In it, but not of it. TPM DC

If there's one thing the Supreme Court has done over the past few years, it's make it easier for the wealthiest Americans to play a uniquely powerful role in politics by flooding the zone with cash. So you might think that every one of the wealthiest billionaires in the U.S. would rush to try and shape the country's politics in exactly the way they would want.

But among the very wealthiest billionaires in the country, not all of them them play an outsized role in American politics. For every David Koch or Michael Bloomberg, there are also equally wealthy or, in many cases, wealthier, billionaires who don't take as active (or at least as publicly active) role in American politics.

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A few years ago, Lawrence Lessig, a professional troublemaker and Harvard University professor, asked some political consultants how much it would cost to rid American politics of money's influence. That would mean not only electing enough members of Congress who would vote for legislation to rein in campaign finance, but also a president who would appoint new Supreme Court justices who would uphold it.

"If you had all the money in the world, how much would it take?" he asked.

They told him $700 million. So this June, Lessig and Mark McKinnon, a former adviser to President George W. Bush who is now an independent consultant, launched Mayday PAC to formalize the mission. Their stated goal is by 2017 to have a Congress that would introduce fundamental reform, defined as some kind of publicly financed campaign system.

The plan, which has drawn plenty of skeptics, even sympathetic ones, starts with a pilot program in 2014. They have selected eight candidates who they want to elect this fall, a way of proving their bonafides and the viability of the concept before expanding the map, so to speak, in 2016. The price for that initial venture is $12 million.

And last week, they got their first win. With Mayday PAC's backing, Ruben Gallego, a former state legislator, won the Democratic primary in Arizona's 7th congressional district. The super PAC that wants to destroy super PAC's is now officially in the game.

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Medicaid expansion is making progress. As TPM reported yesterday, even states as conservative as Wyoming are coming around. Others like Indiana and Pennsylvania are making progress as well. But a handful remain hardened in their opposition. They are largely contained to the South, and that means that the people being left out of Obamacare's safety-net expansion are disproportionately poor blacks.

Nelson Lichtnestein, director of the University of California-Santa-Barbara's Center for the Study of Work, Labor and Democracy, flagged the ongoing disparity in an email to TPM on Monday, responding to the Wyoming story. "There is a large elephant that escapes your notice," he said. "Republican governors in North and West are indeed climbing aboard, but not those in the South."

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