Political donations by text a step closer to reality after today’s FEC decision

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The public is ever closer to the day when it may text a political donation to a candidate or committee. The Federal Election Commission on Wednesday unanimously approved a pair of advisory opinions that address a variety of concerns and questions from wireless carriers and system sponsors about implementation, information collection, illegal donations and pricing.

The FEC said that political committees are “solely responsible for determining the eligibility of its contributors” and that they will “not receive in-kind contributions when wireless service providers apply their normal business practices in their administration of the committee’s text message program.” Separately, the FEC unanimously decided in a case brought by wireless carrier trade group CTIA that wireless service providers are “not responsible for determining the eligibility of a contributor or for ensuring compliance” with a $50 monthly limit on contributions or “recordkeeping obligations for contributions in excess of $200.”

The FEC originally ruled in June that a donation-by-text system could move forward.

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.