Recoding Washington


The rumors have been floating around for a week or two: Will the legal guru Lawrence Lessig run for Congress? Now the man himself informs us that…he's not sure yet:

At lessig08.org, you can watch a 10 minute video explaining the launching of a Change Congress movement, and the decision I am trying to make about whether to run for Congress. That decision will be made soon. I've been spurred to consider it seriously by the enormous support of many at draftlessig.org and facebook (and by the cool swag at zazzle). Those three I had nothing to do with. But this I do.

This is a very difficult decision. In the coming days, I'll reflect a bit about it here. Thank you to everyone who has tried to help—both through very strong words of encouragement and very very strong words to dissuade.

While I have my disagreements with Lessig about copyright and telecom policy, his views in those areas are far, far better than you'll hear from almost every elected official in America. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like those issues will play a role in his potential campaign, which is centered around the vaguer idea of restricting "the power of money in Washington." Lessig says he wants to ban earmarks and have publicly financed elections. I like the first idea and dislike the second, but I can't work up much passion about either.

Elsewhere in Reason: I interviewed Lessig in 2002. David Post reviewed his book Free Culture in 2004.