'Fix Congress First!' Organizes to Change 'Pay to Play' Status Quo in Washington, D.C.
Interview with Lawrence Lessig, Harvard University law professor, director of the Edward J. Sifra Foundation Center for Ethics, and co-founder of the group Change Congress, conducted by Scott Harris
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, companies that hired congressional lobbyists in 2009 spent more than $3.47 billion to influence legislators as they debated the future of health care reform, financial regulations and energy policy. That constituted more than a 5 percent increase over the previous record expenditure of $3.3 billion spent on federal lobbying in 2008. The center calculated that $1.3 million was spent on lobbying every hour that Congress was in session during 2009.
This flood of corporate spending to influence Congress came as the U.S. was suffering through the worst economic decline since the Great Depression. Public opinion polls indicate most Americans aren't happy with the status quo in Washington, with more than 60 percent saying that federal legislators don't deserve to be re-elected. Several other polls find that the public's approval for Congress and political parties are now at historic lows.
Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, is co-founder of the non-profit group Change Congress, whose mission is to restore public trust in government and protect the independence of Congress by fighting the influence of money in politics. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with professor Lessig about how his group proposes to change the status quo in Washington where big money has veto power over congressional action on behalf of the public good.
LISTEN to the interview by clicking on one of the links below:
LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below:
SEE the Between the Lines website by clicking on the link below: http://www.btlonline.org
For more information please write to: email@example.com
"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit: http://www.btlonline.org
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to email@example.com
Between the Lines
c/o Squeaky Wheel Productions
P.O. Box 110176
Trumbull, CT 06611