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I agree with Richard. Lessig's campaign is not a stunt, and he is not a flake or a joke. The issue he has raised cuts across all party lines and political affiliations and is affecting all of us in the country significantly. We, the people, are not represented the our government. Legislation that is in our interests is regularly blocked or altered significantly ... legislation that is designed to benefit a specific industry or even a specific company is regularly sneaked in ... even if it is actively AGAINST taxpayer interests. Our Congress does not care what we want or what we think. Congress is literally owned and run by the .05% ... really, by the .00045 percent ... of the "public" (which really means industries and corporations) that give millions of dollars to fund campaigns and lobby for the specific legislation they want, and against the legislation they don't. Again and again, this creates law that hurts American citizens -- by harming our health, by forcing us to pay money to subsidize the profits of corporations, and more. We are particularly badly hurt by this behavior in Congress, but also in our "captured" agencies -- the FAA, the FDA, the FCC, among others -- which have traded and continue to trade away significant public rights, interests, and assets to the industries they are supposed to be regulating. There are far too many far too depressing examples of this to itemize here, but if you want specifics, I'm happy to provide them. Congresspeople spend 30 to 70% of their time in office fundraising for their next campaigns. It's estimated that the tiny slice of the population who fund these campaigns and therefore really run the country see a 782 percent return on their investments. Add in that many Congresspeople and their staffers go from their "service" in government directly into cushy lobbyist jobs for the industries they're legislating and/or regulating -- seeing a 1492% increase in salary -- and you see how the vicious circle just runs and runs and runs, while NOTHING real gets done to solve the problems that continue to get worse and worse -- the climate problems, the national debt problems, the pollution problems, whatever cause YOU care about and are frustrated about. Is there a corporate interest standing in the way of the solution? Then the corporate interest wins. Period. The same "revolving door" can be seen in the captured agencies, where it is not at all unusual for executives to move from public "service" to a high-paid executive position in the industry they were just regulating. Congress is not going to do anything to fix this problem. There is no incentive for them to change anything; they are up to their eyeballs in dirty, easy money. And Lessig is not "frivolous" about his successor; his point is that his successor should not be chosen by himself but by the people because his entire goal is ONLY to address the entrenched corruption problem and get out, and for the successor ultimately to be governor. Could Lessig win? I doubt it. Our system likes things exactly the way they are; this is why we have a Congress that is divided largely between political extremists when the public is largely moderate. But he should absolutely be in the debates. No question.
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Sep 21, 2015