Lawrence Lessig announces ad buy

Long-shot Democratic presidential candidate Lawrence Lessig is trying to show he’s a real candidate, announcing a television ad buy Tuesday, a day after declaring a $1 million fundraising haul.

The Harvard professor, whose platform is based entirely on the need for campaign finance reform, is going on air with a $100,000 TV ad buy, he announced Tuesday on MSNBC’s “MTP Daily” with Chuck Todd.

The ad shows Republican presidential candidate and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio covered in corporate logos and promises Lessig is the only candidate who can fix what he deems a corrupt system. Last year, Lessig ran a super PAC aimed at destroying super PACs, the political groups that can accept unlimited donations but are barred from directly coordinating with candidates. Most analysis –  including Lessing – deemed the effort a failure.

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Still, he’s managed to raise $1 million – more than some Democratic candidates who have served as a senator or governor – and attracted some established political operatives. Veteran Tom Daschle aide and Harvard colleague Steve Jarding is leading strategy, while longtime ad man Bill Hillsman and message maven Drew Weston are also helping Lessig.

In a field where some candidates are barely campaigning, have raised virtually no money, or are vastly under-performing expectations, Lessig somehow appears credible.

The professor is hoping to make it into the first Democratic presidential debate next week, but it’s almost mathematically impossible for him to meet the 1% threshold at this point. He could qualify for later debates.

“Lessig and his staff were briefed by DNC staff on the ballot and delegate process, as offered to all Democratic presidential candidates and potential candidates,” according to Democratic National Committee spokesperson Holly Shulman.

Lawrence Lessig

Lawrence Lessig announces ad buy