Lawrence Lessig explores a run for president, around one powerful idea

TED Blog

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Lawrence Lessig may be running for President of the United States. But he isn’t looking to big donors to fund his exploratory campaign.

Rather than do the usual candidate song and dance of courting wealthy donors and corporations, Lessig is using the Kickstarter method for his campaign. He’s collecting small donations from individuals through his website, LessigforPresident.com. If he raises $1 million by Labor Day, he’ll run. If he doesn’t, he won’t (and will return the contributions).

This fundraising method is key, as he’s focusing on one issue: campaign finance reform. It’s the idea he spoke passionately about in his TED Talk, “We the People, and the Republic we must reclaim”: Because the American electoral system requires candidates to raise a huge amounts of money — from a slim percentage of citizens — politicians are beholden to donors, and not to the people. This representative democracy is intrinsically…

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