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ActBlue, Conduit for Online Dem Dollars, To Help Fund Biggest PACs of All

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, October 20 2011

The Democratic political fund-raising site ActBlue is the latest organization to adjust itself for the brave new future of campaign finance. Politico was first to report that the site this morning filed with the Federal Election Commission to allow donors who use the site to give their money to super PACs. Super PACs are political action committees that can raise and spend unlimited sums of money in order to make independent political expenditures in support or opposition of a political candidate or cause, but can't coordinate with the actual campaign.

"We're going to allow individuals to donate to Democratic super PACs if they so desire," ActBlue spokesman Adrian Arroyo wrote to me in an email. "Those donations will be disclosed regardless of size."

ActBlue filed with the FEC to note that money to be routed to super PACs will be kept separate from money that goes to candidates, Arroyo said.

Combined with the court decision Citizens United that lifts restrictions on political spending by corporations, the decision that paved the way for Super PACs allows for races where large amounts of funds are collected and spent at a very rapid pace. ActBlue routes contributions of all sizes from online donors to Democratic political organizations, including some large-dollar donations. Recently, the platform has handled $1.7 million so far from contributors in support of Elizabeth Warren's Massachusetts U.S. Senate campaign.