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There’s a very clever Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign going on right now to raise awareness about how money corrupts politics. The campaign puts forward a fake super-honest candidate.
“People of Kentucky, you deserve complete honesty, so here it is. I don’t care about you,” says satirical candidate ‘Gil Fulbright’ in his fake Kentucky Senate race speech. “Unless you are a donor, a lobbyist who can write a big fat check, the result that you get from voting for me is negligible.”
The delightful comedy skit was produced to fund a realistic-looking political campaign to raise awareness of corruption in politics and the need for campaign finance reform. With enough money, the Indiegogo campaign promises not only to buy TV ads, but also to “drive hundreds of thousands to join the growing movement to pass tough new anti-corruption laws.”
The team behind the campaign is Represent.Us, a non-partisan grassroots organization based in Massachusetts.
They’ve already passed their $20,000 funding goal and will use that money to buy a giant campaign bus and launch a road-trip campaign. And the group promises that if it can raise $50,000, it will launch print, radio, and TV ads and “bring in Kentucky’s best PR firms” to help spread the word. It currently has about $31,000 raised at this point.
The Gil Fulbright Indiegogo campaign is one of a few long-term projects hoping to bring about strict campaign finance reform. Earlier this month, Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig’s MayDay.us super PAC raised it’s $5 million funding goal to elect candidates who promise to introduce campaign finance reform.
It’s possible that the Internet may finally be the tool the political masses need to counter the influence of wealthy donors. However, even if all of these crowdfunding campaigns raise lots of money, they still have to deal with the fact that most incumbents in Congress have large donors funding their re-election campaigns.
As it stands, a large majority of Congress has no self-interest in enacting campaign finance reform. So, these crowdfunding efforts are a good first step. But it’s unclear how they will reach their ultimate goal.