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The Future of the American Experiment is in Your Hands
Wednesday, 22 July 2015 13:00

... to Fix Campaign Finance

Written by  Lawrence Lessig, New York Times

Posted July 22, 2015
Campaign reform, cont'd.

The Only Realistic Way to Fix Campaign Finance

The New York Times, The Opinion Pages | Op-Ed Contributor Lawrence Lessig, July 21, 2015

... But even if we could pass amendment to reverse Citizens United soon (and not since the Civil War has an amendment been adopted with support from just one party), it would not solve the problem of money’s influence in American politics.

If the core problem is politicians beholden to their funders, then giving Congress the power to limit the amount spent or the amount would not resolve it. Regardless of how much was spent, the private funding of public campaigns, even with limits, would inevitably reproduce the world we have now.

Real reform will require changing the way campaigns are funded — moving from large-dollar private funding to small-dollar public funding. ... 

... Most Americans are deeply skeptical of reform, and especially reform that costs money. So it’s much easier to call for a constitutional amendment than to propose public financing.

But solving the crisis in our democracy will not be cheap or easy. We won’t end the corruption of a system beholden to the funders until we, the citizens, are the funders. That truth takes courage to utter. This election needs that courage.

Lawrence Lessig, a professor of law at Harvard, is the author of “Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress — and a Plan to Stop It.”

Last modified on Wednesday, 22 July 2015 13:12
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