I must admit that I'm terrible at math and thought I would have to drop out of graduate school because of the biostatistics requirement (but thanks to my professor who took pity on me and somehow passed me). So, it's a bit audacious of me to write the equation, Hope + (Lawrence) Lessig = Change. Perhaps it's a bit more bewildering to you than something you learned in your high school pre-calculus class. Let me give you a sense of my equation by giving you to two scenarios, below.
A. Rod Blagojevich, Ted Stevens, US Interior Department staff's drug use and sex scandal, Don Young, Charlie Rangel, Jack Abramoff.
B. Barack Obama, McCain-Feingold Act, open government, citizen voices, government accountability, ethics, campaign finance reform.
We've lived under "A' for a long time and the New York Times reported that the Republican National Committee's latest challenge to the McCain-Feingold Act (also known as the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act) "could drive a stake through the heart of the campaign finance system." But with the election of Barack Obama and the spirit of change emanating throughout the country, we have a genuine opportunity for B. Obama has spoken of bringing citizen voices and access to our government. But, he cannot achieve success on this issue without our help. Yes, it requires our hard work and commitment as well to bring about change to the halls of our government.
There are a few easy ways for you to get to help bring about these important changes to how our government operates. Fortunately, Lawrence Lessig, through his group, Change Congress, has already done some of the important legwork to get us involved in removing the influence of special interests in Congress and replacing it with citizens voices. Change.org is sponsoring a national contest of the ten best ideas for the Obama Administration. Vote to make sure that Lessig's proposal for public funding of elections is at the top. Second, join Change Congress's email list for updates (no pay to play here, it's totally free to join).
So, despite my significant math deficiency, I think my equation is pretty simple, straightforward and realistic for achieving genuine government ethics reform in Congress, state houses and city halls across the country.