Democrat promises overhaul of ‘corrupted system’ if elected president
After a successful month of fundraising in which he exceeded his $1 million crowdfunding goal, Larry Lessig, a former Harvard Law professor, formally announced his candidacy for president as a Democrat on Sunday.
“I think I’m running to get people to acknowledge the elephant in the room,” he told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.
“We have a government that does not work. The stalemate, partisan platform of American politics in Washington right now doesn’t work.”
Lessig is not your typical candidate. Primarily focused on campaign financing, Lessig has openly stated he plans on serving as the first ever referendum president, meaning he will serve only for the time it takes to get his bill, the Citizens Equality Act of 2017, passed.
The Citizens Equality Act of 2017 is primarily focused on providing all Americans with equal representation and overhauling the “corrupted system” of campaign financing.
According to ABC, Lessig said his proposal for the referendum “would fix this democracy and make it possible for government to actually do something without fear of what the funders want them to do.”
After the bill is passed, he said he plans to step down and let his vice president, whom he has not yet named, take over.
“When I get that legislation passed, maybe a day, maybe a week, however long it takes,” he said to ABC in August. “I will resign.”
Lessig’s announcement for a radical overthrow has some Cougars questioning his intentions, though. For history senior Jon Frazier, Lessig’s motives seem to be more of a political ploy to get media coverage than a legitimate run.
“His radical overhaul had no chance of passing Congress,” Frazier said. “The only effect of his candidacy will be to steal a few votes from Bernie. (He) is the best presidential candidate in decades, and without our youth vote we are going to get a president who cares more about the office than the people.”
Many UH students share Frazier’s views and are eager to stand behind Bernie Sanders. Known for his more progressive platform, Sanders is focused on issues such as income inequality and universal healthcare.
“I think we definitely need a campaign finance reform because like many systems in this country, it favors those with money,” said anthropology senior Ariel Ehrman. “I don’t think it’s ultimately advantageous for him to be running as a single-issue candidate…I’d prefer a more well rounded candidate as far as the issues they would address goes.” 10