October 28 — Lawrence Lessig on how money corrupts our democracy and our nation’s politics

Friday, October 28, 2011
7:45am  Continental Breakfast
8:15-9:15am  Forum

Lawrence Lessig,
Harvard Professor, expert on ethics and law and technology
in conversation with journalist John Schwada 

REPUBLIC, LOST: How Money Corrupts Congress—and a Plan to Stop It

The City Club on Bunker Hill
333. S. Grand Avenue, 54th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90071

PURCHASE TICKETS: $20, $35 includes Lessig’s book

Harvard Law School professor Lawrence Lessig investigates the most vexing problem in American democracy: how money corrupts our nation’s politics, and the critical campaign to stop it.  Lessig is one of America’s foremost intellectuals, and an expert on ethics. He is the author of six books on the law and technology, including Remix, Free Culture, The Future of Ideas and Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace.

More than ever, Americans are concerned about the influence of money on American political life. The Supreme Court’s recent Citizens United decision gave corporations unprecedented power to spend in federal elections.  That decision—and the flood of private money it has unleashed—have galvanized calls for reform.

In an era of ballooning corporate campaign expenditures, unleashed by the Supreme Court in Citizens United, trust in our government is at an all time low. More than ever before, Americans believe that money buys results in Congress and that our Republic has been lost.

Using examples that resonate as powerfully on the Right as on the Left, Republic, Lost not only makes clear how the economy of influence defeats the will of the people, but offers cogent strategies to correct our course – from a constitutional convention to a Regent Presidency.  A onetime friend of Barack Obama, Lessig is as critical of the president and the Democratic Party as he is of Republicans. Both have allowed the core institution of our democracy to become little more than a shill for the most powerful moneyed interests in our Republic.  America may be divided, argues Lessig, but we must recognize that corruption is our common enemy, and we must find a way to fight against it.

Lawrence Lessig is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. Prior to rejoining the Harvard faculty, Lessig was a professor at Stanford Law School, where he founded the school’s Center for Internet and Society, and at the University of Chicago. He clerked for Judge Richard Posner on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court.

Lessig serves on the Board of Creative Commons, MAPLight, Brave New Film Foundation, The American Academy, Berlin, AXA Research Fund and iCommons.org, and on the the advisory board of the Sunlight Foundation. He is a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Association, and has received numerous awards, including the Free Software Foundation’s Freedom Award, Fastcase 50 Award and being named one of Scientific American’s Top 50 Visionaries.

Lessig holds a BA in economics and a BS in management from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in philosophy from Cambridge, and a JD from Yale.

John Schwada has been a politics-government and investigative reporter for Fox 11 News, the Los Angeles Times and the L.A. Herald Examiner for more than three decades. His journalism DNA can also be found in The Economist and San Francisco Bay Guardian. He lives in West Los Angeles and has a masters degree in history from UC Berkeley. He was twice named top reporter of the year by SPJ’s Los Angeles chapter, and in 2011 he received the Los Angeles Press Club’s Joseph M. Quinn Award for journalism excellence and distinction. Schwada is a contributing blogger at LAObserved.com

Purchase Tickets:
$20   Forum and Breakfast
$35   also includes Lessig’s’ book