Another SuperPAC Trying Another Approach To Getting 'Dark' Money Out Of Politics

from the using-the-system dept

We've written a bunch about Larry Lessig's MayDay SuperPAC and its crowdfunded attempt to elect politicians who promise to change the way money in politics works. And many users also pointed to Wolf PAC, which is another high profile political action committee committed to dealing with the issue of money in politics. Now another such PAC has been announced, kicked off by some more Silicon Valley folks, called CounterPAC, the focus is on getting candidates to take a pledge not to accept so-called "dark money".

It's based on the (mostly successful) pledge that Senate candidates Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown took in the 2012 Massachusetts Senate race, that if any such group spent money on their campaigns, the campaigns would give a similar amount to charity. As CounterPAC notes, the pledge was a success:
It worked. Outside spending was drastically reduced to merely 9% of total spending in contrast to upwards of 60% in other states.

CounterPAC’s mission this year is to get as many candidates as possible to agree to a similar pledge rejecting untraceable dark money.
CounterPAC was apparently put together by a bunch of Silicon Valley folks, including (currently on leave from Google) Matt Cutts (who I know a little bit, but had no idea he was doing this), Ethan Beard from Greylock, well-known Silicon Valley lawyer Ted Wang and some others. It was officially started by Jim Greer (who ran the site Kongregate) and Zack Booth Simpson.

Who knows if any of these approaches will be successful, but it's encouraging to see people trying to do something different, rather than just complaining about things and being cynical and defeatist. Part of the Silicon Valley world is that you need a lot of experiments to see what works, and here's another one to throw at the wall.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2014 @ 7:05pm

    Obligatory defeatist comment!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    vegetaman (profile), 1 Aug 2014 @ 7:11pm

    Obligatory dark money shilling!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2014 @ 7:19pm

    This is a much wiser approach than Lessig's. A PAC with "be a proponent of policy goal X" strings attached is no different than a campaign contributions with"be a proponent of policy goal X" strings attached.

    A PAC based on the concept of "by accepting our money you don't need the other guys'" is much more pragmatic and has a higher chance of being seen as using money to promote policy making.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2014 @ 7:23pm

      Re:

      "ABOUT MAYDAY.US
      We are a crowdfunded Super PAC to end all Super PACs*
      * yes, including ourselves.

      We are using the power of citizen-funded big money to fight the big money of crony capitalists and special interests on both the left and the right.

      Ironic? Yes. Embrace the irony."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2014 @ 8:51pm

        Re: Re:

        They are giving money to people if they'll focus on specific policy goals, set by the people with the money. That's still by definition corruption, because the policy is being made because of money not constituent consensus.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2014 @ 10:38pm

      Re:

      *lower chance I mean

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2014 @ 7:48pm

    One thing to check.

    Just make sure that these PACs are not being run by brothers out of a condo in Palm Springs...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2014 @ 8:37pm

    Silicon Valley, and its "folks" are largely responsible for the dirt in politics.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Easily Amused (profile), 1 Aug 2014 @ 9:23pm

      Re:

      that's disingenuous at best... Wall street, Oil tycoons, Hollywood, and Military contractors all far exceed the input from the Valley. Not even counting the singular crazies like the Koch's and Adelson.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2014 @ 9:58am

      Re:

      Stop lying - this has been a problem in the US for a considerable amount of time (going back at least to the First World War).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Aug 2014 @ 9:50pm

      Re:

      Right - because when Chris Dodd threatened to stop funding people after SOPA's defeat, that was Silicon Valley, right?

      Cocksucker.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Abhiyan, 2 Aug 2014 @ 6:44am

    Black money indeed

    There are higher person involved..

    http://smmfox.com

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2014 @ 7:35am

    the campaigns would give a similar amount to charity (their thinking for the campaign $1,123,567 to charity $11.23 that's similar , right!?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2014 @ 10:02am

    I wonder if any of the regular writers here have ever considered running. I think that would be worth watching on CSPAN when copyright legislation was being looked at.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 3 Aug 2014 @ 9:48pm

    I just can't help but wonder. Obviously this pledge worked really well in one race in Massachusetts, but if it gets any bigger, how long before corporate donors start to troll the process. Run a few ads in favor of the guy you want to lose, and you could bankrupt their campaign...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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