Draft Lessig!

Innermost Parts is still on break. Consider this posting snippet an “easter egg” in thanks for you still checking up on us, break nonwithstanding.

Lawrence Lessig is one my heroes.
Lawrence Lessig is, in fact, an academic and a lawyer.

I know what you’re thinking. “One of his heroes and not even a politician. This Lessig guy must really be special, huh.”

In a word: Yes.

From a time way before I got into the political scene, I’ve been interested in the Open Source / Technology scene. And the slashdot scene had a healthy respect for Internet Freedom, consumer freedom. Information, they say, wants to be free.

Well, Professor Lessig pioneered all this. He’s like the MackDaddy of all legal theorists when it comes to the internet. His wikipedia profile begins like this:

Lawrence Lessig (born June 3, 1961) is an American academic. He is a professor of law at Stanford Law School and founder of its Center for Internet and Society. He is founder and CEO of the Creative Commons and a board member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and of the Software Freedom Law Center, launched in February 2005. He is best known as a proponent of reduced legal restrictions on copyright, trademark and radio frequency spectrum, particularly in technology applications.

Pretty cool, huh? Prof. Lessig has spearheaded, founded, and/or aided some pretty important movements, like Free Culture (Culture, (i.e. media) should be free for society to remix reinterpret, and redistribute), Creative Commons (A type of license that encourages derived works) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (ACLU for the Internet).

Right now, he’s moved his focus from patent reform to a broader fight against corruption, and specifically on the corrupting influence of money on politics.

Long story short, he’s probably running for Congress in CA-12. Thing is, the election is 6 weeks away (it’s a primary for the special election in a heavily blue district) and he’s facing a well-funded and strong competitor.

Prof. Lessig running is super cool. Like, he’s a totally legit possible Supreme Court pick. Imagine if Louis Brandeis ran for Congress. That’s how awesome this could be. Like Brandeis, Professor Lessig is of high integrity and has dedicated his life working on obscure points of law that impact real people. Louis Brandeis was known as “the people’s attorney”. Professor Lessig is also a people’s attorney, working to change the restrictive copyright and patent laws that stifle innovation and hinder our rights.

More on this later.

I’m the interim/initial chair of the Draft Lessig National Organizing Committee. I’d like to invite you to join me in my quest to put this singularly brilliant, intellectual, upright, honest, visionary man into Congress.






2 responses to “Draft Lessig!”

  1. I know about Jackie Speier. I remember reading up on her when she was talking about challenging Lantos. It really sucks that both of them are going to run for the same seat.

    However I feel your logic can be used in my favor as well. Spending resources to beat one of the most brilliant people to run for congress* just seems wrong to me, no matter how good a State Senator the other candidate was.

    Look, I don’t want to get into a pissing contest with you over which candidate is better. I personally believe that Lessig running is an incredible opportunity to bring substantial reform of important and underlooked areas of government (the FCC, Patent office, and Technology policy) *as well as* a reliable progressive vote 2. engage a whole class of people who have been standing off in the sidelines on the side of the progressive movement.

    You may believe that Speier is a better candidate. Fine. My point is that Lessig should run in the primary. I can totally envision a scenario where he gains a large base of support, Speier agrees to support his platform and consult with him in congress, and then he drops out. It’s not like the candidates have to worry about taking on a Republican in the general…

    *Don’t forget that his area of expertise if very different than anyone in Congress right now, bringing a valuable perspective to the group.

  2. Lev

    I actually don’t support Lessig. Jackie Speier has been one of my favorite politicians for years. Maybe you’re not familiar with CA-12, but I am. I used to work in that district, doing political stuff too, I used to travel through it at least once a week.

    Jackie Speier has been involved in that community for decades. In the 70s she worked for Rep. Leo Ryan, and was a survivor of the Jonestown Massacre. More recently, in her eight years as State Senator, she represented the left wing of the Democratic caucus. Don Perata, the president pro temp and the de facto head of the CA Democratic Party is in the pockets of big business and Speier help keep him to the left. Due to California term limits, she was termed out of the legislature in 2006 and lost her bid for Lt. Governor.

    But a few months ago she announced she was running against the pro-war Democratic congressman, Tom Lantos. She was challenging Lantos from the left, not unlike Donna Edwards’ challenge to Al Wynn from the left.

    Spending resources to beat one of the best politicians in the state of California just seems like a ridiculous idea to me, no matter how cool the other candidate is.