In less than two weeks of their self-crowdfunding campaign, MayOne has surpassed the $1 million amount raised by thousands of supporters. Capitalizing on the profound frustration of many with the endemic problems intrinsic to the US political process, the project has easily raised this amount from over 11,700 contributors with an average contribution of $85.82. The tiered project had set a goal of raising the first million by June 1st with a second objective of raising $5 million by July 1st. The current campaign velocity indicates the very strong possibility of the second goal being met. Contributors were assured their money would not be collected if the $1 million amount was not achieved (although donations were gladly accepted)
The political initiative was launched by Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard Professor, on the pretext that “government has failed us”. Based on the foundation that 90% of Americans believe the failure is linked to the influence of money in politics, Lessig and his partners want to “pay the ransom and get it back”. The initial funds raised will be utilized to impact five congressional races in 2014. If the process is successful the MayOne project will look to win a Congress that is committed to fundamental reform by 2016. A second round Mayday PAC is expected to be launched by 2015.
Both the $1 million amount and the $5 million amounts are accompanied by a commitment from Lessig of a matching contribution – a significant donation. Lessig, the founder of the organization, is a Professor of Law at Harvard and Director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ehtics at Harvard University. He has authored numerous books including Republic Lost: How Money Corrupts Our Congress.
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