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.