I saw this story a few days ago. I was fascinated with it:
Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard professor (which would normally make him suspect with me), decided to conditionally run for President (A reader might say: Why not? Everybody else except the reader and the blogger from Virginia is running) in the Democratic primaries if he raises a million dollars in pledges. I have signed up to get his updates but that is not an endorsement of course.
Why is Dr. Lessig running? He wants to promote campaign finance and gerrymandering reform – something called the Citizen Equality Act of 2017 and if Dr. Lessig is elected, he’ll use his election to get this bill passed and then resign the Presidency. (I think this makes Dr. Lessig’s choice for Veep fairly important! He intends to allow the Democratic Convention delegates decide it.) He’s serious – deadly serious. You can even contribute and win a chance to meet Dr. Lessig after an undetermined first debate! Win the Golden Ticket! (I submit that any Virginian who gives to a campaign for a chance to win a prize is breaking the state wagering law so I won’t do it and I do recommend anyone else doing it!)
I love his symbol – a tiny stylized US flag with LESSIG 2016 in block letters after it. I tried to copy it but it would not let me.
Lessig is for various laws that I have some issues with.
We must have a system that guarantees a meaningfully equal freedom to vote. To achieve that, we must at a minimum enact the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015 and the Voter Empowerment Act of 2015. We should as well add automatic registration, and shift election day to a national holiday.
The Voting Rights Advancement Act basically re-stigmatizes the South and also restricts the power of local officials in affecting voting. The Voter Empowerment Act discusses online voter registration and other similar concepts that ought to increase voter fraud exponentially. I do agree in principle with making election day a Federal holiday but what day replaces it?
Lessig is interested in weighted voting (which I could support) where you give a first, second or third preference when you vote and if no one gets a majority of first preference votes, the second preference votes are counted until you get a majority. (If they had had weighted voting in the 12th Senate district primary I think Eddie Whitlock could have won with a vast majority of the second preference votes!)
Equal citizens must have equal representation in Congress. That means, districts must be drawn, and election systems structured, so as to give each citizen as close to equal political influence as possible. FairVote has offered the most comprehensive solution to achieve this equality. At a minimum, the Citizen Equality Act would incorporate their proposed “Ranked Choice Voting Act,” which ends political gerrymandering and creates multi-member districts with ranked choice voting for Congress.
But there’s more:
A core corruption of our political system is the concentration of funders of political campaigns. That concentration creates extraordinary inequality. The Citizen Equality Act would end that inequality, at a minimum by adopting a campaign funding proposal that is a hybrid between John Sarbanes’ Government by the People Act, and Represent.US’s “American Anti-Corruption Act.” That hybrid would give every voter a voucher to contribute to fund congressional and presidential campaigns; it would provide matching funds for small-dollar contributions to congressional and presidential campaigns. And it would add effective new limits to restrict the revolving door between government service and work as a lobbyist.
The American Anti-Corruption Act would make us all of us in politics potential criminals (and I am against any increase in Federal criminal laws without a compelling reason) although I am intrigued by the voucher idea. I am against federal matching funds for elections – we have a 18 trillion dollar debt.
However, I applaud and admire Dr. Lessig for doing something about politics – not just whining about it. And how it did it might be a template for future issue-oriented campaigns. The Libertarians ought to watch carefully.
Now we turn to the other weird but admirable thing about Presidential politics this year: Deez Nuts
Deez Nuts is a pseudonym for a fifteen year old boy named Brady Olsen from Iowa:
America has been fooled by independent presidential candidate “Deez Nuts,” who was revealed this week as 15-year-old Brady Olson, a boy from Iowa. Here’s what happened when the Internet got word that “Deez Nuts” gained traction in some polls this week.
Mark Olson responded: “No. It’s my 15 year old son.” It turns out that 15-year-old Brady Olsen filed with the FEC on July 26 as “Deez Nuts” to run for president of the United States.
Now I’m jealous. Don’t think I wouldn’t have considered doing it as a kid! (Just another day at the office for Brady’s dad I’d bet – how would you like to have your teenage son be more famous than you are!)
But Deez Nuts is actually gaining adult supporters! The Daily Beast has this report:
Deez Nuts, the Independent candidate from Iowa, is polling at 9 percent in North Carolina for President of the United States.
Now I’m really jealous! Here is a real FB page for supporters of the teen from Iowa!
I actually agree with some of Brady’s positions (from his official[?] website):
- Federal Budget & Government Spending I believe that the US Government should not be allowed to spend more than it makes from tax revenue. The reason we are in a budget crisis is because the two main parties refuse to compromise on this issue. Every federal official in either Congress, President, or the Cabinet, should immediately have their salary cut in half. Once the budget is balanced, those salaries may slowly rise. If the budget returns negative, salaries go back to where they started.
I also feel that we need to stop being a world watchdog and limit our positions in international conflicts.
The Economy I support giving corporations tax incentives for the sole purpose of creating jobs IN America TO Americans FOR Americans. This will in turn stimulate the economy and make us more self-sufficient instead of relying on products from foreign countries.
Here is Deez Nuts’ official (I think) website. But here’s what I want to know: Is Brady Olsen being mobbed by girls at his high school? Naah, I didn’t think so…but just think what his college apps could say under extracurricular activities: Thousands of people have already voted for me for President. (Write-ins are usually not counted for President as they do not influence the ultimate outcome but I would say Deez Nuts will indeed get thousands for votes for President. Of course his Constitutional ineligibility for the office will keep him off most state ballots.) Olsen will probably be accepted to all eight Ivy League schools!
Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders