SXSW Megathread: Lawrence Lessig unveils Mayday PAC v2 plans. Share your ideas here!

BLUF I'm not terribly inspired by Mayday PAC v2. v1 was bold and ambitious. It had crowd appeal and real excitement. v2 sounds like your prototypical advocacy. Yawn.

Just to make it clear though, I'm a committed reformer that prefers Lessig's overall strategy of tackling Congress and the presidency compared to the other approaches being taken. I just expect more of Mayday v2.

What made v1 great is that part 1 did something that had never been done before: crowdfund a Super PAC to the tune of $6 million using relatively small donations. What made v1 bad was that there wasn't really enough time to do more than just run ads that weren't really any different from all the other Super PACs.

I unfortunately could only watch snippets of the SXSW talk, but I have read Lessig's Medium post and so far, I am not anywhere near as impressed as I was with the kickoff of v1. I fail to see how a citizen lobby will motivate the kind of numbers we need to be successful, even at a primary level. Primaries may be smaller, but they can also be much more difficult because they are dominated by party insiders and loyalists that like the way the system works for them just fine, thank you very much.

If a small group of even really effective "citizen lobbyists" approach the candidates, I just don't see the candidates paying more than lip service.

Here is my proposal for v2. Be just and bold and brave as in v1. Set a tough goal, some tight deadlines, and have a clear objective. In v1, the goal was raising enough money to be relevant in just two 30 day periods. The objective was to win some races. The objective failed, but the momentum was their. I'm pretty dismayed at how that momentum was left to drain, but I still think it can be rekindled with the right kind of focus.

So what is the goal for v2? How about 100K paid members in 30 days (if the 60K that took part in v1, did this it should be cake to achieve this). If successful we go for 1 million paid members in 30 days. The ultimate objective? To create the largest voting block this country has ever seen. A voting block where ending corruption is the 1st issue and the number 2, 3, 4, etc. issues simply represent sub-blocks within the entire block. Why should the people go begging the candidates to take up reform? The candidates should be begging us for a seal of approval!

The problem we have in our elections may be money, but ultimately it is still all about votes. With 10% of the presidential turnout ~12.5M we would have a voting block large enough to determine the winner. With an even larger block, I'm sure we could set the agenda on corruption and many other issues. With an average of $5/month memberships, we would have over $60M a month to spend on campaigns and infrastructure.

How would it work? We need committed people. People willing to put a little money where their mouth is. If 15M+ people can pay a monthly fee for Spotify, can we not make a service for restoring our Republic that would be worth a $1-$10 membership? Volunteers are great and all, but how much more could Mayday do if their volunteers weren't left to skipping sleep and scrimping whatever time they could manage to get shit done?

What would people get in return for their membership? Access to high quality content on the candidates, where they stand, different methods for fixing the system, and anything else important to members. How about a little say in the direction of Mayday, a little democracy in the process of restoring our democracy? Instead of bunch of Harvard elites (sorry Larry) deciding which candidates we back in 2016, how about we the members get a voice in how our $ get spent?

We need to make the big tent. One where liberals that care about climate change and conservatives concerned about national debt can come together and push this 1st issue without sacrificing their position on other issues. This can be done if we ask only a little and give a lot of value in return.

Citizen lobbying is asking for a significant amount of time and energy and takes a lot of people out of their comfort zone when it comes to politics. Yet buying into a high quality service for a small monthly fee is something we all do every single day. It also is the living breathing example of what small $ reforms can do to transform the entire democratic portion of our Republic.

Now is not the time to play it safe Mayday. Now is the time to keep leaping off tall buildings. Be bold, be visionary, and the people will respond once again. Well I know at least one person will.

/r/MaydayPAC Thread