Campaign finance reform advocate Lawrence Lessig on Sunday confirmed that he would run for U.S. president in 2016, announcing that the exploratory committee he formed in August had hit its $1 million fundraising target by its Labor Day deadline.
Lessig made his statement on ABC’s This Week during an interview with host George Stephanopoulos.
“I’m in, George,” he said. “I’m running to get people to acknowledge the elephant in the room, right. We have to recognize we have a government that does not work.”
As he explained in August, Lessig will run on a platform that targets campaign finance—and, if elected, would step down as soon as Congress passed a package of pro-democracy reforms.
“I want to run to be a different kind of president,” Lessig wrote for the Huffington Post last month. “‘Different’ not in the traditional political puffery sense of that term. ‘Different,’ quite literally. I want to run to build a mandate for the fundamental change that our democracy desperately needs. Once that is passed, I would resign, and the elected Vice President would become President.”
It’s the latest development in a race for the White House that has proven to be full of surprises, with the rapid rise of Sen. Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side and Donald Trump on the Republican.
“This stalemate, partisan platform of American politics in Washington right now doesn’t work,” Lessig said on Sunday. “And we have to find a way to elevate the debate to focus on the changes that would actually get us a government that could work again, that is not captured by the tiniest fraction of the 1 percent who fund campaigns and make it impossible for our government.”
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