FEC Considers OKing Campaign Contributions Through Text


Uploaded on May 06, 2012 by newsydotcom


Making a campaign contribution could soon be as easy as voting for your favorite American Idol contestant.

The Washington Post reports the Federal Elections Commission is considering giving the okay to contributions via text message. It’s the same idea that has helped raise millions of dollars for disaster relief funds.

Although millionaire-funded Super PACs have made headlines for pouring money into state and national elections, Politico writes these new campaign finance proposals could help put power back into the hands of small donors.

“Taken together, the new programs could help recruit legions of new political contributors who can’t afford to cut a $2,500 check to a campaign or wire $1 million to a super PAC, but wouldn’t think twice about firing off 10 bucks through their iPhones to their favorite Republican or Democrat.”

This isn’t the first time the FEC has considered such a request. The Center for Responsive Politics writes the commission denied a proposal to allow text contributions in 2010 because:

“... the FEC asserted that the current proposal would not do enough to ‘separate corporate funds from political contributions’ and would not sufficiently limit donors from exceeding the $50 threshold for anonymous donations.”

The Post writes, although candidates’ campaign events have long served a purpose rallying supporters — the ability to donate via text would open up new fundraising possibilities.

“The system would limit contributions to $50 per month per phone, and $50 in total for any campaign committee, the proposal said. Under the proposal, a candidate could ask thousands of attendees at a rally to immediately text the campaign with a small contribution -- a modern version of passing the hat.”

Politico writes, if the FEC adopts the proposal in the next few weeks, candidates could have access to text donations just in time for elections this November.

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