I'm Professor Lawrence Lessig, and I'm writing to ask you to help make our country a truer democracy. Congressman John Sarbanes (D-MD) just introduced the Grassroots Democracy Act. It's the most ambitious set of ideas for “Citizen Funded Campaigns” that we have seen in many years.
Will you add your name at right to ask your member of Congress to sign on as a co-sponsor?
One of the most interesting aspects of the bill is the creation of what we're calling "Democracy Vouchers". Every voter would get a modest amount of money, in the form of a voucher, to designate to candidates who opt into a public financing system. These candidates would only be allowed to receive small-dollar donations and Democracy Vouchers.
Voters would get to choose which candidates to support with their vouchers, thereby keeping politicians reliant on ordinary Americans for their campaign funds -- not on the wealthy individuals and corporate interests that usually back campaigns.
Democracy Vouchers would do so much to empower Internet activists like yourselves: Using forums like Reddit, thousands of Demand Progress members could band together to support a slate of candidates who were dedicated to causes like Internet freedom, civil liberties, and government reform.
These thousands of activists could designate their hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in aggregate vouchers to that slate of candidates, funding the bulk of their campaigns. They'd be accountable to all of you instead of to the less than .1% of Americans and the corporations who usually max-out to candidates -- and call in favors after they get people elected.
These fights are never easy, but the overwhelming majority of Americans -- both progressives and Tea Partiers -- recognize that our government has been corrupted by the influence of big money. Democracy Vouchers are the sort of plan that we should all be able to get behind -- and if we do, we'll have reclaimed government from the narrow, wealthy interests that we know run Washington today.
Please add your name at right to tell your lawmakers to sign on as cosponsors.
It's important to demonstrate as much support as possible at this critical stage. Please ask your friends to sign on too:
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