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How Political Donations by Text Message Might Work

BY Nick Judd | Friday, June 8 2012

The Federal Election Commission is expected today or Monday to release an advisory opinion about a company that proposes to collect political donations by text message, something that campaigns have long hoped to be able to accomplish. By all accounts, the FEC is on the verge of approving political donations via text.

The Hill reports that commissioners at a meeting yesterday mostly wondered how to make the payments approach fit within existing donation regulations, such as limits on donations to campaigns and PACs. FEC regulations also control the time frame within which a donation has to change hands.

Unlike a previous proposal to do mobile donations floated by CTIA, the wireless industry association, mobile messaging and billing aggregator m-Qube and political and media consulting firms Red Blue T and ArmourMedia would keep donations coming in from any individual number to $50 or less — which, according to an earlier draft advisory opinion from the FEC, means that the commission is satisfied that the campaign or committee getting the donation won't be taking in enough money in one month from any individual donor to run afoul of reporting requirements.

The earlier draft is here; The Hill's story outlines what commissioners wanted to hear from m-Qube and company before making a decision.

With Natalia Nedzhvetskaya