This year’s election could very well come down to one thing; money. Unfortunately, that could very well mean that the party that attracts the most billionaires will win the election. On a more personal level, it may come down to corporate vs individual support. While Republicans undeniably have the advantage when it comes to big money donors, the type of donation that was illegal before 2010′s Citizens United ruling, the Democrats are the big winners when it comes to the type of people that actually vote (the Supreme Court hasn’t granted that privilege to corporations…yet). 43% of Obama’s contributors have given $200 or less, much of it collected online. A new ruling by the Federal Election Commission will open another avenue for small donors, cell phones.
After unanimous approval, the FEC ruled Monday night that campaigns can collect donations of up to $50 per billing cycle via cell phone. The charge would appear on the user’s phone bill. From The Hill:
Text donations would be capped at between $10 and $50 per billing cycle and campaigns would enforce that restriction through tracking donations from a single user’s mobile phone number to a single premium short code assigned to the political committee. The short code would also enable the aggregator and carriers to ensure “the $50 limit is never exceeded for one political recipient.”
m-Qube wrote that they could block all foreign and pre-paid cell phone numbers to comply with FEC donation regulations. According to the advisory opinion, users will receive a text response following their donation text that reads, for example:
“Reply YES to give $20 to Romney & certify ur 18+ & donating with own funds, not foreign national or Fed contractor. Terms m-qube.com/r Msg&Data Rates may Apply.”
Yes, this will probably mean more annoying text messages from political candidates, but maybe, just maybe, with the additional influx of cash, we can help fight against the upcoming barrage of “Swiftboat” type attack ads against Democratic candidates, which in my opinion, are far more annoying than text messages.