ARRA News Service
News Blog for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, liberty & individual freedom. Content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for or by this "Blog" - no paid ads - no payments for articles. Fair Use Doctrine is posted & used.
Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
Contact: (Pub. Since July, 2006)
    Home Page

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, October 02, 2015

The Democrats' Next Debate Controversy, Over Larry Lessig, Could Be A Doozy

Democrats Set Presidential Debate Schedule
Ralph Benko, Contributing Author: The Republicans have finished up their first two rounds of presidential debate.

Next up, the Democrats’ first presidential debate on October 13th. The fireworks have started.

The Democrats’ debate process is proving controversial. Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schulz recently, according to and given national prominence courtesy of the Drudge Report, repeatedly was heckled by an auditorium packed full of Progressives demanding more debates:

While the press has been completely obsessed by el Trumpo so that they can damage and dismantle the Republican party, they have tried their best to ignore the growing mutiny in the Democrat party.

But it burst into their faces Saturday morning when the Democrat National Committee chair … was HECKLED by an entire crowd demanding more debates among the leftist presidential candidates!
The DNC, controversially, has limited the number of debates. The Democrats are allowing for only six debates in the 2016 cycle. Both Sen. Bernie Sanders and Gov. Martin O’Malley have expressed their displeasure, with a campaign spokesman for O’Malley calling this out as facilitating a Hillary “coronation.”

Now comes yet another controversy. Perhaps it will be a doozy.

Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig recently announced, after crowdsourcing over $1 million, his own unconventional presidential campaign. Lessig is proposing to run exclusively on national electoral reforms, predominantly the public financing of Congressional elections.

Lessig passionately considers the current Congressional campaign financing system the fountainhead of all political dysfunction. He calls it corruption, not quite in a moral but rather in an operational sense, and has offered himself as a single-issue candidate who will resign the presidency in favor of his vice president promptly upon the enactment of his proposed reforms.

I am not persuaded of Lessig’s hypothesis. I am on record stating that there is too little money, big or otherwise, in politics. Furthermore I believe most of that big money is sterilized in the process of being absorbed by high-priced consultants and much of the rest of it wasted. That said, he has a legitimate point.

I have described Lessig as the “greatest radical at work in America today.” His hypothesis deserves the national referendum into which he has forged his candidacy.

In my column above referenced, reviewing Lessig’s book The USA is Lesterland, I summarized the essence of Lessig’s crusade this way:

What if candidates had to gain the support of many, preferably a majority, of the 150,000 Lesters [who live in America] … before the rest of us got to vote? That would give “the Lesters” disproportionate influence on elections.

Lessig then notes that candidates do have to raise enough money, to run, from 150,000 self-selected campaign contributors. Lessig does not present this as an attack on the rich or on capitalism. It is an attack on a campaign financing system that gives disproportionate influence to around a quarter of one percent of the electorate (themselves a minute fraction of “the rich,” few of whom make political contributions).

Lessig’s demand for a system that creates, as a non-coercive option, without muzzling big donors, a bigger presence for rank-and-file voters is consistent with arguments that this right-wing columnist elsewhere has made about the crucial vitality of citizen engagement. Since about twice as many Americans consistently describe ourselves as conservative than we do liberal it is slightly indecipherable that so many conservatives are diffident about Lessig’s proposition.

Restoring “consent of the governed” is not about Right versus Left. It is about setting up a system to restore control of Congress to us outsiders, the people, over the insiders, the special interests, by creating an incentive for us to contribute and an incentive for candidates to take our contributions in preference to those of the special interests. And most Congressional campaign donors are special interests — if only because they are victims of a Congressional extortion racket.
I am impressed by Lessig’s integrity as evidenced, in part, by his refusal to endorse the overturning of Citizens United. This is a courageous stand for a man of the left to take. And, full disclosure, a year or so ago I suggested to Lessig, a friend, that he consider entering the presidential contest (clearly an immaterial factor in his decision).

Now, according to the DNC’s debate rules, Lessig is likely to be excluded from the first presidential debate. As reported by The Guardian:

To qualify for the debate Democratic candidates must earn at least 1% in three national polls in the six weeks before the debate. But Lessig, a political neophyte running a single-issue campaign based on campaign finance reform, said he can’t possibly compete if he is not being counted.

“There’s a catch-22 to the process,” Lessig said, adding: “It’s only fair to apply that standard if it’s actually being tested.”
There are two wild cards in this deck. One or both just might come to the fore to un-rig this game and land Lessig a spot.

The first wild card: Progressives passionately believe in public financing of Congressional elections. Hillary Clinton has propounded a plan for that, one enthusiastically endorsed by the Washington Post. Bernie Sanders endorses public financing. Lessig, however, is the gold standard of public financing, the one by which all others ought to be measured. It would be gracious, and not out of character, for Sens. Clinton or Sanders to apply suasion, publicly or privately, on the DNC to include him. Perhaps one or both will do so. Could tip the balance.

The second wild card: Will MoveOn push for including Lessig? MoveOn is a Progressive leviathan. As I elsewhere, in 2008, wrote MoveOn was a critical factor in securing the nomination of Barack Obama:

MoveOn started as a vehicle to oppose the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. As that issue faded, MoveOn was revived by a merger with an email list of 500,000 created by Pariser in opposition to a militant response to 9/11, which proved a durable unifying and motivating issue as the war in Iraq became increasingly unpopular.

Boyd and Pariser [author's note, and MoveOn co-founder Joan Blades] sensed their online community’s enthusiasm for a progressive candidate, so they provided Obama with exposure and channels to the liberal base of the Democratic Party. MoveOn’s 4 million members are an electoral asterisk, but they became an extraordinarily potent force in the political culture.
MoveOn, earlier this year, activated to encourage the candidacy of Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Not so incidentally MoveOn chose none other than Lessig as a prime spokesperson to encourage the Warren candidacy, sending out, presumably, tens of millions of emails with his message. In one of these Lessig wrote:There’s always been one thing, and one thing only, that could convince her to take on a challenge. Not money. Not power. Just one thing: the realization that her jumping into the fray was necessary to make a difference.

This is one of those moments. And the more of us that raise our hands and say we’re ready to fight by her side, the more clear it will become to her that she has a once-in-a-lifetime chance to fight the central battles of our nation. Not alone. With a movement.
MoveOn reportedly now has grown to 8 million members. It is a huge civic force, potentially, especially on the Democratic party.

Pariser, Boyd and Blades have retired from executive status with MoveOn. Anna Galland now serves as executive director of MoveOn Civic Action. Well?

There are defining moments in the life of every organization. If MoveOn’s members really believe that public financing is as crucial as claimed let it now rise to the occasion and demand that Lessig be given a lectern.

This is one of those moments. If MoveOn moves in the odds go way up that the DNC will ListenUp and give Larry Lessig a place among the contenders in the first Democratic presidential debate.

Will MoveOn move in?
Ralph Benko is senior advisor, economics, to American Principles in Action’s Gold Standard 2012 Initiative, and a contributor to the ARRA News Service. Founder of The Prosperity Caucus, he was a member of the Jack Kemp supply-side team, served in an unrelated area as a deputy general counsel in the Reagan White House. The article which first appeared in Forbes was submitted for reprint by the author.

Tags: Ralph Benko, Democrats,  democrat debate, democrats, Larry Lessig To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 10:00 AM - Post Link


Post a Comment

<< Home

View U.S. National Debt

Don't miss anything!
Subscribe to the
ARRA News Service
It's FREE & No Ads!

You will receive a verification email
& must validate you subscribed!

You Then Receive One Email Each AM
With Prior Days Articles / Toons / More

Also, Join & leave conservative posts & comments on

Recent Posts:
Personal Tweets by the editor:
Dr. Bill - OzarkGuru - @arra
#Christian Conservative; Retired USAF & Grad Professor. Constitution NRA ProLife schoolchoice fairtax - Editor ARRA NEWS SERVICE. THANKS FOR FOLLOWING!

Action Links!
State Upper & Lower House Members
State Attorney Generals
State Governors
The White House
US House of Representatives
US Senators

Facebook Accts - Dr. Bill Smith
ARRA News Service
Arkansans Against Big Government
Alley-White Am. Legion #52
Catholics & Protestants United Against Discrimination
End Taxpayer Funding of NPR
Overturn Roe V. Wade
Prolife Soldiers
Project Wildfire 4 Life
Republican Liberty Caucus of Arkansas
The Gold Standard
US Atty Gen Loretta Lynch, aka Eric Holder, Must Go
Veterans for Sarah Palin
Why Vote for Hillary (Satire)
FB Groups:
Arkansas For Sarah Palin
Arkansas Conservative Caucus
Arkansas County Tea Party
Arkansans' Discussion Group on National Issues
Blogs for Borders
Conservative Solutions
Conservative Voices
Defend Marriage -- Arkansas
FairTax Nation
Arkansas for FairTax
Friends of the TEA Party in Arkansas
Freedom Roundtable
Pro-Life Rocks - Arkansas
Republican Network
Republican Liberty Caucus of AR
Reject the U.N.


Request Via
Article Comment

Links to ARRA News
A Patriotic Nurse
Agora Associates
a12iggymom's Blog
America, You Asked For It!
America's Best Choice
ARRA News Twitter
As The Crackerhead Crumbles
Blogs For Borders
Blogs for Palin
Blow the Trumpet Ministry
Boot Berryism
Cap'n Bob & the Damsel
Chicago Ray Report - Obama Regime Report
Chuck Baldwin - links
Common Cents
Conservative Voices
Diana's Corner
Greater Fitchburg For Life
Lasting Liberty Blog
Liberal Isn't Amy
Marathon Pundit
Patriot's Corner
Right on Issues that Matter
Right Reason
Rocking on the Right Side
Saber Point
Saline Watchdog
Sultan Knish
The Blue Eye View
The Born Again Americans
TEA Party Cartoons
The Foxhole | Unapologetic Patriot
The Liberty Republican
The O Word
The Path to Tyranny Blog
The Real Polichick
The War on Guns
Twitter @ARRA
Underground Notes
Warning Signs
Women's Prayer & Action

Editor's Managed Twitter Accounts
Twitter Dr. Bill Smith @arra
Twitter Arkansas @GOPNetwork
Twitter @BootBerryism
Twitter @SovereignAllies
Twitter @FairTaxNation

Editor's Recommended Orgs
Accuracy in Media (AIM)
American Action Forum (AAF)
American Committment
American Culture & Faith Institute
American Enterprise Institute
American Family Business Institute
Americans for Limited Government
Americans for Prosperity
Americans for Tax Reform
American Security Council Fdn
AR Faith & Ethics Council
Arkansas Policy Foundation
Ayn Rand Institute
Bill of Rights Institute
Campaign for Working Families
CATO Institute
Center for Individual Freedom
Center for Immigration Studies
Center for Just Society
Center for Freedom & Prosperity
Citizens Against Gov't Waste
Citizens in Charge Foundstion
Coalition for the Future American Worker
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Concerned Veterans for America
Concerned Women for America
Declaration of Am. Renewal
Eagle Forum
Family Research Council
Family Security Matters
Franklin Center for Gov't & Public Integrity
Freedom Works
Gingrich Productions
Global Incident Map
Great Americans
Gold Standard 2012 Project
Gun Owners of America (GOA)
Heritage Action for America
David Horowitz Freedom Center
Institute For Justice
Institute for Truth in Accounting
Intercollegiate Studies Institute
Judicial Watch
Less Government
Media Reseach Center
National Center for Policy Analysis
National Right To Work Foundation
National Rifle Association (NRA)
National Rifle Association (NRA-ILA)
News Busters
O'Bluejacket's Patriotic Flicks
Open Secrets
Presidential Prayer Team
Religious Freedom Coalition
Renew America
Ron Paul Institute
State Policy Network
Tax Foundation
Tax Policy Center
The Club for Growth
The Federalist
The Gold Standard Now
The Heritage Foundation
The Leadership Institute
Truth in Accounting
Union Facts

Blogs For Borders

Reject the United Nations

Presidential Prayer Team

Thousands of Deadly Islamic Terror Attacks Since 9/11

FairTax Nation on FaceBook
Friends of Israel - Stand with Israel
Blog Feeds
Syndicated - Get the ARRA News Service feed Syndicated!
ARRA Blog Feed

Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Add to The Free Dictionary

Powered by Blogger

  • To Exchange Links - Email:!
  • Comments by contributing authors or other sources do not necessarily reflect the position the editor, other contributing authors, sources, readers, or commenters. No contributors, or editors are paid for articles, images, cartoons, etc. While having reported on and promoting principles & beleifs beliefs of other organizations, this blog/site is soley controlled and supported by the editor. This site/blog does not advertise for money or services nor does it solicit funding for its support.
  • Fair Use: This site/blog may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a 'fair use' of such copyrighted material as provided for in section Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of the US Copyright Law. Per said section, the material on this site/blog is distributed without profit to readers to view for the expressed purpose of viewing the included information for research, educational, or satirical purposes. Any person/entity seeking to use copyrighted material shared on this site/blog for purposes that go beyond "fair use," must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
  • © 2006 - 2020 ARRA News Service
Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.