I’m going to try to produce a weekly newsletter about the stuff I think most important/relevant/least widely shared in the domain of “money in politics.” 

The newsletter comes out once a week (Saturday morning). It will have three items only. No more than one will relate to stuff I’m involved with (and usually none will). The first one is below. You can subscribe below that: 

Good morning!

Today, I launch a weekly newsletter — SHORT, just three items each week, with NO collateral asks — about the ongoing battles to reduce the influence of money in politics. I will publish the email every Saturday morning (except for the times when I’m away with my family), and in it I will collect the stories from the week that I think are particularly interesting to those who care about this cause. I read everything I can about this issue, from many different sources. My hope with the newsletter is to share what I’ve found most interesting. I promise, no more than one of the three things published each week will be related to me, and rarely will I point to even one.

This is a totally free (and ccFree) OPT-IN list. You’re getting this today because you joined Rootstrikers. But you will only get it again if you subscribe here. And that subscription list will not be used for anything else — never to solicit, never shared, never added to any other campaign. The only thing this subscription will deliver is this once-a-week email — until you say “enough already.”

I hope you find it of interest!

“Could be the most important money-in-politics campaign of the year”

That’s what a New Yorker whose views about NY politics I find most compelling said about the potential candidacy of my friend, Zephyr Teachout, for Governor of New York. Governor Cuomo (D) has been a serious disappointment to reformers. He promised, and then sabotaged (in the view of many) legislation to change the way elections are funded in New York. Had that legislation passed, it would have been a model for the nation. That it failed convinced too many that insiders can’t fix themselves. Zephyr is a law professor at Fordham Law School, who organized for Howard Dean. She is easily the most impressive young (potential) candidate for anything I’ve seen anywhere. She’s brilliant, and incredibly politically savvy. And if enough push her, she may well challenge the Governor in the Democratic primary. I hope she does, because if she does, she would make money in (NY) politics the issue in this campaign season. Her speech to the Working Family Party Convention is here. There’s a website that’s trying to convince her to run. And contributions are being taken here. Nothing is certain, and she needs to be convinced there is enough grassroots support to make it make sense (#RunZephyrRun). At a minimum, this is a race to watch — because it just might turn out that this time around, Teddy (Roosevelt) is played by a woman.

The best tool for tracking THE MONEY behind THE POLITICIANS in THE STORY I’ve seen

Nick Rubin is a high school student. His father, a longtime friend and senior lawyer at Microsoft, pointed me to a plugin Nick was building to scan the page you’re reading in a browser, and highlight the names of Members of Congress. When you hover over the name, you see from whom the Member gets his or her money, what percentage of the Member’s money comes from small dollar contributions, and whether he or she has committed to fundamental reform (drawn from the site reform.to).  Easily the coolest plugin that I use, now available for free. You can get it at AllAreGreen.US. (The website concatenates the site’s great slogan: “Some are red. Some are blue. All are green.”)

A deep dive on Super PACs

I’ve written three books, gaggles of articles, gaggles^2 of essays, and a billion (or so) tweets about the problem with the way we fund campaigns in America today. But on the launch of our Mayday PAC, I was pushed by many to commit to writing a medium-length piece pulling the arguments together. I did. It is published, appropriately enough, on the cool new platform, Medium. You can read it here. (And if I were soliciting, it would be here I’d say something like “pledge if you can” but you see, I’m not doing that.)

That’s all for the week. If you’ve got stuff I should see, email it to ideas@lessig.org (if I use anything, I will always give credit where credit is due). And remember, you will only get this again if you subscribe here.

- Lessig

To subscribe click here.

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