TIME Campaign Finance

‘PAC to End PACs’ Hits $5 Million Funding Goal

Lawrence Lessig
Lawrence Lessig, professor at Harvard Law School, speaks during the 2014 WIRED Business Conference (BizCon) in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, May 13, 2014. Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

The upstart Mayday PAC that seeks to reduce the influence of money in politics has crossed its fundraising goal of $5 million, according to a Friday email from founder and academic Lawrence Lessig.

Mayday PAC, which seeks to fund politicians that will pass restrictions on campaign funding, had raised just $75,000 by the beginning of May, but has been expanding rapidly. A total of 49,490 people have contributed to the Mayday PAC, reflecting a large number of smaller-sized contributions averaging around $100 each.

The group has also received endorsements from several notable figures, including actors Jason Alexander and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

The group arises amidst much frustration over the prevalence of money in political campaigns, with a small percentage of donors holding an increasing share of the influence over elections. Just 196 people (that’s 0.000063 percent of the country’s population) donated 80 percent of the total Super PAC money raised in 2012, according to Lessig.

“The frustration with the mess we call Congress is palpable, and the desperate urge to do something about it is raw,” said Lessig in his email Friday.

Mayday PAC still has an uphill battle to fight despite its fundraising success. Few members of Congress have expressed the political will to tackle campaign finance reform, leading many observers to be skeptical about the PAC’s chances of changing Capitol Hill.

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