Larry Lessig Clings to Failure

Larry Lessig

Lawrence Lessig’s “Super PAC to end Super PACs” was a failure during the midterm elections, but the Harvard professor is clinging to the notion that opposition to money in politics can sway close political races.

Campaign Finance Reformers Admit Crushing Defeat in New Hampshire

Larry Lessig

A leading campaign finance reformer admitted defeat on Wednesday after spending more than $1.6 million on a Senate candidate who garnered less than a quarter of the primary vote.

Jim Rubens, a Republican Senate candidate in New Hampshire, received just 23 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s primary, losing to former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, who will challenge Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D.) in November.

Hypocrisy and the First Amendment

Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens

Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is scheduled to testify (and plug his new book) on Wednesday before the Senate Rules Committee. The topic is a favorite of Democrats: How “dark money” in politics is destroying America, and will only get worse after the Supreme Court’s recent ruling to strike down some limits on individual campaign contributions.

Stevens is expected to criticize anonymous political donations; he’s already described the Supreme Court’s ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC as “grossly incorrect.” He’s also criticized the expansion of First Amendment rights in his latest book, Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution, which calls for stricter regulations on political donations. (In the book, Stevens also criticizes the widespread availability of “automatic weapons” in the United States, even though such weapons have been banned for decades. Oops.)

Democrats don’t like the fact that people are allowed to contribute to political causes anonymously, and thus avoid the public shaming that recently led to the ousting of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich. Meanwhile, a shadowy network of left-wing donors is currently meeting at the Ritz Carlton in Chicago to discuss how to effectively use “dark money” to influence the political process.