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Corrupting influence of money in politics is subject of Lawrence Lessig lecture at the University of Texas at Austin, February 28, 2011

Renowned attorney, author, and professor Lawrence Lessig will give the keynote address, “The ‘Corruption’ of our System of Money and Politics,” at an event hosted at the University of Texas at Austin on Monday, February 28, 2011.

The event, which includes a panel discussion after Lessig’s presentation, takes place from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Thompson Conference Center. The talk is free and open to university students and faculty with an ID and the public, but seating is limited.

Law School Dean Lawrence Sager will introduce Lessig, a Harvard University law professor who is the founder and chairman of the board of Fix Congress First! and director of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics at Harvard.

For much of his academic career, Lessig has focused on law and technology, especially as it affects copyright. He is the author of five books on the subject and has served as lead counsel in a number of important cases marking the boundaries of copyright law in a digital age.

His work on institutional corruption (relationships that are legal, even ethical, but that weaken public trust in institutions) led to his founding of Change Congress (now Fix Congress First!) where he champions the necessity of democratic citizenship.

Lessig’s presentation will be followed by a panel discussion, “Are Our Elected Officials for Sale: If So, What Can Be Done?”  featuring Lessig; Steve Bickerstaff, adjunct professor at the University of Texas School of Law;  Sherri Greenberg, interim director of the LBJ School’s Center for Politics and Governance; Mark McKinnon, political strategist, media consultant, and a founder of No Labels; and Brian Roberts, a University of Texas at Austin professor of government. Harvey Kronberg, a political analyst and editor of the Quorum Report, will moderate the panel.

Sponsors of the event include the Center for Politics and Governance at the Lyndon B. Johnson  School of Public Affairs, the School of Law, the Department of Government, Public Citizen, and Coffee Party Austin.

For more information contact Joanne Richards, Coffee Party Austin, 512-345-4479 or phjfr@swbell.net.

The Thompson Conference Center is at the southwest corner of Dean Keeton and Red River streets. The entrance to its free parking lot is on Red River.

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