Special interest spending is wreaking havoc on our politics. How can we fight for a democracy that works for everyone? Authors Tim Wu, Matt Stoller, and Ganesh Sitaraman, political activist Lawrence Lessig, NY Gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout, and more, debate how we can reform the system.
It so often seems that the pursuit of extreme wealth is the only driving force in Congress and the White House. Americans organize for social justice, climate awareness, and myriad other political issues, just to come up against the same nebulous powers again and again. Our panel gathers to tackle the problem. This solution-oriented group has first hand experience in fighting plutocracy and will share its experience by addressing how campaigns are financed, the struggle for antitrust laws in the 21st century, and the role the middle class will have in pushing for economic equality.
Lawrence Lessig is an American academic, attorney, and political activist. He is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the former director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University.
Ganesh Sitaraman is Chancellor’s Faculty Fellow, Professor of Law, and Director of the Program on Law and Government at Vanderbilt Law School. He is the author of The Public Option: How to Expand Freedom, Increase Opportunity, and Promote Equality (Harvard Univ. Press, 2019) (with Anne Alstott), The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution: Why Economic Inequality Threatens Our Republic (Alfred A. Knopf, 2017), which was one of The New York Times‘ 100 notable books of 2017, and The Counterinsurgent‘s Constitution: Law in the Age of Small Wars (Oxford University Press, 2012), which won the 2013 Palmer Civil Liberties Prize.
Matt Stoller is a fellow at the Open Markets Institute. He is writing a book on monopoly power in the 20th century for Simon and Schuster. Previously, he was a Senior Policy Advisor and Budget Analyst to the Senate Budget Committee. He also worked in the U.S. House of Representatives on financial services policy, including Dodd-Frank, the Federal Reserve, and the foreclosure crisis. He has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, The New Republic, Vice, and Salon.
Zephyr Teachout is an American attorney, author, and Associate Professor of Law at Fordham University. She was a candidate for attorney general of New York in the 2018 election. In 2014 Teachout ran for the Democratic Party nomination for governor of New York and lost to incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo, receiving 34% of the primary vote. In August 2015 Teachout became CEO and board chair of the campaign finance reform-oriented organization Mayday PAC, replacing Lawrence Lessig. She stepped down from this position in December 2015 to run for the United States House of Representatives in New York's 19th congressional district.Teachout won the Democratic primary before losing to Republican John Faso in the November 2016 general election.
Tim Wu is a policy advocate, a professor at Columbia Law School, and a contributing opinion writer forThe New York Times. He worked on competition policy in the Obama White House and the Federal Trade Commission, served as senior enforcement counsel at the New York Office of the Attorney General, and worked at the Supreme Court for Justice Stephen Breyer. He is the author of The Master Switch (2010), The Attention Merchants (2016) and, most recently, The Curse of Bigness (2018), which argues for a revitalization of antitrust law.
Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theatre