With the death of California Representative Tom Lantos on Monday, a special election will be held in April to fill his seat in Congress. Will Stanford Law professor Lawrence Lessig run? Already on Facebook, a “Draft Lessig for Congress” group has formed (with 554 members as of this posting). Lessig, who has long been a champion of Free Culture as a lecturer, intellectual property lawyer, and CEO of Creative Commons, has recently turned his attention to corruption. (He has a wiki about corruption here). In fact, his last lecture on Free Culture, which he has been giving for ten years, was on January 31.
What Lessig means by corruption is corruption of the political process:
That our government can’t understand basic facts when strong interests have an interest in its misunderstanding.
I don’t mean corruption in the simple sense of bribery. I mean “corruption” in the sense that the system is so queered by the influence of money . . .. Politicians are starved for the resources concentrated interests can provide. In the US, listening to money is the only way to secure reelection. And so an economy of influence bends public policy away from sense, always to dollars.
Lessig recently just registered Change-Congress.com. If he does decide to run, it should be interesting to see how he goes about raising his campaign funds. Tip jar, anyone?