The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today about a group, Mayday PAC, headed by Lawrence Lessig, supposedly formed to ‘take the money out of politics.’ While I admire their noble objective, sometimes it pays to look at the past actions of people supporting a point of view.
Last week Mayday PAC raised $5 million to elect politicians who will pledge to reduce the influence of money in the American political process. That sounds as if they are doing exactly what they are opposing.
The article gives us some basic facts about the group and its objectives:
Lessig pitched wealthy donors in the tech community last week on the utility of restricting corporate political speech, saying their political agenda would be much easier to advance if opposing forces were restricted from influencing the political process.
“We have no protection for network neutrality because of the enormous influence of cable companies’ money in the political system,” he told TechCrunch. “If NN is your issue, then this is why you should see that politic$ is your issue too.”
…Lessig has been explicit about the ideological nature of his campaign finance reform position. Liberal political ideas would prevail, he insists, but for the ability of their detractors to spend money opposing those ideas.
Lessig took a similar tack with respect to climate energy policy. Environmentalists, Lessig said in 2012, spent “hundreds of millions of dollars … to get global warming legislation, and they got nothing.”
“If money didn’t buy results in Washington,” he said, environmentalists would have been able to achieve their goals by injecting substantially less money into the political process.
The article explains some of the ties between Lessig and Democrat organizations and operatives. The bottom line here is simple–most Democrats who are campaigning to ‘take the money out of politics’ do not include union money in that statement. The anger is there because with the Citizens United decision, the playing field of big money has been leveled–generally speaking corporations donate to Republicans and unions donate to Democrats. It used to be that all the big money in politics went to Democrats and came from unions. A website called Open Secrets tracks campaign donations. Just for the record, there is still more money going to Democrats than Republicans.
When you read the article at the Free Beacon, you discover that the reason for wanting to ‘take the money out of politics’ is to censor the opposing viewpoint. That is not what American is or should be about. The push to ‘take the money out of politics’ is more dangerous than any amount of money in politics. Censorship under any name is wrong and has no place in America.