FEC moves ahead with plan for campaign donations by text

“In sum, CTIA and the wireless service providers provide political committees with the means to raise contributions by text messaging, but it is the political committees that are solely responsible for ensuring that the contributions are lawful,” the FEC wrote.

The campaigns of both President Obama and Mitt Romney support text donations, but the FEC cannot force wireless carriers to offer the service.

The FEC determined that normal texting charges can apply to text donations, but said special deviations from texting charges could qualify as “in-kind” contributions to a campaign.

Jan Baran, an attorney for CTIA at the firm Wiley Rein, said the companies are still reviewing the opinion.

“While the FEC opinion to CTIA increases the likelihood of such a service it can occur only if a carrier decides to get into that business and only after the industry establishes business criteria for offering that service,” she said in a statement.

The FEC’s plan will limit donations to a maximum of $10 per text, $50 per month and $200 per election cycle. The contribution method will not be open to corporations, foreign nationals or people younger than 18 years old.   


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