Rootstrikers

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There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.[1]

Rootstrikers, or sometimes Root strikers, is a nonpartisan grassroots activist organization created by Harvard law school professor Lawrence Lessig[2][3] and political activist Joe Trippi for the purpose of fighting political corruption in the United States and reducing the role of special interest money in elections.[4] According to Lessig, who has called for a Second Constitutional Convention,[4] the idea is not to hack at the branches of the problem but rather focus on its root,[5][6] which Lessig views as a corrupt campaign finance system, and hence he named the organization rootstrikers.[7][8]

Rootstrikers was founded in April 2011. In November 2011, Rootstrikers, along with Change Congress and Fix Congress First, became a project of United Republic, a non-partisan 501(c)(4) organization. The organization plans to use technology to help engage people.[9]

In December 2011, Lessig appeared on The Daily Show[7] starring Jon Stewart and suggested that the public needs to strike at the root of money in politics; Stewart advised Lessig "You need a better term than rootstriker."[8] Lessig later credited Henry David Thoreau's book Walden for inspiring the name.[1]

Contents

Positions

In his 2012 book One Way Forward, Lessig proposes what he termed the Anti-Corruption Pledge. Lessig launched the Pledge as a project of Rootstrikers on February 24, 2012 on MSNBC’s show Morning Joe.[10] The pledge is available for people to sign to show their support for the fight against corruption. The Pledge has four provisions:

  • publicly funded elections[11]
  • political expenditures which are limited and transparent[11]
  • ending the revolving door between Congress and K Street
  • reaffirmation that when the Declaration of Independence spoke of entities “endowed by their Creator with unalienable Rights,” it was speaking of natural persons only,[11] and not corporations.

Activities

Over the weekend of October 29, 2011, a coaltion of Rootstrikers and the conservative Tea Party Patriots held a "Conference on the Constitutional Convention" in hopes of proposing amendments to the U.S. Constitution by means of a national convention called by the state legislatures of two-thirds of the existing states, thus bypassing the United States Congress. While this procedure for proposing amendments is provided for under Article V of the United States Constitution, all 27 amendments ratified as of 2011 had been proposed not in the state legislatures, but by two-thirds majorities of both houses of Congress.[12]

Lessig and Catherine Crier plan to lead a Rootstrikers' Independence Day rally in front of Philadelphia's Independence Hall on July 4, 2012 to call for limits on corporate lobbying and its influence over the Congress.[13]

References

  1. ^ a b Mornin, Joseph (16 November 2011). "Rootstrikers and United Republic: A letter from Lawrence Lessig". United Republic. "Again and again, I have been driven back to a favorite line in Thoreau’s Walden ..." 
  2. ^ Lawrence Lessig (December 20, 2011). "The Great Promise of Super-PACs". Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lawrence-lessig/the-great-promise-of-supe_b_1160215.html. Retrieved June 4, 2012. "Founder, Rootstrikers" 
  3. ^ Greenwood, Arin (March 20, 2012). "Jack Abramoff Does Not Know How He Will Pay Back $44 Million, Will Not Go On 'Dancing With The Stars'". Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/20/jack-abramoff-questions_n_1340067.html. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  4. ^ a b Lawrence Lessig and David Segal (September 30, 2011). "Report from the Conference on the Constitutional Convention". Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lawrence-lessig/report-from-the-conferenc_b_988902.html. Retrieved June 4, 2012. 
  5. ^ Stempeck, Matt (February 27, 2012). "Lawrence Lessig on Politics and Awakening a Sleeping Giant". PBS. http://www.pbs.org/idealab/2012/02/lawrence-lessig-on-politics-and-awakening-a-sleeping-giant054.html. Retrieved June 5, 2012. "...Lessig led with this Thoreau quote that inspired the name of his Rootstrikers campaign: "There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root."..." 
  6. ^ "There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.". Yahoo! Answers. June 4, 2012. http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080611202202AA5DksS. Retrieved June 4, 2012. "Henry David Thoreau (author of quote)" 
  7. ^ a b Ratigan, Dylan (December 15, 2011). "On Our Way to Climbing Everest". Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dylan-ratigan/on-our-way-to-climbing-ev_b_1151433.html. Retrieved June 4, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Mitchell, Greg (December 14, 2011). "The OccupyUSA Blog for Wednesday (Dec. 14), With Frequent Updates". The Nation. http://www.thenation.com/blog/165131/occupyusa-blog-wednesday-dec-14-frequent-updates. Retrieved June 4, 2012. 
  9. ^ Halliday, Josh (April 28, 2011). "Guardian Activate 2011: Live coverage from New York: Guardian Activate summit makes its overseas debut in the Big Apple, featuring an extra-special array of speakers primed to change the world through the internet". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/pda/2011/apr/28/guardian-activate-2011-new-york. Retrieved June 4, 2012. 
  10. ^ Scarborough, Joe. "Morning Joe". http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036789/ns/msnbc_tv-morning_joe/#46512228. Retrieved June 4, 2012. 
  11. ^ a b c Homan, Nate (May 21, 2012). "Tom Ashbrook and a Panel Discussing Pushing Back on Money Politics, 2012". Concord Patch. http://concord.patch.com/articles/tom-ashbrook-and-a-panel-discussing-pushing-back-on-money-politics-2012. Retrieved June 4, 2012. 
  12. ^ Antle, W. James III (2 November 2011). "Rebooting the Republic". The American Conservative. Ron Unz/The American Ideas Institute. http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/rebooting-the-republic/. "Rootstrikers, a left-wing group dedicated to the proposition that corporate money has a malign influence on American politics, and the conservative Tea Party Patriots had banded together to organize a Conference on the Constitutional Convention. The progressive left and the populist right would spend two days together studying Article V of the U.S. Constitution." 
  13. ^ Marketwire (April 19, 2012). "Lawrence Lessig, Catherine Crier to Headline Independence Day Rally in Philadelphia". Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20120419-912355.html. Retrieved June 4, 2012. 

External links