August 1, 2011 •
FPPC supports the plan
California may become the first state to allow political contributions on the state and local levels to be made by text message on your smartphone. The California Fair Political Practices Commission is behind a plan that would allow such contributions by the 2012 elections. Approval is expected by October.
The hope is that this will allow for small donations and widen the number of people who are engaged in the political process. Last December, the Federal Election Commission rejected a similar plan for federal campaigns.
Here is a Capital Public Radio recording of Commission Chair Ann Ravel talking about the idea and what regulations would need to accompany it.
Today’s San Francisco Chronicle offers “Calif. poised to OK political donations via text,” by Carla Marinucci.
May 17, 2011 •
Members of Congress Begin to Use Smartphone Apps.
Roll Call published an article today for those who are interested in how technology is affecting government, campaign finance, and elections. In a piece called “Members launch personal apps,” Melanie Zanona discusses how Members of Congress are beginning to embrace the use of smartphone apps. What started out as a new communication opportunity could become an important fundraising tool in the upcoming elections.
According to the article, U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio) was the first to come up with an app last year so that he could stay in touch with his constituents. It also says the past year has seen 16 Members now offering mobile apps, most of them being Republicans.
Apps are being used to give people quick access to news, voting records, to social media platforms, and to photos.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s campaign site has an app that allows people to donate to his campaign.
At the end of the article, they have a list showing the categories of apps and the names of the legislators who offer them.
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