Julian Sanchez interviews Larry Lessig regarding a possible run for Congress:
One simple means of reducing the political power of campaign cash, Lessig says, "could be done tomorrow." He wants to ban legislative earmarks, those juicy morsels of targeted federal funding legislators direct toward pet projects and political supporters. Lessig also hopes to encourage more robust public financing of campaigns, noting the salutary effect such policies appear to be having in states like Maine and Arizona. Most immediately—and perhaps most radically—Lessig says he will swear off contributions from lobbyists or political action committees, and he hopes to bring grassroots pressure to bear on other candidates to follow suit. (Prospective opponent Jackie Speier, he notes in passing in his online video, does accept such contributions.)
Larry Lessig and I do not see eye to eye on many issues, but one certainly can't object to the prospect of more serious thinkers, and fewer professional politicians, in Congress. And earmark reform, however trivial its fiscal impact, is indisputably a blow for better government.
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