The Problem Of Money In Politics

We have finally gotten videos up on the web from our Hacking Society event that happened in late April. A number of participants are going to blog this week about some of the specific topics and my contribution will be about our conversation about money and politics.

This 14min video clip starts with Larry Lessig outlining the issues around money and politics and then goes into some potential solutions. I advocated for a hack of the campaign finance system that starts with the internet industry contributing something like 5% of its combined ad inventory to a pool that is available to politicans who agree to certain conditions.

There was a debate about what those conditions should be. One group thought the candidates need to sign onto the Internet Freedom Pledge. Others thought that the candidates should renounce traditional campaign finance. Others thought candidates should do both.

Of course, this idea requires the Internet industry (Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc, etc, etc) to allocate 5% of its inventory to this kind of a pool. I have had a few conversations with the industry leaders about this idea but honestly it hasn't gone anywhere. It would be great if our industry could rally around this idea and make it happen. Hopefully this post and other actions we are taking this week might get this idea rolling.

Here's the video:

By the way, interested folks should check out the Hacking Society web page. In addition to videos, we now have a transcript of the event as well as audio recordings, photos, and lots of quotes. There's a lot there and its interesting and engaging stuff.