Professor Lawrence Lessig is dedicated to getting a bill through Congress next year for public funding for congressional campaigns. Earlier this year he formed a SuperPAC, Mayday, which raised $12,000,000 that will be used to make independent expenditures for congressional candidates who will work energetically for public funding.
On July 28, Mayday announced that it will make independent expenditures on behalf of two particular candidates, Jim Rubens for U.S. Senate in the New Hampshire Republican primary, and Staci Appel in the Iowa general election for U.S. House, district 3.
In the New Hampshire U.S. Senate Republican primary, Mayday seems determined to defeat former U.S. Senator Scott Brown, who is running against Rubens. Mayday is angry with Scott Brown because when he was a Massachusetts legislator and member of Congress from Massachusetts, he said he supported public funding. Now, he doesn’t. Brown has raised $2,623,390 and Rubens has raised $588,591, so if Mayday can help defeat Brown, it will have demonstrated that its support matters. On the other hand, if Rubens wins the Republican primary, that may put Mayday in a dilemma for the general election, because the Democratic nominee will be the incumbent, Senator Jeanne Shaheen, and it seems probably that Shaheen also supports public funding.
In the Iowa race, the primary is over and the race will be between Appel, who has raised $1,186,146, and the Republican nominee, David Young, who has raised $828,421, plus a Libertarian and two independents. The Iowa 3rd district is one of the more competitive districts in the nation. In 2012 the vote in the general election was 202,000 votes for Republican Tom Latham, and 168,632 votes for Democrat Leonard Boswell.
Mayday says it will support three other candidates this year, but it has not yet announced who they will be. Originally Mayday had said it would announce all five by July 21, but it did not meet its own deadline.