FEC: Campaigns can raise money via text message

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The Federal Election Commission on Monday night unanimously voted to allow Americans to make political donations via text message, making Androids, iPhones and Blackberries the newest weapon in the battle to raise unprecedented amounts of money, reports David Levinthal of POLITICO.

Both parties, as well as campaign finance reform advocates, say the move will allow Americans of modest means to play a greater role in a democratic process dominated this election cycle by billionaires and multi-millionaires and political organizations such as super PACs that may raise and spend money without restriction.

The decision will take effect immediately, although it may be days or weeks before the system is fully functional. Individual phone numbers will be capped at $50 worth of donations per billing cycle per political candidate or committee.

Texting a political donation will be akin to what many charities already do in asking people to text a short message to a five-digit number in support of a cause.

Upon doing so, a donor has a fixed amount of money — often $10, sometimes more — charged to his or her account. The process takes a matter of seconds in contract to comparatively clunkier methods, such as writing a paper check or using a credit card after filling out an online donation form.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.