Donations via text message are now allowed for presidential candidates, and Mitt Romney, Barack Obama or any third-party upstarts can immediately begin fundraising via SMS after a decision by the Federal Election Commission.
Donations via text message, I am going to speculate right off the bat, will be a far bigger game-changer for incumbent Barack Obama than presumptive GOP candidate Mitt Romney, as the former’s voter base skews younger and more technologically savvy than that of the former. (An earlier study, for instance, revealed support for legalizing gay marriage outpaced opposition on Twitter two-to-one, a slightly more liberal bent than America as a whole.)
Despite a possible advantage for Dems considering the youth vote, donations via text message are an area in which both the Romney camp and the President’s fundraising teams were in full agreement.
Robert Bauer, counsel to President Barack Obama, wrote in a letter to the FEC:
“Campaign finance policy debates are marked by strong differences of opinion… But agreement seems widespread on the created uses of emerging technology.”
Romney adviser told the FEC that “the time to permit contributions via text has come,” the Washington Post reports. Previously, issues with funding lags due to the way cell phone plans are billed appending as many as 60 days to the amount of time it takes for donations via text message to be processed.
But a compromise was reached wherein donations via text message are treated as pledges and purchased by a third party. Armour Media president Mark Armour heads one of the two consulting firms that came up with the solution enabling donations via text message.
Armour calls the donations via text message an “antidote to the super PACs.” He explains:
“Just when corporate billionaires were about to hijack the 2012 elections, the FEC gave millions of Americans the power to match them through small donations on their cellphones.”
Ron Paul is probably totally kicking himself right now.