Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig, a longtime advocate of net neutrality and frequent guest on Stephen Colbert’s “Colbert Report,” entered his name into the 2016 presidential campaign conversation, but with a catch.
In a YouTube video posted on Monday, Lessig announced that he would be run for president if he can crowdsource $1 million to fund a campaign by Labor Day. As “referendum president,” Lessig promised to make campaign finance reform his top priority, and resign once he passed such legislation.
According to Lessig’s campaign website, his only priority is passing the Citizen Equality Act of 2017, a bill to reform the way political campaigns are funded, prevent the gerrymandering of congressional districts and increase voter protections.
Lessig admitted that he isn’t the best candidate, but he believes that campaign finance reform needs to be the first priority of the new president. “No doubt, there should be someone better than me,” he says in the video. “If someone better known commits to credibly making this run, I would happily step aside.”
He previously co-founded and served as CEO of Mayday PAC, the super-PAC dedicated to backing candidates who supported campaign finance reform. He exited as CEO of the super-PAC last month. He was also an outspoken advocate for net neutrality in February.