Draft Lessig?


Last Monday, Rep. Tom Lantos, who represented the CA-12, passed away after a battle with cancer. Shortly after a special election to fill his seat was announced an online movement was already in motion to try and draft Larry Lessig to run for the vacant seat. A great story is currently up at Ars Technica about the effort which includes a shout out to our own JP (who created the Draft Lessig Facebook Group).

A few thoughts of mine and some more links after the jump.

As an initial matter I think that this is a great idea. It would be nice if at least some of our politicians thought that the internet was more than just a series of tubes. However, I am a little worried that a effort like this might be distracting to the “technology movement” (although what that “movement” is exactly, I don’t know) and take the focus off some of the more currently pressing issues that the government is trying to address (cue net neutrality). Still, some MSM coverage of this race couldn’t be a bad thing and I did proudly join the facebook group myself. Maybe I just don’t want to get my hopes up since it seems that there is already another democrat running for the seat (curse law school and all of the cynicism it has implanted in me).

Of course the bigger question is if Professor Lessig is actually interested. In the Ars piece there was the lovely non-answer, answer:

“At this point, I’m not really able to say anything,” Lessig told Ars Technica, “I’ve been kind of stunned by the push of many, and am away with my family this weekend to think things through.”

Still, there are some interesting developments with the domain change-congress.com that JZ took note of over at his blog.

Some More Links:

1 Comment

  1. cbaird

    February 18, 2008 @ 12:07 pm


    This is an interesting example of citizens using the web to promote the potential candidacy of of an individual. Whether it be urging an individual to run for office or to moderate a debate, I believe that interactive politics of this manner is the future of politics. Dan Gillmor has an interesting post that describes what the future of debate may be when interactivity is realized.

    Dan Gillmor’s Post: http://citmedia.org/blog/2007/11/11/using-tech-to-improve-political-debates/

    Dan Gillmor’s Follow-up post: http://citmedia.org/blog/2007/11/11/more-about-new-kinds-of-online-debates/