Lawrence Lessig, godfather of the Creative Commons, has called a “mayday on this democracy,” and with 18 days left before his self-imposed deadline, MayOne.US met its $1 million crowdfunding goal.
Lessig promises in the introductory video below that he will get the funds matched and devote them entirely to disrupting five congressional races in the upcoming midterms. The goal is to change the balance of power in Congress in order to get money out of Congress. As The Verge points out, Lessig and his organization have been somewhat vague about their agenda, although the pro-reform message is pretty clear.
According to the PAC’s Tumblr page, close to 12,000 people gave an average contribution of about $86.
Lessig, who never identifies himself by name in the video, says the current system serves a tiny fraction of the population, and it’s the aim of MayOne to change that. Presumably that means campaign finance reform, although the most lethal blows to such efforts have come from the judiciary, not Congress. The McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law was gutted to some extent by a previous incarnation of the Supreme Court, and the current justices have given us the Citizens United and McCutcheon rulings that threaten to further consolidate political power in plutocratic hands.
Interestingly, the group plans to use the next election cycle to experiment and find out what works. After that, Lessig says he plans to raise an additional $10 million. So far, he’s off to a good start.
More can be read about the board and staff of MayOne here.
Mayday PAC Launch from lessig on Vimeo.
—Posted by Peter Z. Scheer
Screenshot from Vimeo