Harvard prof., former Dem presidential hopeful puts trust in Trump
- Prof. Lawrence Lessig campaigned for the Democratic nomination but did not poll well enough to appear in a debate.
After a failed bid for the Democratic nomination, Harvard Law School professor Lawrence Lessig said GOP frontrunner Donald Trump is America’s best shot at real campaign reform, arguing he has “long thought that we will only get reform if a Republican proposes it.”
“As much as it’s impossibly difficult for me to imagine a Donald Trump presidency…I do kind of think that the highest probability of fundamental reform is if Donald Trump is president,” he told student reporters with The Harvard Crimson.
Lessig’s run at the presidency was fueled by a strident aversion to Super PACs, the controversial political organizations used to funnel millions of dollars into campaign funds. Trump, the real-estate mogul who has made it clear he is the only candidate to self-fund a successful campaign, shares Lessig’s skepticism of Super PACs.
“I am self-funding my campaign and therefore I will not be controlled by the donors, special interests and lobbyists who have corrupted our politics and politicians for far too long,” Trump said in a statement after he was accused of alleged connections with a Super PAC.
Lessig raised over $1 million in a matter of weeks in order to clinch a spot in the first Democratic debate. In August, well before his campaign began, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) told Lessig he could participate in the debate if he polled at one percent in at least three DNC sanctioned polls within the six weeks prior to the debate. Lessig campaigned tirelessly to get the job done but days before the first debate he was told he could not participate because he did not poll at one percent six weeks prior to the main event.
Lessig dropped out of the race on Nov. 2 after exhausting his resources on getting a spot on stage. If the Democratic Party had not changed its debate criteria this year, Lessig said, he would have been able to present his finance reforms to the nation.
Lessig told The Crimson he is counting on the Republican party to help him push for campaign finance reforms. While Lessig views Trump as the candidate with the most potential to change party rules, he said he initially supported Senator Bernie Sanders but is concerned with the credibility of his policies.
“You could love everything Bernie is saying,” he said. “But unless you change the political system and end this core corruption, nothing that he’s talking about is even credible.”
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