Segments in this Video

Political Theory to Practice (01:57)


Bill Moyers welcomes Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, who started an anti-corruption super PAC and Fordham law professor Zephyr Teachout, who ran for New York Governor.

Challenging the System (01:25)

Teachout reflects on the "sleeping giant" of voters that want true democracy. Lessig admits he is an academic, but was able to move voters against campaign finance and corruption.

Campaign Fundraising (00:55)

Teachout talks about the process of soliciting political funds. Sales skills are a major part of getting elected rather than traditional leadership qualities.

Fear in Politics (02:45)

Lessig discusses reluctance among big donors to challenge Republican Energy Committee Chair Fred Upton. Teachout calls for leaders like Elizabeth Warren who can speak fearlessly.

Undemocratic Elections (02:21)

Teachout talks about voter disillusionment as donors control the election process. Lessig cites a policy decision study that found average voters had no effect on passing legislation.

Tillman Act (01:05)

The Hong Kong democracy movement inspires Teachout. She compares our current political state to that of 1901, where the people lobbied to ban direct corporate campaign donations.

Corruption Solutions (01:58)

Lessig says people know democracy is not working and outlines constitutional campaign finance reform proposals that could easily be passed as statutes.

New York City Model (01:21)

Public campaign financing enables more women and people of color to run for office.

Passing Campaign Finance Reform (01:14)

Lessig believes grassroots Republicans and Democrats can build a coalition to address election corruption, and cites David Brat's victory over Eric Cantor.

Hope for Democracy (02:10)

Teachout discusses the Democratic Party split and calls for economic truth telling to regain popular support. She believes there is opportunity in campaign finance reform.

Money in 2014 Midterms (01:28)

Teachout argues that campaign spending was a major factor in Democratic losses.

Campaign Finance Psychology (02:29)

Candidates spending 50% of their time on fundraising are careful not to say anything that would risk donations—rather than taking a stand on real issues.

Political Tipping Point (02:25)

The current election system is becoming institutionalized, because candidates have no incentive to change campaign financing—but it also causes government to fail.

Credits: Moyers & Company: The Bare Knuckle Fight against Money in Politics (01:34)

Credits: Moyers & Company: The Bare Knuckle Fight against Money in Politics

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Moyers & Company: The Bare Knuckle Fight against Money in Politics

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In this edition of Moyers & Company, Bill speaks with Lawrence Lessig and Zephyr Teachout, two college professors who left academia to run for political office in the turbulent midterm elections of 2014. Although they did not win the elections, they share their experiences and the hard-fought lessons learned about the state of American democracy. Broadcast date: November 14, 2014.

Length: 27 minutes

Item#: FMK66045

ISBN: 978-1-60057-700-0

Copyright date: ©2014

Closed Captioned

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