WASHINGTON, Sept. 7 (UPI) — On Sunday, Harvard Law School professor Larry Lessig announced his candidacy for America’s highest office, making the race to be the Democratic Party’s nominee for the 2016 presidential election a bit more crowded.
Lessig, an outspoken supporter of campaign finance reform, had increasingly hinted at the possibility of a presidential bid in recent weeks.
Lessig’s campaign is unusual in that the academic and attorney holds little interest in actually governing the United States. If voted into office, Lessig says he would remain president only long enough to pass comprehensive campaign finance reform, after which he would resign his post to the vice president.
His reform bill, dubbed the Citizens Equality Act of 2017, would reform not only campaign finance, but also gerrymandering and protections for voting rights.
Whereas other candidates will have a multifaceted agenda, Lessig says his sole focus is fixing what he calls a “corrupted system.”
“We have to recognize we have a government that does not work,” Lessig told Stephanopoulos. “This stalemate, partisan platform of American politics in Washington right now doesn’t work. 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.”
“This is the presidency as referendum,” Lessig added in a post to his blog. “Our constitution, unlike some states, doesn’t give us a referendum power directly. This hack adds one in.”
Lessig’s campaign website currently allows supporters to vote for who should be his vice president, should he win the nomination. In addition to established candidates like Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, the poll includes astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and former Daily Show host Jon Stewart.