September 20, 2012  ·  Lessig  · Reblogged from  Tumblr

I’ve been a fan of Congressman Sarbanes (D-MD) (son of Paul Sarbanes) for sometime. I wrote about his Grassroots Democracy work in HuffPo last December. Today, Sarbanes did something critically important for the anti-corruption movement: He introduced, with a significant number of co-sponsors, the most ambitious set of ideas for “Citizen Funded Campaigns” that we have seen in many years — The Grassroots Democracy Act

Sarbanes was a co-sponsor of the Fair Elections Now Act. That statute was a matching fund statute — small contributions were multiplied by matchin grants. This bill includes a matching fund provision, but adds (1) tax credits for small dollar contributions, (2) a pilot for a version of the idea Ayres/Ackerman originally proposed and which remixed and called “Democracy Vouchers,” (not visible in the website summary), and (3) a clever (though we’ll see what the Court thinks of it) way to deal with outside spending. 

This is important legislation to support and watch. We should all be grateful to Sarbanes for bringing it forward — especially in a political context that seems deeply committed to forgetting the issue. 

  • Mike

    Professor, that picture HAS a thousand words.

  • http://bopuc.levendis.com/ boris

    Truly frightening. Concentration is already far too high and they want more. And these people want us to believe they don’t tamper with information/truth/reality?

    Sigh.

  • http://www.jump9.com Kevin Webb

    This is fascinating and spawns the thought: can we map media concentration/penetration spatially?

    I ask partly because I�m a geographer and cartographer and think of everything in spatial terms (I look at this picture and wonder where the names are located that it lists) and partly because I feel that creating a tool for visualizing this process of transformation, a process that is about to take on a whole new form, would be incredibly useful in understanding the effects of this regulatory shift.

    I can see the visualization of this information, but I simply don�t know anything about the availability of data on the geography or spatial extent of print and broadcast media.

    If anyone has any thoughts on this I�d love to discuss it further. email me at info@*NOSPAM*jump9.com.

    Kevin

  • Buddha Buck

    What the picture lacks

    What’s lacking is media sources independent of those five. Where does NPR/PRI/PBS fit into the scheme of things? Locally owned radio stations? Religious broadcasters? Do these non-ViaClearNewsDisneyAOL sources account for 5% or 50% of available media sources?