Government has failed us. More than 90% of Americans link that failure to the influence of money in politics. Yet the politicians ignore this influence. While America founders, they spend endless time with their funders. These funders hold our democracy hostage. We want to pay the ransom, and get it back.

Lawrence Lessig is a Harvard professor and a long-time critic of the way political campaigns are funded in the U.S. On the first of May he launched “…a citizens’ funded and crowdsourced superPAC — to end all superPACs” known as MayONE, to elect candidates who support campaign finance reform. For 2014, they have set two fundraising targets:

  • The first is $1 million by the end of May. If we meet that goal, that $1 million will be matched, and we’ll move to the second target.
  • That second target is $5 million by the end of June. If we meet that goal, that $5 million will also be matched, and our fundraising for 2014 will end.

Apparently there is a strong sentiment for reform, because on May 13th — in only 13 days — the campaign reached its initial goal of $1 million!

Over the past year, we have been calculating what it would cost to win a Congress committed to fundamental reform by 2016. We have a good sense of the range, and of which seats would need to change. Our experience in 2014 will give us a better sense. And based on what we learn, we will decide whether this moonshot is feasible. If it is, in January 2015, then we will launch the second round of the Mayday PAC, crowdfunding small-dollar contributions to fund a superPAC big enough to win a majority in Congress in 2016 committed to fundamental reform. Based on what we know now, we believe this moonshot is possible. Based on what we achieve in 2014, others will believe it as well.

Here are the rules for contributors:
You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien at least age 18, and the contribution must be from your own funds, not provided by any other person or entity. You must use your own personal credit card, and your donation may not be anonymous. You may not be a foreign national, federal contractor, national bank or corporation chartered by an act of Congress.

I pledged when it was launched — they do not charge the credit card until and unless they reach their goal, so now I have to pay up. I don’t have a lot of money, but I plan to pledge again, and maybe again! This is clearly something we should all get behind, to the extent we are able.

More questions about the campaign are answered on the FAQ page, including how they will distribute the funds and alternative ways to donate.