January 27, 2009  ·  Lessig

From the Huffington Post:

Do sex, campaign money, and Change Congress’s new “donor strike” go together?

According to U.S. News & World Report, they do. Here’s an excerpt from their story, “Sex, Campaign Money, and Cleaning Up Politics”:

Don’t like how our politics are paid for? Some people who agree are pushing what I can only call the Lysistrata campaign finance reform plan. In the ancient Greek comedy, women withheld sex from their soldier husbands until they agreed to end an ongoing war.

Substitute sex for money and you have what the folks over at Change Congress are pushing: that donors go “on strike,” refusing to give their money to pols until a campaign finance overhaul is passed (specifically, they favor a system whereby people limiting themselves to small donations would get matching government funds).

They say that they’ve gotten no-contribution pledges from people who gave $400,000 to federal candidates in the last cycle.

So, you heard it from U.S. News & World Report first! Change Congress is bringing sexy back…to the campaign finance reform debate. (Step aside, Justin Timberlake.)

The “donor strike” has amazing momentum, but we need your help to keep going. There are two things you can do today.

First, if you haven’t already, join the strike. We’re at $422,000 in donations withheld–can you help us get to $500,000? With every new striker, we are increasing the pressure on Congress to pass fundamental reform. It’s easy, just click here.

Second, because Change Congress is fighting the special interests, we don’t get money from the fat cats. So we depend on people like you. We’re setting a goal of raising $100,000 in the next month–starting today. This will allow us to really turn up the pressure on Congress — including targeted events in local districts — to make sure politicians are well aware of how much money they’re losing if they oppose reform. If you care about cleaning up our democracy, please help us keep our successful “donor strike” campaign going by chipping in here today.

The donor strike’s also been featured in the Associated Press, National Journal, Huffington Post, ABC News, and Green Mountain Daily (Vermont). Working together, we’re making progress on this fundamental reform issue–and your help today will greatly help us keep the momentum going.

Thanks for helping to change Congress.
–Lawrence Lessig & Joe Trippi

  • James Robertson

    Apparently, the concept of bundling eludes you. This proposed reform would make donations more onerous for normal people, and do nothing to hinder the large monetary donations from organized groups. It is to finance reform what the TSA is to airport security: theater.

  • Jardinero1

    Some fundamental questions for Prof Lessig and the other “fundamental changists” to consider:

    What incentives or distortions government matching funds would create in the system?

    Why would any sane person allow those in power to determine who gets the funding to rise to power? How is that a reform?

    What about the data to date? We have thirty-five years of campaign finance law and matching funding to review. Has any of it reduced corruption in Congress? Will more of the same change anything?