Expert Lawrence Lessig Gives His Opinion on the Best Campaign Finance Reform Strategy as Citizens United Fuels Outrage
Democracy, elections, and voting
Lawrence Lessig is considered by many to be a top thinker in the campaign finance reform movement. He recently had an article about the influence of money in politics, the efforts to reform the laws, and his solutions. Here he discusses the efforts already underway:
Triggered by outrage at the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC, and fueled by anger at the “super PACs” that that decision has made possible, groups such as MovetoAmend.org, Public Citizen, the Coffee Party, United Republic, and now Common Cause are all pushing to get cities and towns to pass resolutions demanding that Congress propose a constitutional amendment to reverse that decision and restore this democracy to its citizens. Los Angeles was the first, but by the end of this spring, thousands more will have joined LA’s call.
He also goes on to make three recommendations for solutions to the problem including two constitutional amendments. Take a look at his suggestions:
- Citizen-funded elections — elections funded by citizens, not corporations (for whether or not a corporation is a person, no one has ever suggested corporations are federal citizens), and elections funded by all citizens, not just a tiny fraction of the 1 percent;
- Limits on independent expenditures — whether by individuals or corporations, Congress must have the power to make sure this important political speech doesn’t dominate our democracy, and thereby distract our representatives from a dependence “upon the People alone;”
- An express recognition in our constitution that only persons are persons — that when the Declaration of Independence spoke of entities “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” it was speaking of natural persons only.