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Stanford Law Professor Weighs Run For Congress

Publication Date: 
February 21, 2008
Source: 
Daily Journal
Author: 
Craig Anderson

Professor Lawrence Lessig is quoted in the Daily Journal about his interest in running for Congress:

Lessig said Wednesday he is considering a run because the leading candidate, former state Sen. Jackie Speier, has accepted campaign money from industries she regulated as a legislator. In a video on his Web site, Lessig claimed Speier accepted $250,000 from insurance companies when she served as chairwoman of the state Senate Insurance Committee.

"What [legislators] should stand for is a politics that eschews money," Lessig said.

He acknowledges that challenging a well-known and well-liked liberal candidate like Speier would be difficult, and he noted he has voted for her in the past.

But Lessig said a politician who has done well under the "old system," taking money from political action committees and lobbyists even if she sometimes votes against their interests, should be supplanted by someone devoted to different ethical standards.

Lessig touted his own expertise on technology and the law as a reason to support him.

"I have vastly more experience in these issues - the one that is most important in Silicon Valley," he said.

Lessig said he would decide whether to run for Lantos' seat around March 1, but he said he was not certain whether he would challenge Speier in the April 8 special election to fill the remainder of Lantos' term or run instead in the June primary election to win the seat in the next Congress. Monday is the deadline to file to run in the special election.

...

Lessig also said the current system, in which incumbents are repeatedly returned to office in almost every case, has produced a "less vibrant Democratic process."