I had the pleasure of seeing Lawrence Lessig unveil the next phase of the Change-congress movement last Friday at the Berkman center at Harvard. Lessig gives phenomenal presentations and could probably be compelling talking about just about any topic. The topic this time was the distorting (rather than corrupting) influence money has on politics and I thought it was eye opening and informative.
Lessig mentioned a study showing people stop reading or tune out of news as soon as political donations are mentioned as part of a story, so even without real corruption most of the time, the appearance of influence is enough to make large numbers of people disengage from the political process.
I wish I could link to the talk, but as far as I can tell its not yet online despite being webcase live. Check out the event’s page, hopefully a link to the video will appear there one day.
Update: theres a video posted on the change congress blog