agile issue-specific citizen driven lobbying

I just got an email from that goes like this:
Let's Escrow Our Money to Keep Obama Progressive

[...]we are asking you to use your money to ensure that Barack Obama lives up to his promise to deliver "change we can believe in. "

How? By creating a progressive "escrow" fund that you control.
This particular email is focusing on the FISA bill, and is trying to get Obama to put his weight on the telecom immunity issue. The idea is that sure, he's probably going to get our support anyway, but by tying a large amount of money up in escrow to a general behavior or a specific policy, diverse groups of citizens can have a big impact.

This is called lobbying, and it's generally associated with big organizations, trade groups, and corporations. Seeing it spread to the grassroots like this is illuminating, and it makes me hopeful that we're at the start of an era when concerned citizens can compete on an equal battlefield with concerned corporations.

Why not create an escrow fund for your issue, and allow any politician who champions your issue to earn those donations? It's all personal donations, under the cap, totally legal. Want to dismantle the DMCA or 100 year copyright? Start a fund, and the congresscritters who make it happen can claim the support of your grassroots group.

We spend a lot of time wishing politicians would ignore the money and follow their hearts and brains, but money will never leave politics, because getting elected is expensive. Maybe we just need to change the way it flows.

By the way, this is exactly the model of the NRA, and they have been enormously successful. The promise of the internet is that this model can be used instantly, on any issue that people care about, not just long-term cultural issues like guns and abortion.

...In the end, money is speech, and rich people have more access than poor people, but by leveraging superior numbers and distributed organization, poor people can have more of a voice now than they did before.

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