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Following on the heels of his March To End Corruption, Lawrence Lessig, director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and political activist with a bullet, recently kicked off the Mayday PAC (AKA May One). The Mayday PAC launched as an experiment to create "…a citizens' funded and crowdsourced superPAC — to end all superPACs."

The Mayday PAC/May One website pitch goes: "Help U.S. kickstart fundamental reform, by reducing the influence of money in politics."

Government has failed us. More than 90% of Americans link that failure to the influence of money in politics.

Yet the politicians ignore this influence. While America founders, they spend endless time with their funders.

These funders hold our democracy hostage. We want to pay the ransom, and get it back.

We're going to kickstart a SuperPAC big enough to make it possible to win a Congress committed to fundamental reform by 2016.

Or at least we're going to try.

Well, they came, they tried, they did.

With 18 days remaining in their first fundraising month, they have achieved and surpassed their $1M initial target. As I write at 7:45 PM EST, the PAC is now 101% funded at $1,015,249!! And growing.

UPDATE: 9:22 - $1,018,074!!

So the new call is to Keep It Going! Spread The Word!


In 2014, we want to make fundamental reform the issue in 5 congressional races.

From that, we'll have a better sense of what victory in 2016 will take. And we'll put Congress on notice that in 2016, we'll be back.

So for 2014, we have two fundraising targets:

The first is $1 million by the end of May. If we meet that goal, that $1 million will be matched, and we'll move to the second target.

That second target is $5 million by the end of June. If we meet that goal, that $5 million will also be matched, and our fundraising for 2014 will end.

We will then have the funds we need to hire the best campaign shops we can to use 100% of these kickstarted funds to win in these 5 districts.


Over the past year, we have been calculating what it would cost to win a Congress committed to fundamental reform by 2016. We have a good sense of the range, and of which seats would need to change.

Our experience in 2014 will give us a better sense. And based on what we learn, we will decide whether this moonshot is feasible.

If it is, in January 2015, then we will launch the second round of the Mayday PAC, crowdfunding small-dollar contributions to fund a superPAC big enough to win a majority in Congress in 2016 committed to fundamental reform.

Based on what we know now, we believe this moonshot is possible. Based on what we achieve in 2014, others will believe it as well.

Yesterday I posted a related diary that mentions the Mayday PAC and two more projects to get money out of elections: 99Rise's March for Democracy and Wolf PAC.

These two efforts are aimed at petitioning states to call for an Article V Constitutional Convention to produce and Amendment to get money out of politics.

In closing, consider this:

Near the turn of the 20th century the states wanted a direct election of senators, and Nebraska was the first state to call for an Article V. Convention in 1893.  By 1913 the movement had come within one state of reaching the necessary 2/3 threshold that would force a convention.  When it became clear to Congress that the 17th Amendment was going to happen one way or another they decided to preempt a convention  by passing it themselves.  The threat of a convention is the strongest message we can send and the most effective way to restore our democracy in the United States.  This can and must be done in a far shorter time period then it took for the 17th Amendment, then again, they didn't have the power of the internet and other technology we will be using in this battle.
And now please consider contributing, if you can, to Mayday PAC, March for Democracy, and Wolf PAC.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (24+ / 0-)

    I've never left a blank space on a ballot... but I will not vote for someone [who vows] to spy on me. I will not do it. - dclawyer06

    Trust, but verify. - Reagan
    Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

    by Words In Action on Wed May 14, 2014 at 05:31:59 PM PDT

  •  thanks for this. Went on the site & donated. (6+ / 0-)

    While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

    by Tamar on Wed May 14, 2014 at 05:44:01 PM PDT

  •  Cool (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action, martini, UTvoter

    I hope this gets some good press.

    It's not the money that Mr. Lessig can raise, but rather the visibility he can bring to this issue that can make a difference here. By contrast, the Koch brothers get richer at a rate of about $6 million a day. They can outspend whatever this group can raise by exponential amounts.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Wed May 14, 2014 at 05:53:16 PM PDT

    •  At $2-$3M (or more?) per race if they meet their (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      martini, UTvoter

      targets for both rounds, they could have an impact on 5 races.

      It will be interesting to see which races they pick.

      I've never left a blank space on a ballot... but I will not vote for someone [who vows] to spy on me. I will not do it. - dclawyer06

      Trust, but verify. - Reagan
      Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

      by Words In Action on Wed May 14, 2014 at 06:35:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If 10M progressives gave $25 a month (0+ / 0-)

      that would be $3B a year - matching that kind of money is painful even for plutocrats, and the political impact would be dramatic.

      For example, if you decided to contest the 100 closest house seats, you could fund each candidate to the tune of $30M.

      That's around three times the most expensive house race last time around,  and more than enough to reach a level of media saturation where it would make no difference how much money the the side decided to spend.

      I'm not saying that would be the best use of the money, just giving an example how how powerful a Progressive PAC could be, b based on a wide contribution base and an  affordable level of contribution.


      True, the ship is sinking... but the music is being played with such feeling!

      by E A Dawsoni on Sun May 18, 2014 at 09:49:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I like theMayDay PAC and wished (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    martini, Words In Action, lilsky, UTvoter

    I were in CA and march with you.

    •  Actually mimi (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mimi, UTvoter, JayRaye

      I ran into some issues on that... :(

      It was a tough decision for me because I think the mission is extremely important and the people involved are great and very committed. So I donated $500, which I'm told will be very helpful. Also, I will continue working on outreach from here in Salt Lake to attract more endorsements, marchers and people to show up at the events, especially the finale.

      My daughter's wedding is in Portland, OR, in mid-June and there's an outside chance of going to Sacramento at the end.

      But I'm guessing there are going to be a lot more marches going forward, all across the country, because the politicians aren't paying to us and people are only going to get more abused and upset.

      I've never left a blank space on a ballot... but I will not vote for someone [who vows] to spy on me. I will not do it. - dclawyer06

      Trust, but verify. - Reagan
      Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

      by Words In Action on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:12:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  well, when lot's of people help a little, it all (0+ / 0-)

    adds up. and some races can be won with just a small influx of cash. so 5 seats is a realistic goal

    "None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps" Thurgood Marshall

    by UTvoter on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:41:25 PM PDT

  •  "Congress committed to fundamental reform"- (0+ / 0-)

    what's the proposed legislative package- media reform plus abolition of private money in elections plus strip court of jurisdiction to review matters textually committed at Art 1 Sec 4 and 5?

  •  May Day Pac (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Thank you for covering this!

    Yes, our growth has been truly amazing, but we need to make this a movement of the majority. To do that we NEED the majority to join!

    100% of whatever you can pledge goes 100% to electing candidates that are 100% committed to ending special interest super pac's and serving the ONLY real special interests, those of the majority.

    When was the last time you could get all that for a buck? Yes, really, as little as $1 gets you in.

    Hope to see you all there.


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