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Putting Your Money Where Your Politics Are
John Koza has a long resume: he's an inventor, a venture capitalist, and a Stanford professor who made a fortune by inventing scratch-off lottery tickets. And he has spent $2 million of his own money so far on his push to change the way we elect the US president.
After today's show I asked him how much more of his own money he'd be willing to spend to get the presidential election determined by a national popular vote. He wasn't sure.
"I'm not Bill Gates," he said. "Some more, but I don't really know the amount."
He does say his non-profit stays pretty lean — it's mainly his book co-authors and him visiting state lawmakers to lobby them personally. Right now he says many more people support the idea than give money. About 100 people have given anywhere from $5 to several hundred thousand dollars.
If bankrolling it alone becomes too burdensome, he could always try to revive his board game about the electoral college! Consensus didn't sell well in the 1960s, but Koza says it sometimes comes up on eBay.