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Lessig Decides Not to Run For Congress

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the jedis-are-going-to-feel-this-one dept.

United States 80

micheas writes "Larry Lessig has decided that running for U.S. Congress himself in a special election would be too risky to his Change Congress movement and has decided not to run. 'With lots of mixed feelings, I have decided a run for Congress would not help the Change Congress movement. I explain the thinking in this 5 minute video (a new record for me!). First question: What happens to the contributions to Lessig08? As explained on the ActBlue page, all will go to (the yet to be established) Change Congress organization.'"

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Interesting (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22550626)

Oh, wait, I mean the other thing - tedious.

Offtopic (-1, Flamebait)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22550656)

Oh, wait, I mean the other thing - flamebait.

flamebait (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22550954)

Oh, wait, I mean the other thing - overrated

redundant (3, Insightful)

howdoesth (1132949) | more than 6 years ago | (#22551132)

Oh, wait, I mean the other thing - insightful

mastershake (5, Funny)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22550644)

So get money under the assumption you're running for congress, then turn around and use it for a yet-to-be established organization. With that kind of behavior he's acting like a congressman already!

Re:mastershake (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22550816)

So get money under the assumption you're running for congress, then turn around and use it for a yet-to-be established organization. With that kind of behavior he's acting like a congressman already!
If by that your meaning he is retiring from politics *cough* to become a lobbyist in order to gain a wider influence for his cause, then yes, you probably are correct. He still needs to be able to show lots of voters backing him with donations so he can influence votes in regards to his cause and in the process avoid appearing to be attempting to corrupt the process in his efforts to reduce corruption. A very tall order in D.C..

No doubt the opposition will be adding color to his public image and efforts. Considering that mainstream Coporate Media is a huge part of the problem, expect those colors to be fluorescent in nature.

Re:mastershake (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#22550824)

We need political conscription. I say draft the SOB and make him serve :-) That'll teach him not to ever get our hopes up again. Then again he might be much more effective as a lobbyist. We should create a PAC slush fund to help out. Oops...wait a minute.

Re:mastershake (1, Redundant)

johnlcallaway (165670) | more than 6 years ago | (#22551210)

Everyeone is against all Political Action Committees except for the ones they agree with.

Re:mastershake (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#22552490)

They better look really hard at this and the legality of it. It has been my understanding that you can only use surplus political contributions for the intent they were donated to. That would mean that any money donated under the guise of getting X into a political office needs to be used to get X into a political office. If he gives it to some outside commity or organization, he could be charged with crimes and forces to pay the funds back.

It typically doesn't matter what office they run for. But it is more strict then donating to a charity to watch that charity donate it to yet another. So they need to seek competent legal advice before doing anything that could turn them into a felon.

Re:mastershake (1)

mike2R (721965) | more than 6 years ago | (#22552690)

While I don't claim to have read what is "explained on the ActBlue page", I think it would be a good guess that anyone who contributed money agreed to this at the time. The man's a lawyer, he's not going to make that sort of mistake.

Re:mastershake (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#22555064)

I attempted to look it up. I guess any charity as described by IRS rule 107c would be allowable. And if he created his own party, he could immediately pass it to them.

However, there is a conversion rule that could muddy things up. Especially if he was taking a paid position at the charity or political party. And there is some question (to me at least) on how this would play out is the charity or party didn't officially exist at the time of the initial contribution.

Even if he is a lawyer, he should get separate advice from someone specializing in this area. It would also stop judgment calls from being examined in a biased light.

Re:mastershake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22563930)

Even if he is a lawyer, he should get separate advice from someone specializing in this area. It would also stop judgment calls from being examined in a biased light.
It may surprise you, but lawyers tend to know other lawyers. So assuming he is reasonably intelligent and if he had the slightest doubt about the legality of this he would have used his contacts and got a second opinion on this. I don't think he needs to be told this by posters on Slashdot.

Bait and Switch (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22550682)

Either run, or send our money back.

Re:Bait and Switch (2, Insightful)

ajs (35943) | more than 6 years ago | (#22551568)

I'm sorry, can you please provide the list of the previous candidates whose campaigns have returned funds when they decided to drop out of the race?

I've never heard of that happening before, and while I think it would be rather slimy to simply take the funds for his own personal gain, there's nothing wrong with donating them to the cause he was running to support.

Re:Bait and Switch (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#22551610)

It's wrong both morally and legally.

Re:Bait and Switch (1)

ajs (35943) | more than 6 years ago | (#22551752)

It's wrong both morally and legally.
Can you point me to where you're getting that?

People donated to his campaign. He dropped out. That's par for the course.

What you're suggesting is that either by dropping out or by not doing what no other politician has ever done, he did something wrong. I'm just looking for a LITTLE precedent, here....

Re:Bait and Switch (2, Funny)

LearnToSpell (694184) | more than 6 years ago | (#22552030)

"Do or do not. There is no try."

And that precedent is from a LONG time ago (although in a galaxy far, far away).

Re:Bait and Switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22553172)

Just as foreign case law doesnt apply to domestic law, Dagobahian case law does not apply to Terrestrial law.

Damnit =(.

Re:Bait and Switch (2, Insightful)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 6 years ago | (#22552310)

I gave up two minutes in. Did he actually manage to make a substantive statement?

But I can't feel too bad for folk who parted with their money on the expectation that he was going to run before he told us some pretty important information like, which party ticket? if as an independent then who would he vote for as speaker?

The party system exists for a reason and its not all bad. Saying that you are going to change congress without saying how or why is just more rhetorical bullshit. Bush delivered that message in 2000, right down to the fix washington pledge. Obama is somewhat guilty of the same, but he does at least have an extensive platform where he explains his actual positions. McCain has nothing I could find on the Internet, Obama has a platform that was clearly written by someone with a clue.

Lessig, well hasn't told me diddly. He could be a Republican for all he has told me. All I know about him for sure is that he became very well known on the net in the wake of being appointed special master in the MSFT trial, being rejected by the Appeals court and then reappointed and then rejected a second time. Made him really popular on slashdot when they thought Jackson was doing them a favor, looks rather less impressive in retrospect.

He has milked his appeal since, come up with some provocative statements on IPR that play well to his base. But what is his position on the other 98% of issues before Congress?

In short are we really sure that we are not buying a Nader type figure here? Well we are now because he is stepping down. But if he had continued the run the most likely outcome would be that he would split the progressive vote and let a Republican in.

Of course Nader's decision to run might well be the reason he decided not to.

Re:Bait and Switch (2, Informative)

stevenstremciuc (1244640) | more than 6 years ago | (#22554350)

he was going to run before he told us some pretty important information like, which party ticket?
I thought he made it pretty clear that he was considering running for the Democrat nomination against Jackie Speier.

But if he had continued the run the most likely outcome would be that he would split the progressive vote and let a Republican in.
Apparently you haven't paid any attention at all to what's been happening but have no problem at all spouting off a bunch of BS.

I know, I know, I must be new here.

Re:Bait and Switch (1)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 6 years ago | (#22557786)

I thought he made it pretty clear that he was considering running for the Democrat nomination against Jackie Speier.

Not until this podcast he didn't. And then only if you bothered to listen in to his tedious windbaggery. It was like watching a rerun of Sagan in Cosmos.

You have to get to the point quickly in politics. The Podcast is a dreadful medium for communicating news. The content of that podcast could be stated in three short paragraphs. He took five minutes.

If you are going to do a podcast you have to put yourself in the frame, particularly for a pod where you are the product.

You cannot talk about change without setting out a comprehensive statement of the change you intend. Obama has written two books and has a 50 page manifesto with some pretty detailed points. Lessig failed to explain what he thought the problem was with Congress, gave no specifics of how he would change it, no indication of his chances of success. All he said was that he wanted to change Congress, well, whoop-de-do, Newt Gingrich changed Congress, Tom DeLay changed Congress, Duke Cunningham, Ney, Abramoff and the rest of the culture of corruption Republicans all changed Congress.

You can't run as a new media Democrat if you demonstrate that you are completely clueless about the use of media.

Re:Bait and Switch (1)

stevenstremciuc (1244640) | more than 6 years ago | (#22558172)

Not until this podcast he didn't. And then only if you bothered to listen in to his tedious windbaggery. It was like watching a rerun of Sagan in Cosmos.
He talks about it in his blog post which was posted on the 21st. The link: http://lessig08.org/blog/?p=3 [lessig08.org]

This proves that YOU are the "tedious windbag", blabbering on with no knowledge of what you are talking about, and making up "facts" as you go along.

Re:Bait and Switch (1)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 6 years ago | (#22561086)

He talks about it in his blog post which was posted on the 21st.

The post is titled "the day after". In other words he failed to make the point in his original release. There is no reason to expect that people would check back the next day for information that should have been presented at the start.

This proves that YOU are the "tedious windbag", blabbering on with no knowledge of what you are talking about, and making up "facts" as you go along.

I criticized St Lessig for crapy media management. He had a chance to get his message out, he botched it. I still have no idea what Lessig is about or what he stands for. All I can see is a pile of platitudes that are actually quite commonplace in political campaigns. If you don't know why you are running or what you stand for you run on 'change'.

We actually have a fair few politicians who run on a pledge that they won't accept PAC money. Kerry kept his pledge, he accepted his wife's money instead. McCain is currently running against lobbyists while one of the most powerful GOP lobbyists on the hill is on his campaign staff and works out of his battlebus. McCain made use of federal matching funds in this campaign, it saved him the $2-3 million it would otherwise have cost him to petition for ballot access, the banks granted him a loan on the expectation that federal matching funds would be available as collateral. But now its inconvenient he is breaking his contract.

So given the history of politicians speaking with forked tongues, why should we believe Lessig going to be any different? He might think he is different, but so did all the rest of the politicians on the hill before they got started.

Re:Bait and Switch (1)

stevenstremciuc (1244640) | more than 6 years ago | (#22564264)

he was going to run before he told us some pretty important information like, which party ticket?
I thought he made it pretty clear that he was considering running for the Democrat nomination against Jackie Speier.
Not until this podcast he didn't (emphasis added).
He talks about it in his blog post which was posted on the 21st.
The post is titled "the day after". In other words he failed to make the point in his original release.
I accept your apology.

Re:Bait and Switch (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 6 years ago | (#22554568)

As a complete ignorant with regards to political affairs, I never did quite understand why people must be either X or Y, Democrat or Republican, Liberal or Conservative, Left or Right...

Why do they all have to be pigeonholed into a big bucket that half the country inevitably hates ? Why can't one smart individual campaign on the basis of their own views rather than the regurgitated habits of either large faction, none of which have proven much success since the creation of government centuries ago ?

Let's face it, whichever one's in office, we wind up disliking and swapping them out after one or two terms. Bouncing back and forth between the same 2-3 big outfits, never being really happy with any of them, why even bother ?

Re:Bait and Switch (1)

solafide (845228) | more than 6 years ago | (#22555424)

I'm guessing part of the reason we get rid of them after one or two terms as president is because of the 22nd amendment [usconstitution.net] .

Re:Bait and Switch (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612980)

And why do you need such an amendment ? Why did someone feel the need to implement such a failsafe ? Because the system is doomed to fail.

Re:Bait and Switch (1)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 6 years ago | (#22553422)

"Drop out" implies being in the race.

If I collect funds to support my entry into a Congressional race, and then decide not to go through with that entry, I damn well better give my supporters their donations back, because I haven't spent anything on the campaign yet, because I haven't entered the campaign.

The only races candidates "drop out" of are for president, and that's because the playing field narrows. They either drop out or are voted out. That of course, isn't applicable here, because presidential candidates spend millions of dollars on the campaign before seeing dim prospects and withdrawing. If he'd formed an exploratory committee to prep for a presidential run and explicitly collected donations for that exploration, he could keep them.

But he didn't form a committee. He didn't get donations to support his exploration of a run for Congress; he got donations for his run for Congress. He didn't spend any of those funds for that purpose, and so all of that money should go back. If people want to contribute to his organization, they can opt-out of the refund, or reinvest the refund in the organization.

Re:Bait and Switch (1)

RobBebop (947356) | more than 6 years ago | (#22554226)

Either run, or send our money back.

I donated. I am perfectly happy with Larry using the money for fund his Change Congress initiative. I agree with the goals of the movement that aim to end abusive pork-fat career politicians. If he channels energy and research into exposing the cretins from the pure souls, I would feel like my donation was money well spent. If he can convince the major political parties not to endorse bad politicians in the first place, that would be even better.

Best yet, if Change Congress could launch a political party to compete with real values against big government "give our money to the poor" Democrats and small government "give our money to the rich" Republicans... then I would be over-joyed.

As it is, neither party really has the right combination of values and opinions to truly suit the needs of the average middle-class American who doesn't have enough saved up for retirement and is a driven everyday to make their living expenses. This majority of the country doesn't need a Republican or a Democrat... they need something better than both.

change congress (1)

pha7boy (1242512) | more than 6 years ago | (#22550742)

The best way to change Congress is to not run FOR Congress, but run FROM Congress. If you don't believe me, finish your taxes.

What the...??? (-1, Offtopic)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22550758)

OK, in the previous story about lessig I slammed his content-free "change congress" site, so what does he do? Makes it even lamer and more free of content! All that is there is a spam trap, and by that I mean a form where you can sign up for spam and nothing else. I'm wondering why the spam trap was even linked.

"On why I'm not running has a flash video. Does the esteemed Mr. Lessig think we're all illiterate? I don't have flash on this computer, making both the links in the summary a complete and total waste of time.

However, I'm trying to find a bright spot - even if you ride the short bus to school, you can still grow up to be a rich lawyer.

I'm disgusted. Someone please write an Uncyclopedia article about him? Thanks!

-mcgrew

Re:What the...??? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22551384)

You and five other people who are still holding out on installing Flash won't be able to see the video I guess.

Re:What the...??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22552164)

My web browser of choice is 'links' you insensitive clod!

Re:What the...??? (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22558632)

Ever hear of Jacob Nielson? Neither have Lessig's web designers, apparently.

Re:What the...??? (1)

novakyu (636495) | more than 6 years ago | (#22634002)

I don't have flash on this computer, making both the links in the summary a complete and total waste of time.
You are righter than you might have imagined—I do have the latest version of Gnash with my Icecat, and it doesn't play. Given the source of inspiration for the free culture movement (which, in turn, is the basis for this change congress movement), one might have thought that Lessig would ensure that the video would play in the free implementation of flash, but no.

I suppose there's not real harm done, since it's not like I need to see the 5-minute presentation to understand why he shouldn't fight a fight he can't win and choose his battles wisely.

Come on (5, Insightful)

riceboy50 (631755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22550760)

The guy never committed to running. If you are upset about having contributed, then you are being unreasonable. I am just sorry that he decided not to run—maybe he will change his mind someday.

Re:Come on (2, Interesting)

vtscott (1089271) | more than 6 years ago | (#22551294)

Interestingly though, the donation page [actblue.com] currently states:

If I decide not to run, any remaining funds will be contributed to the Change Congress movement to help promote these principles.
However, I pulled up the google cache [google.com] of that same page and there is no mention of what will happen to the funds if he decides not to run. That seems somewhat shady, and I personally think he should have decided whether or not to run before starting to take donations.

Re:Come on (4, Informative)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 6 years ago | (#22551488)

I see your point about the Google cache, but I visited the donation page a week or more ago, and it did mention what would happen to the money if he decided not to run.

Re:Come on (2, Interesting)

vtscott (1089271) | more than 6 years ago | (#22551628)

Hmm. The google cache says that it was pulled from the website on 2/20, so if you really did see it a week or more ago that would mean the disclaimer was pulled off and then put back on. I'm not saying it was fraud or anything, but I can see how people who donated might feel misled by the whole thing.

Re:Come on (1)

bgillespie (1228056) | more than 6 years ago | (#22554382)

I actually contributed a small amount myself, and I was informed of what was to happen to my contribution if he decided not to run. This was on the 22nd of February.

Good move (4, Insightful)

HaeMaker (221642) | more than 6 years ago | (#22550812)

I think he can do more work as an outsider than an insider. This is also the reason I was disappointed that Al Franken decided to run for Senate. I was of the opinion he can do more work, reach more people, and effect greater change on the radio than in the Senate.

This also makes him available for appointment to some post in the White House. Imagine the work he could do in Commerce, overseeing the Internet, at the FCC overseeing information flow, or at Justice, overseeing IP-related enforcement.

Re:Good move (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 6 years ago | (#22550946)

I think he can do more work as an outsider than an insider. This is also the reason I was disappointed that Al Franken decided to run for Senate. I was of the opinion he can do more work, reach more people, and effect greater change on the radio than in the Senate.
Perhaps, but Norm Coleman needs to go. That backstabbing SOB needs to be dealt with decisively, and Al is probably the best person to do this.

Besides we need more people in Congress with a sense of humor!

Re:Good move (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22550956)

Al Franken..
He's good enough.
He's smart enough.

but no one likes him!

Re:Good move (1)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22551444)

I was disappointed when he decided to run because his show was the only thing worth listening to on Air America. I could almost tolerate the 15 minutes of ads for every 5 minutes of actual content for his show, but all the rest of it was just people trying too hard to be the Rush Limbaugh (or even Ann Coulter) of the left.

Re:Good move (1)

slapys (993739) | more than 6 years ago | (#22551880)

This also makes him available for appointment to some post in the White House. Imagine the work he could do in Commerce, overseeing the Internet, at the FCC overseeing information flow, or at Justice, overseeing IP-related enforcement.

You mean like Obama's planned CTO position [typepad.com] for the United States government?

Re:Good move (1)

Triv (181010) | more than 6 years ago | (#22552534)

Lessig wouldn't have to win. Sometimes running is enough to guide and elevate the public discourse in that it gives the voice a microphone to make sense into.

At least, that's the way it's supposed to work.

Triv

Jackie Speier is a better candidate anyway (1, Informative)

senahj (461846) | more than 6 years ago | (#22550928)

Don't get me wrong; Lessig is indispensible, unparalleled in the areas in which he focusses his attention. But Ms. Speier is a pro, and has been preparing for this seat for a long time. Even though I think the world and all of Lessig, if there were a runoff, I'd take Speier for this slot. So it's wonderful that I don't have to make that choice. If you're one of the people who were getting ready to work to get Lessig elected: consider supporting Ms. Speier's campaign [jackieforcongress.com]

Re:Jackie Speier is a better candidate anyway (1)

HaeMaker (221642) | more than 6 years ago | (#22552996)

It is going to be more of a coronation than an election. She has no real opposition in the race. I bet she will get at least 60%.

Re:Jackie Speier is a better candidate anyway (1)

scaryjohn (120394) | more than 6 years ago | (#22555202)

Speier a better candidate? She hasn't put forth her position on IP Law reform OR Net neutrality! Just silly issues like "the economy" and "Iraq".

I guess all politics is local. Dash our hopes of banding together to have our own Congress-critter to represent the national nerd constituency. Surely we (not just Slashdot) make up more than 1/435 of the populace.

Exactly (1)

visible.frylock (965768) | more than 6 years ago | (#22566786)

Dash our hopes of banding together to have our own Congress-critter to represent the national nerd constituency. Surely we (not just Slashdot) make up more than 1/435 of the populace.

You just hit the nail on the head. Although it may not always seem like it, there really are a lot of very intelligent people here in the US. And by that, I don't mean tech/engr intelligence. I'd almost call it wisdom, but that may be too strong of a word.

But more or less, they're distributed geographically evenly. And because we have congressional districts for the House, the votes of the "wise" for their rep get diluted with all the other dipshits who live around them. These people can't pool their votes because the system isn't designed that way.

Would be nice if the House just had 400 members, chosen by the highest number of votes nationwide. I understand bicameralism and also the need to have some form of local representation. But that's what the Senate is for. We've always had federal level districts. They're called states.

Hey, _I've_ decided not to run for Congress... (-1, Troll)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 6 years ago | (#22550932)

...do I get a Slashdot article?

How about my friend Sam? He's decided not to run for Congress, either. And Frances, no congressional run for her. Lewis, him neither.

Translation: (4, Funny)

dingbatdr (702519) | more than 6 years ago | (#22550984)

I am prety sure I would lose.

Re:Translation: (1)

Dolohov (114209) | more than 6 years ago | (#22551404)

Why does it need a "Translation:"? He said so outright, repeatedly. He's not running because he would lose, big time.

Re:Translation: (1)

sakusha (441986) | more than 6 years ago | (#22551970)

Lessig is really good at losing.

Unfortunate quandry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22551256)

Unfortunately the only way to change the system is to use it in it's current iteration. The system responds to lobbyists, which he understands. Associations, and corporations are the ones who can afford the dinners at which a congressman's ear can be borrowed. This appears to be the direction Mr. Lessig is pointing the pointy headed masses.

Too bad.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22551298)

Too bad Nader were not this smart!

Why start so high? (4, Insightful)

Dolohov (114209) | more than 6 years ago | (#22551300)

He's going to run into this problem time and again if he continues to focus on Congress: there is always someone with more experience in the state legislature itching for a "promotion". Why not start by collecting a handful of people and run them for state legislature?

I dislike this notion that anything below the federal level is not worth their attention. True, it's not as bad as the Edwards or Nader position, "If I can't be president, I'm not going to bother." But if a new movement can prove itself on the local level, it can gain both the infrastructure and momentum necessary to advance.

Re:Why start so high? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22552592)

True, it's not as bad as the Edwards or Nader position, "If I can't be president, I'm not going to bother."

Do you mean Senator Edwards?

Re:Why start so high? (1)

Dolohov (114209) | more than 6 years ago | (#22553248)

I mean former Senator Edwards, yes, who has spent more time running for President at this point than he spent in his short do-nothing Senate career.

Who is Lessig and what is 'Change Congress" (1)

bornwaysouth (1138751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22551462)

Can anyone succinctly explain to non-US readers who and what this is about. The post gives no back-ground, the Change Congress web-site is useless and I can't be bothered to try harder.

I'll assume it was posted by someone who assumed slashdotters worldwide would have an interest. For all I know right now, it could be someone wanting to change the dress code.

Or improve the look of congresspersons web-sites. (Aka 'congressees', 'congressites', 'persons engaged in congress'. I'm open to a language lesson as well.)

Re:Who is Lessig and what is 'Change Congress" (4, Informative)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 6 years ago | (#22551702)

Two quick URLs:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Lessig [wikipedia.org]
http://lessig.org/blog/ [lessig.org]

In short, he's a very smart (arguably brilliant) legal mind who thinks that the current copyright system is the result of corrupt practices by media corporations and the complicit congress. He has unsuccessfully tried the legal route (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/technology/articles/eldredprimer_100902.htm [washingtonpost.com] ) and is now working on the corruption aspect of the issue.

Re:Who is Lessig and what is 'Change Congress" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22553582)

Be sure to watch his TED talk (www.ted.com). It is extremely well done and informative, and rather funny in places (i.e. the 'Jesus the Musical' clip -- ROTFL)

Re:Who is Lessig and what is 'Change Congress" (1)

mike2R (721965) | more than 6 years ago | (#22552896)

As far as I can make out he's a single issue candidate (that may be a bit unfair, but close enough) trying to get a seat in a first past the post democracy. In other words don't hold your breath.

Lessig himself is the author of Free Culture [free-culture.cc] and one of the architects of the Creative Commons licence (although this isn't the issue he's running on, it's an anti-corruption ticket as far as I can make out).

He'd probably do well in a proportional representation system, as it is he has to convince a limited geographical area to give him more votes than any other candidate; this article is about him facing up to reality.

Re:Who is Lessig and what is 'Change Congress" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22552910)

The accepted American usage is "congresscritters."

How lazy (1)

superdave80 (1226592) | more than 6 years ago | (#22551476)

They guy can't even take five minutes to type up WHAT change-congress.org is all about and put it on the website? With such lax dedication and organizational skills, how the hell did he ever expect to get a campaign up and running?

silly notion (2, Insightful)

TheSync (5291) | more than 6 years ago | (#22551780)

There is no hope for "getting money out of politics" any more than there is hope for ending the drug war.

1971: Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA): contribution disclosure
1974: FECA expanded to limit contributions
2002: McCain-Feingold limits speech and soft money

Guess what? No big change.

Ron Paul raised $35 million, and he didn't see much in the way of votes.

Politicians love to spread anti-business rhetoric to get votes, but they all know that if they screw up the economy by destroying businesses they will lose those votes, thus they act more like economists in action, and talk like economically ignorant people on the stump.

Re:silly notion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22552540)

I think finding a way to deal with paid lobbyists (I don't know what yet) and some form of public financing of campaigns would go a long way to improving the "money in politics" problem. Also, it's hard to sympathize with a business when a CEO makes 100 million a year and has their home office over in Ireland or the Cayman Islands to escape having to pay taxes stateside. Or after that when they decide to outsource jobs oversears.

Re:silly notion (1)

TheSync (5291) | more than 6 years ago | (#22567804)

some form of public financing of campaigns would go a long way to improving the "money in politics" problem.

Then the government will get to choose who gets money to run for the government, consolidating power 100%.

Re:silly notion (2, Insightful)

rohan972 (880586) | more than 6 years ago | (#22555684)

they all know that if they screw up the economy by destroying businesses they will lose those votes

In Australia, most employment is provided by SME's, I wouldn't be surprised if it is similar in the US. Making things harder for large corporations and easier for small business could well stimulate the economy rather than screw it up.

Re:silly notion (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22556014)

One of the hypothesis is that many politician don't like that system. That there may be some politicians wanting to really represent the people, really improve things beyond simply corporate wealth and that the system prevents them from doing exactly that.

Re:silly notion (1)

TheSync (5291) | more than 6 years ago | (#22567832)

there may be some politicians wanting to really represent the people, really improve things beyond simply corporate wealth and that the system prevents them from doing exactly that.

Politicians only want power. They will say whatever is needed to get the votes of the majority, and do whatever is needed to not get voted out.

I called this guy a tool on DIGG and imagine ... (0, Flamebait)

tyrione (134248) | more than 6 years ago | (#22552666)

that they flamed me! A bunch of morons flaming someone who points out another lawyer [working at Stanford along side another tool --Dr. Rice] and we are supposed to think this guy is some sort of Ralph Nader? It's no wonder we have so many problems. When you think a university's endowment of over $17 Billion houses leaders who have your best interest then you've never worked in any damn industry. The man created the Creative Commons legal structure. Great! It may be new to today's youth but it's not earth shattering.

Typical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22552766)

jew behavior.

What a shameful waste of an opportunity... (2, Funny)

unitron (5733) | more than 6 years ago | (#22553640)

Now the campaign slogan "Lessig Is More" will never be used.

Goals ahead of ego? Good for him! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22553848)

I am glad he made the decision to seek changes in the ways he thinks will be most effective at this time. Compare that to Ralph Nadar (a great consumer rights advocate in his time) who puts his ego ahead of his goals by running what he know will be a loosing campaign even though the most probable result is to make his cause a joke (and even though he would arguably be helping the candidate most opposed to his views). Lessig is more practical than that.

Good for Lessig. If you gave money to those who wanted to draft him to run and are upset, think of it this way: don't you really support his goals and not his run for this particular office? If it turns out he stops fighting the good fight, then we we all be disappointed. Until then, give him credit for doing what will work best for his cause and not his personal power.

Ron Paul Republicans are running (1)

SonicSpike (242293) | more than 6 years ago | (#22554064)

Several Ron Paul Republicans are looking to run for Congress....

These guys are worth considering.

Especially Murrary Sabrin running for the Senate:
http://www.murraysabrin.com/ [murraysabrin.com]

Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead (1)

Flavius Iulianus (1093015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22556204)

C'mon why would he actually DO something when it's so much easier to just sit back and say how those who are doing something are stupid. Wanker.

Obligatory... (1)

arkarumba (763047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22557458)

So while we can discuss the pros and cons of the situation,
if con- is the opposite of pro-, what is the opposite of Progess?

Errr (1)

omfglearntoplay (1163771) | more than 6 years ago | (#22580636)

I don't know anything about this fellow... but I need to make one comment. Isn't the idea of having to put everything in a video as opposed to actual text (with less jargon and more direct info)... isn't that kind of a cheesy political tactic to avoid hard facts and try to sway people with "charisma"? I mean, if he's a good guy, I understand he needs to use whatever cheesy methods he can to keep up with the bad guys... but I sure hope he also makes things "real" and spelled out.
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