.
If I'm trying to perform CPR, I don't need some asshole (you) standing behind me telling me I'm doing it wrong, I'm not a doctor, etc... At least I'm doing something, unlike you.
If you don't want to help, just leave.

Re:"The Internet" (1)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 5 months ago | (#47283317)

The lack of self-awareness here is hilarious. You deny they're claiming to be the only legitimate voice for the internet followed immediately by multiple demands that anyone who disagrees "get the hell out" because you're the only legitimate voice for the internet.

We don't all need to speak as one. YOU need us all to speak as one because then you don't actually have to convince people your view point is right.

Re:"The Internet" (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 5 months ago | (#47283357)

I seem to have missed the election where everyone on the internet elected Steve Wozniak and Lawrence Lessig to speak for us. The Internet does not have a super pac. A handful of people with a particular view on how the internet should be run have a super pac. To characterize themselves as the only legitimate voice on the matter is the height of arrogance.

Not just that. I've been saying for a long time that Lessig's idea may be a short-term boon but a long-term disaster. Why? Because he thinks "the problem" is that corporations have too much "money influence" on government, and the people too little.

I have argued with him that the problem is NOT that "corporations influence with too much money, and the people too little"... the real problem, the underlying problem, is big money in politics, period.

By giving money to "peoples' voices", he may be helping to solve the corporate issues, in a small way. But he's not solving the root problem at all... in fact he's just making it worse by throwing even more money at government, to "buy" more influence.

Keep in mind that Lessig also thought Obama was "The Answer", and fought hard for his election. Now he's trying to fight what he helped to build, and doing that wrong, too.

Funding options: (1)

Forbo (3035827) | about 5 months ago | (#47282517)

On the site, it asks "Who to fund?" and gives the options "Whatever Helps", "Democrats Only", and "Republicans Only".

Their FAQ states: "In 2014, our objective is to win seats on the basis of reform, and to show that we can win seats on the basis of reform. We don’t see any independent candidates on the federal level who could win this election cycle. Spending our donors money to support independent candidates doesn’t advance our objective."

Whoa whoa whoa... what? Supporting candidates who have advocated election and campaign finance reform as part of their agenda "doesn't advance our objective"?

Well, boy, I certainly feel better about funding this now!

Re:Funding options: (2)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 5 months ago | (#47282581)

Supporting a candidate who will not get elected anyway will not advance their objective.

Re:Funding options: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47283501)

Spoken like a true Win^H^H^H Loser

Re:Funding options: (1)

GlennC (96879) | about 5 months ago | (#47282825)

So I can support either Kang or Kodos?

Here, take my money! </sarcasm>

Funding options: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47282973)

Voting for either Republicans or Democrats will not help. They only answer to their masters in their respective parties. Only by busting up the duopoly and heavily funding a third party can you effect change. Ross Perot put a scare into the establishment when did it in 1992. Funding D or R is like wanting pizza but you can only choose McDonald's or Burger King.

Nothing new to see here. (4, Informative)

TaxSlave (23295) | about 5 months ago | (#47282537)

It's couched in all kinds of nice geek speak, but basically this is a PAC being created for one goal, campaign finance reform. As I do not believe that campaign finance reform should be used as a method to limit the speech of others, i'm out of this one. Sorry, Woz, not gonna be on your side of this fight. "Campaign finance reform" as a term used today is an attempt to stop grass-roots individuals such as those who funded this PAC from being able to donate in the future to organizations that support their own beliefs. Only those who can afford to pay for political ads personally will be able to play, and those who can't won't be able to band together as they do today.

Re:Nothing new to see here. (5, Insightful)

SteveWoz (152247) | about 5 months ago | (#47282613)

Thanks. I understand and appreciate where you are coming from.

As a founder of the EFF, I do stand up for the small consumers vs. the wealthy and powerful. There is no perfect solution.

Re:Nothing new to see here. (2)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 5 months ago | (#47282671)

Thanks for supporting Mayday, there isn't a whole lot of time left but it looks like around $300,000 more has been contributed since yesterday. I hope the momentum can continue.

Re:Nothing new to see here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47282901)

This clearly isn't the real Steve Wozniak -- his Slashdot ID would obviously be a negative seven digit number!

Re:Nothing new to see here. (1)

mu51c10rd (187182) | about 5 months ago | (#47282971)

I certainly appreciate this venture. While I disagree with the idea of SuperPAC's and wish campaign finance reform did not take a political backseat...this is fighting fire with fire. Thank you.

Where do I pledge? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47283197)

In a sea full of voices which express legitimate concerns being drowned by the almighty dollar to which only caters to the protections of power of a very finite few, I don't see this as limiting speech so much as balancing speech.

Sometimes we have to reign in the power of a few so than we can bring balance to the majority. I don't wish that everyone be equal, but I don't wish everyone to be deaf others except to only those who pay massive sums.

Brought to you to by:
Costco "Welcome to Costco, I love you!"

Re:Nothing new to see here. (1)

LessThanObvious (3671949) | about 5 months ago | (#47283589)

The unfortunate part is that $5 million isn't going to change anything. I surely support any effort to reform campaign finance and undermine the political influence of megalomaniacs like the Koch brothers. $5 million delivered into the right hands could get a bill introduced, but the only way it will work is if our representatives truly believe that not one of them who votes no will be reelected.

Re:Nothing new to see here. (4, Interesting)

JWW (79176) | about 5 months ago | (#47282623)

Correct. Plus if campaign finance reform is achieved and campaign speech becomes subject to severe limits, then incumbents will hold a massive and largely unassailable power to dominate campaigns over newcomers.

And with incumbency being a root cause to many of the problems in Washington, I won't support this PAC either until they make term limits a core part of the reforms they are calling for.

Re:Nothing new to see here. (2)

ADRA (37398) | about 5 months ago | (#47282719)

That's an easy one too. Set caps on campaign spending or set limits on the amount of TV/radio based ad time that can be spent on a campaigner. That would very quickly set a more balanced playing field for having people over the top bombarded with the message. It still allows for street signs, internet bombardment, etc.. but those are also generally grass roots in nature, so it may actually benefit people getting elected where they may not have been recognized prior.

Re:Nothing new to see here. (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 5 months ago | (#47282911)

Set caps on campaign spending or set limits on the amount of TV/radio based ad time that can be spent on a campaigner.

So, you advocate censoring the newspapers, TV news, etc? Because there's nothing to stop an incumbent from getting publicity during an electoral cycle just by doing his job and making the news.

Note that ALL spending limits favor the incumbent. HE/SHE has easy access to all sorts of free publicity (propose a popular bill to get free publicity, for instance) that the challenger can't match.

Re:Nothing new to see here. (5, Informative)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 5 months ago | (#47282647)

Because ordinary people have so much say today in elections, don't we?

Here is the reality [usnews.com] : 196 people contributed 80% of super PAC contributions in the 2012 election cycle. Your grass-roots efforts are pretty meaningless when they can only raise a quarter of the financial influence of 196 people. The goal of campaign finance reform is to level that playing field, so that the opinions of ordinary people are weighted more against the opinions of the super wealthy. Sheldon Adelson does not deserve to have a larger say in who gets elected than I do, it doesn't matter how much money he has.

"I'm against very wealthy people attempting to or influencing elections... But as long as it's doable I'm going to do it."

Re:Nothing new to see here. (1)

roccomaglio (520780) | about 5 months ago | (#47283459)

This is to say nothing of the large number of sub $100 donations that required just a name and address. There is no verification of this micro donations. If you want to give a candidate a million dollars that does not seem to be a problem as long as you donate under $100 at a time. Rocco

money != speech (0)

oneiros27 (46144) | about 5 months ago | (#47282667)

Bah. You're assuming that money is the same as speech.

Money is an amplifier for a given person's speech, so a given person can buy a bullhorn & hang out down at the street corner, or by ads on hundreds of TV channels.

So what we have instead of 'limiting' the speech of others is the ability for those with the most money to be able to drown out all other voices until only theirs is heard. This is the equivalent of 'we don't want to put up with that guy with the bullhorn on the street corner'. Everyone should be able to have a voice, not just those that can shout the loudest.

I admit, much of the 'campaign finance reform' laws that they've attempted to pass have been flawed ... but trying to argue that money is a form of speech is horrible, horrible logic -- it's right up there with 'corporations are people', and claiming that corporations should have rights under the constitution.

And on the "money out of politics" front, some of the people who had been part of 'Occupy' have started 99 Rise [99rise.org] , which their website describes as 'a network of activists and organizers dedicated to building a mass movement to reclaim our democracy from the domination of big money'.

Re:money != speech (1)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | about 5 months ago | (#47283211)

Bah. You're assuming that money is the same as speech.

Money is an amplifier for a given person's speech, so a given person can buy a bullhorn & hang out down at the street corner, or by ads on hundreds of TV channels.

So what we have instead of 'limiting' the speech of others is the ability for those with the most money to be able to drown out all other voices until only theirs is heard....

So, what you're saying is, anybody can speak, but money gives people the ability to be heard.

Re:money != speech (1)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 5 months ago | (#47283443)

Suppose congress passed a law saying that, while abortions are completely legal, no one may accept payment for performing an abortion nor spend any money on supplies, personell, etc. to be able to provide one.

Would you not consider that a severe restriction on the ability to get an abortion? Would it be fair to characterize thep osition of people opposing such a law as "ha, ha, they thinks money is an abortion!"

Re:Nothing new to see here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47282673)

Let's just stop paying attention to political ads. Create a program to automatically skip them or mute them whenever they appear before our eyes. Can google glass do this?!?

Nothing new to see here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47282689)

That's precisely the problem, TaxSlave, that only those who can afford to pay can play. Mayday PAC is fighting for basic reforms that will make everything else a little better. This has nothing to do with 'limiting the speech of others' -- that is a talking point straight from Mitch McConnell and the conservative majority of the Supreme Court.

Re:Nothing new to see here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47282757)

What if paying for political ads is also the problem. their stated goal is to reduce the influence of money in government. The idea is to fight the established way of how the dollar is valued more than the voter. I don't think that would be used as an attempt to stop grass roots individuals from financing political ads, but I also don't see it as a necessarily evil thing. Not because I don't value free speech, but I currently don't think the government is listening without apathy. Right now even if grass roots groups fund political ads, the 1% still own the majority of the money. Big money is a large problem maybe even the main one in politics, and these people are at least organizing and trying to fight that.

Re:Nothing new to see here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47282861)

Your thinking is prime example of why corruption persists. If money is "speech", then corruption must be protected too!

Only those who can afford to pay for political ads personally will be able to play, and those who can't won't be able to band together as they do today.

And that only happens in "lalaland". Get to grips with reality, not your imaginary world. All these PACs are a front for a few to be publicly anonymous while privately the parties know exactly who is pulling the strings. This is Corruption 101.

If you want to get rid of campaign corruption, make all elections publicly funded *only*. No "pooling" into "swing states" bullshit. Fixed money, per riding, and if that's not enough, you go from door to door if you want. The stricter and more specific the campaign laws, the more fair the election.

Re:Nothing new to see here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47282917)

It's strange that the site linked where the video is hosted has very little information on how the money would actually be used and who are the politicians they are going to support. For a political group asking for money for more openness and power in washington against the nameless and faceless small percentage of uber-rich that have corrupted our political system, there is actually very little information on said site on how the money would actually be used and to whom it would go. I'm certainly not going to blindly fund a political pac who just lists vague concepts and doesn't have solid information on where the money would be going and who it actually would be funding. Reminds me of a Who song I once heard.

Commercial Speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47282979)

As I do not believe that campaign finance reform should be used as a method to limit the speech of others, i'm out of this one.

I think campaign ads are commerical speech, not political speech. We barely even have politics in government anymore, and there's even less of it (if that's possible) in the ads. An ad for a Republicrat is no different than an ad for a shoe or a hamburger. And you know for sure, that whether the person you're seeing advertised wins or loses, it's not going to make any sort of ideological or right/left difference in what happens in Washington.

In order words, this isn't about passing laws to restrict Thomas Payne's pamphlets. It's about passing laws to regulate how much fraud should be allowed, within an already highly-regulated market.

Re:Nothing new to see here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47283169)

Especially when that super PAC is thinly-veiled references to May Day, also known as the official holiday of socialist parties around the world. Something tells me that they'll be as unbiased towards conservative political speech as the IRS.

Rubbish argument. Money is not speech. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47283245)

As I do not believe that campaign finance reform should be used as a method to limit the speech of others

Pure, unadulterated bollocks, because money is not speech.

Lessig's Super PAC does not attempt to limit free speech in politics, but only to limit the corruption created by money in politics. Those two things are very different.

the internet doesnt know what a superpac is (4, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | about 5 months ago | (#47282609)

The real power of a superPAC is its recurring ability to fund numerous candidates on a yearly basis during elections in order to build a substantial political concensus on an ideology or legislative policy the PAC members want. this PAC cannot be the next NyanCat, Doge, or Kony2012, and must persist and be funded for more than a decade to produce any meaningful change. It also doesnt factor in things like closed primaries and gerrymandered districts, for which no amount of PAC cash will change. Finally theres the issue of this PAC existing as a live wire.

expect and prepare for every candidate endorsed and successfully elected by this PAC to receive major criticism if not outright condemnation from every news network in america. It is, after all, designed to deprive their commercial sponsors of the ability to purchase an election. Expect every single form of media in the american household to deride Mayday PAC and its candidates as unamerican restriction of the first amendment (as it applies to corporations.) Expect commercial television airtime to be difficult to purchase, and dont count on endorsing a candidate for the republican party who routinely shill for big oil and shun everything from climate change to renewable energy. And even if thye seem to stand a chance of winning, expect the rules to change a-la rand paul in the republican party to ensure absolutely, positively no possibility of ever being seated in office. dont expect the nuclear option of disclosing PAC donors to be off the table as it would only just confirm what everyone already knows about existing pac's while serving to further denegrade yours. Expect 'walking dead' lifer politicians like John McCain to insist a lack of everything from competence to experience and military service in regard to your reform candidate(s).

Re:the internet doesnt know what a superpac is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47282701)

If you tell me "Super PAC" I'm thinking "Super Pac-Man".

What the hell is a "Super PAC", something typically USA-centric once again?

PAC defined (1)

tepples (727027) | about 5 months ago | (#47282997)

A PAC is a political action committee [wikipedia.org] , and a "super PAC" is a PAC that makes independent expenditures [wikipedia.org] in favor of a particular candidate without coordinating with donating to the candidate's campaign organization.

Re:the internet doesnt know what a superpac is (1)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about 5 months ago | (#47283031)

Apparently yes. I went to their site, read the FAQ, and still have no particularly lucid idea of what a Super PAC might be, let alone a PAC. Perhaps I should look it up on Wikipedia, but I wonder whether the founders of this campaign do not overestimate the general political education level of their fellow compatriots.

Anyway, it seems to have something to do with buying politicians, which apparently is legal in the US.

Re:the internet doesnt know what a superpac is (1)

jfengel (409917) | about 5 months ago | (#47283051)

You are absolutely right about the way Super PACs work. Real change comes only from a concerted, long-term effort. Campaign finance reform is going to be a very hard sell, not just because of entrenched interests but also because it's easier to get people to agree to "something should be done" than "let us do this particular thing". It will take a steady, well-thought out effort.

I'm slightly less cynical about the ability to get media. The media sell air space, and they don't much care to whom they sell it. Capitalists will happily sell you the rope to hang them with. They do so because (a) they don't really believe you'll hang them, and (b) they know that if they don't, somebody else will. Their success won't impact this quarter's bottom line, or even next year's, and they're simply not going to worry about anything further afield than that. Too many other things change too quickly for them to forego cash on the barrelhead.

Thank goodness for Citizens United (3, Funny)

Dave Marney (2977859) | about 5 months ago | (#47282725)

Otherwise we'd have a hard time creating our own superpac!

Re:Thank goodness for Citizens United (1)

jfengel (409917) | about 5 months ago | (#47283065)

Super PACs predated Citizen's United by some time; it's just that the term wasn't coined until then. People had been doing it for a while, including the group after which the decision is named. CU just made it legally certain and thus increased its popularity.

They're missing the root cause of the root cause (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | about 5 months ago | (#47282963)

Instead of trying to get rid of the money causing the corruption, why not get rid of the power that attracts the money that causes the corruption?

Re:They're missing the root cause of the root caus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47283275)

> Instead of trying to get rid of the money causing the corruption, why not get rid of the power that attracts the money that causes the corruption?

Because the law of conservation of power shows that taking power away from the government won't make the power disappear, it will just end up directly in the hands of the rich. At least when the power is with the government the proles have a chance to exert control, as imperfect as that control may be, it is still more than we'd have if we let the US transform into a federation of company towns.

Re:They're missing the root cause of the root caus (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | about 5 months ago | (#47283373)

Because the law of conservation of power shows that taking power away from the government won't make the power disappear, it will just end up directly in the hands of the rich.

And that's different from the way it is now? Majority In Congress Are Millionaires [npr.org]

You've just destroyed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47283691)

...the Democratic Party's business model.

And then when we elect that politician... (1)

Dwedit (232252) | about 5 months ago | (#47283011)

"Cast it into the fire! Destroy it!"
"No."
And he kept the corrupt political system of big money. It should have ended that day, but evil was allowed to endure. There's no strength left in the world of Men. They're scattered, divided, leaderless.

The root cause (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47283019)

The Root cause of corruption isn't money, or lobbyists, it's power. We allowed government to expand it's power almost without bound, and now money seeks that power as the most efficient investment. Want to fix the problem? Take the power away. Slapping another campaign finance bandaid on the problem doesn't.

Billions and billions (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 5 months ago | (#47283047)

of dollars for each of Lessig's and Wozniak's millions.
So therefore, gentlemen, I wish you a stroke of good fortune.
Color me supportive though sceptic.

Super What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47283069)

is it too much to ask for someone to at least define what a Super PAC is in either the summary OR the article itself? not sure if want...

Re:Super What? (1)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about 5 months ago | (#47283587)

PAC stands for Political Action Committee. They were created to get around certain aspects of campaign finance law, specifically regarding how much could be donated to a candidate by individuals or companies (restrictions that no longer exist due to Citizens United). The idea was that instead of donating directly to the candidate (and being restricted as to how much you could give) you could donate a much larger amount of money to a PAC, who would then do things like take out ads, pay for infrastructure (campaign headquarters for canvassers, phone banks, get out the vote programs), pay for robocalls, etc. Really, the only restriction is that the PAC has to be controlled by someone who isn't a candidate for office and the candidate can't have any direct control or say in what the PAC does.

Usually, PACs are operated by a special interest group and donate to a wide variety of candidates (ie; the NRA has one and donates to politicians opposing gun control) but they can also be dedicated to one specific candidate.

When the Citizens United decision was handed down, the rules on PACs essentially vanished. The term "SuperPAC" was coined to describe this new state for PACs, which can now take in unlimited amounts of money and have fewer regulations than ever. There is no difference between a PAC and a SuperPAC - they're one and the same thing.

This will stop nothing (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 5 months ago | (#47283125)

Sorry to be so cynical of what know are noble goals, but how exactly is being complicit in the very cause of political corruption supposed to end political corruption?

The extraction of wealth through massive and long-term fraud, the extreme deterioration of the middle class and degree of political corruption with impunity has become so immense in the last few decades... makes this effort a laughable piss-ant by comparison. Incredibly powerful interests with huge political influence will end this by snapping a finger the moment they perceive it as a threat.

The only way to win a game rigged against you is not to play. I understand that "not playing" means something pretty scary and undesirable, but I don't know if there's any other option left.

Re:This will stop nothing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47283343)

> The only way to win a game rigged against you is not to play.

This is not a movie about global thermonuclear war, real life can't be meaningfully reduced to a sound-bite.

The system is not 100% rigged against us, it has slowly been moved in that direction with the implicit consent of people like yourself who have said that it is impossible to fight that drift. Now some people are working to move it in the other direction, don't shit on us, just get out of the way.

Fix political corruption for $5 mil? (1)

John.Banister (1291556) | about 5 months ago | (#47283175)

In what municipality?

MayOne/Mayday donor, checking in (4, Insightful)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | about 5 months ago | (#47283261)

I contributed to the first round that raised $1 million, and I contributed to the ongoing second round that is trying (with less success) to raise $5 million.

Please contribute if you can. As Lawrence said in his TED talk: your favorite issue may be the more important thing to fix, but this has to be the FIRST thing we fix. There can be no meaningful reform as long as the big money has the only voice in politics.

I understand how silly it sounds. Fight money in politics by raising money? How could that ever work? But just remember that we have to get our foot in the door somehow. We need the same lobbyists to get through to the people who need to hear us.

Lawrence is a good guy, a smart person, and incredibly passionate about his cause. He's someone we can get behind. Please donate if you can. Remember they don't take your money unless they make their goal.

Net neutrality, patent reform, etc. They all start here

Perfect vs the Good (3, Insightful)

Prien715 (251944) | about 5 months ago | (#47283341)

Until politicians stop being bought by the highest bidder, there can be no political progress in this country. While not everyone may agree with Lessig representing them, you may want to take some time to research the terrific things he's done as lawyer for the EFF.

For example, many /. may dislike the "unlimited copyright" rule where companies essentially own a copyright forever. Lessig fought the good fight in the Supreme Court [wikipedia.org] .

Unless politicians represent actual people and not the Supreme Court's idea of people, corruption won't end in our political process.

Re:Perfect vs the Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47283653)

Lessig may be a great guy, he may have "fought the good fight in the Supreme Court", however he did not win the case.

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