• Justin

    It’s obviously clear how you stand on the influence of money in politics, but do you think it would be a bad idea if there were a website to “democratize” lobbying? In other words, people could go online and not just contribute money to officials that support certain issues, but also pledge further contributions if a representative supports upcoming issues one way or another. Such a system would be bipartisan, and would have to make sure that each of its users is a registered voter. The system could then track issues moving through Congress. Users would, of course, be provided with a way to contact their representatives; however, many who are tired of just receiving auto-responses might be interested in pledging money and seeing what kind of response they get then.

    I was just thinking about this kind of system when you mentioned “targeted donations,” although the system I described above is probably not what you meant.

  • Max

    I’m usually not the person to really think about these things. Its kind of pathetic how I never thought of all the many ways in which our government is corrupt. However, recently I have been thinking of what are the motivations behind reports, stories articles and such. I have realized that the transfer of money is deffidently an issue. As well as if the company who reports news, I believe this is called being public rather than private, is bought out by other parent companies whom do not want to be reflected badly in reports of this news outlet. I used to read cnn, NYtimes and others but now I’m looking through the blog o’ sphere for answers, and indie news outlets. This video was amazing and really made me think more about the ins and outs of the way the government functions. I’m a 14 kid who at this time has a summer job and I would just like to say that I’m joining Change Congress and ActBlue and I will most deffidently be contributing part of my salary to the cause of reform in our government and they way politics are meant to be conducted. It’s like Al Gore said, the change will not arise from simply believing, but will arise from our behaviour in how we save democracy.

  • lessig

    Wow, Max, you’ve made my year! Thank you. (And I trust you don’t mind the delete.)

    @Justin, cool idea. Yes, we should be democratizing lobbying. And I like the idea of contingent incentives. But a similar idea was raised at a blogger meeting after this keynote, and someone worried it would be a kind of bribe.

  • http://www.socialsecuritybullshit.com Steve Baba

    While I don’t doubt that the Clintons, Obama, and virtually all politicians have been influenced at the margins by campaign contributions, this narrative is not supported by Hillary Clinton and the bankruptcy bills. If anything, Hillary Clinton screwed the credit card industry after taking their money by voting for two meaningless, failed bills and did not vote for the final bill that became law.
    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/08/08/clinton-and-the-bankruptcy-law/

  • http://pageslipper.com elsa961

    2Justin, cool idea. +1
    you are genius)

  • minor problem

    volume is way low on this file.

    and I agree with the other posters who would have preferred to read the entire text of the declaration, rather than having it in the center of the page imitating a pamphlet…..

  • http://blog.mcstudios.net Mark Philpot

    Just FYI, the Citizen pledge on the change-congress.org site is incredibly buggy… It won’t generate the html for the badge in either FF or IE, and IE it won’t even apply the stars correctly for the four parts of the pledge.

  • http://blog.mcstudios.net Mark Philpot

    Also, instead of a text message update system, is @change_congress on twitter a member of the project? Hard to tell from the bio.

  • Albanius

    Hello, Max, “one dollar one vote” is not my idea of democratization.

    Online “Money talks” advocacy would automate the current positive feedback process which has aggravated economic inequality over the last few decades.

    Concentrated wealth has been buying political access and influence, and helps elect politicians whose broad policies favor the rich in general, even without direct bribery. Some examples are: shifts of tax burdens from the rich to the middle class and working poor, deregulation of telecom mergers and financial speculation , pro-corporate trade agreements like NAFTA, and multi-billion dollar subsidies to corporations like Exxon-Mobil which are already making record profits.

    Concentrated wealth already dominates the private sector. Democratizing government requires freeing public officials from dependence on private money, by full public finanacing of campaigns, and guaranteeing candidates equal access to broadcast media.

    But at least you are thinking about opening up the political process to public participation, which is not bad for a “14 kid”!

  • http://yumyumcafe.blogspot.com/ lilalia

    Have you given any thought to people outside of the States who would like to join the Change Congress? The Bush administraton has done much to frustrate, anger, and exasperate those living in other countries. Yet, at the core, as you say, the problem does not lie in who is holding the presidential office, but the intrinsic falibility of a system corrupted by money. It would be marvelous if globally, we could make some constructive direct comment to your politicians showing them that we do care how they vote on policies, such as environmental issues.

  • Sue

    Do you remember one of our rights- freedom of speech? Certainly you can pick and choose what comments you want to add to your blog, however, they don’t show the true picture. Sad, that’s what the division between parties does. That’s why your pursuit to “fix” Congress will fail. We all need to work together – us Troglodite conservatives and Pure and Perfect Liberals, to accomplish this goal.