April 28th, 2010
Lawrence Lessig uses Sen. Scott Brown’s (R-MA) inability to explain why he opposes the financial reform bill as further reason that the way we fund elections (or, rather, politicians) needs to be reformed.
Scott Brown, Massachusetts’ new senator, opposes legislation in Congress that would strengthen regulations for Wall Street.
But when a reporter recently asked him why he’s against this bill, Brown couldn’t give an answer. He’s against financial reform, but he has no idea why.
Let me help Senator Brown: During his campaign last year, Brown received half of his campaign contributions from Wall Street and business executives. He benefited from another million dollars in issue ads by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. They oppose the bill, so Senator Brown opposes the bill. It’s no wonder Pew recently found that trust in Congress is at its lowest point ever.
I focused on Scott Brown, but the influence of special interest money pervades both parties in both chambers. Americans are right to suspect that their representatives are merely doing the bidding of those funding their campaigns.
Last week, I recorded a new episode of the Change Congress Chronicles, talking about Scott Brown, the economy of influence in Washington, and the path to reform. Take a few minutes to watch, and then please share it with anyone you know who is fed up with our electoral system:
Congress can fix our campaign finance system right now by passing the Fair Elections Now Act, which would create an opt-in system of citizen-funded elections. But to get this bill written into law, we must build enough grassroots support so that Congress has no choice but to listen.
Whatever your party affiliation, whatever change you seek — it won’t happen until we Change Congress.
So head over to Fix Congress First and take action.