Campaign Finance Reform Candidate Calls It Quits

Former Democratic presidential candidate Larry Lessig. CREDIT: YOUTUBE
Former Democratic presidential candidate Larry Lessig. CREDIT: YOUTUBE

Democratic presidential candidate and Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig called it quits for the nomination on Monday, citing rule changes in qualification for the upcoming Democratic debate.

“I may be known in tiny corners of the tubes of the internet but I am not well known to the American public,” Lessig admitted in a YouTube message.

“Last week we learned that the Democratic party has changed its rules for inclusion in the debate and under the new rule, unless we can time travel there is no way that I will qualify. Until this week the rule was three polls finding me at 1 percent in the six weeks prior to the debate. Last week we begin to get close two polls found me at 1 percent,” he said.

“One more and I would be in the second debate under the original rule, but under the new rule the standard is three polls at least six weeks before the debate. That means I would have had to have qualified at the beginning of October, which means that nothing that happens now could matter. Under this new rule, I am just shut out now,” he said.

“I wanted to run for president as a Democrat because the values I champion are shared by all Americans, but especially by Democrats. But it is now clear that the party won’t let me be a candidate.”

He also name checked his deceased friend Aaron Schwartz, who became a symbol for certain types of internet-based political reform.

In an interview with ThinkProgress earlier this month, Lessig outlined his key platform — reforming campaign finance in a post-Citizens United world.

“This is the only way to crack the corruption that’s holding this city hostage,” he said in September.

The next Democratic debate will take place on November 14.