Q&A: Lawrence Lessig, Professor and Author
Lawrence Lessig, a professor at Stanford Law School, is a leading thinker on technology and Internet policy. He is the founder of Creative Commons and author of “Code, The Future of Ideas, and Free Culture.”
You can learn more at http…
Lawrence Lessig, a professor at Stanford Law School, is a leading thinker on technology and Internet policy. He is the founder of Creative Commons and author of "Code, The Future of Ideas, and Free Culture." You can learn more at http://change-congress.org Change Congress is a movement to build support for basic reform in how our government functions. Using our tools, both candidates and citizens can pledge their support for basic changes to reduce the distorting influence of money in Washington. Our community will link candidates committed to a reform with volunteers and contributors who support it. Our Principles Change Congress is a national movement to end corruption in America's congress. We're organizing citizens to push candidates to make four simple commitments: 1. No money from lobbyists or PACs Congresspeople should be beholden to citizens, not special interests. By committing not to accept money from lobbyists or PACs, candidates give us confidence that their votes won't be swayed by big money. This pledge was most prominently advanced by Senator Edwards in his Presidential campaign. To read more, click here. 2. Vote to end earmarks. Earmarks allow congresspeople to explicitly decide who should get the money our government spends. Because of the earmark economy, money that is supposed to go to our schools, our soldiers, and our citizens is instead diverted to political donors and pork-barrel projects like the "Bridge to Nowhere". We can't clean up Congress until we end this blatant system of corruption. Republicans have recently pushed prominently for changes such as these. A pledge to support ending earmarks means a Member will vote for proposals that will permanently abolish earmarks. Importantly, it does not mean that while the system of earmarks remains, the Member will choose to forego earmarks for his or her district. Until the system is changed, that choice is left up to the Member. 3. Support reform to increase Congressional transparency Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and we would all benefit from a cleaner Congress if more of its proceedings, and the proceedings of its members, were public. This pledge calls for changes in the law and rules of Congress to get all members to be more public about meetings and contacts, including changing the rules so lawmakers post weekly updates of their campaign contributions, meetings with registered lobbyists, their latest earmark requests, and significant changes in their personal wealth. ` 4. Support publicly-financed campaigns. It's not enough to just push particular candidates to stay out of the system of corruption; we have to reform the system itself. Publicly- financed campaigns will stop the cycle of campaign finance reform loopholes and ensure that big money stays out of Congress forever. Public financing has been supported by both Republicans and Democrats.