Prop Zero
The Starting Point for Commentary and Coverage of California Politics

The Joy of Text -- For Donating to Political Campaigns

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Think about political debates you’ve had while sitting with a friend at lunch or dinner. 

    NewsConference: Robert Stern, Pres. of CGS, Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, NBC4 Political Analyst

    [LA] NewsConference: Robert Stern, Pres. of CGS, Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, NBC4 Political Analyst
    Robert Stern, President of the Center for Governmental Studies, and Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, NBC4 Political Analysts cover many hot topics: Term limits, redistricting, the nomination of Goodwin Liu to the State Supreme Court, and the probable new downtown football stadium.

    Somebody throws his or her support behind a candidate they say is best for the job. 
    Soon you may be able to hand them their cell phone and say, “put your money where your mouth is.”

    In California, money may soon be able to be donated to political campaigns much the same way relief organizations gather donations in times of crisis or disaster. 

    It’s an idea that’s got the support of Governor Brown as well as California’s Fair Political Practices Commission.  Should the plan go through, California would be the first state to allow this method of political donations

    Just pick up your cell phone, punch a few digits and the money you donate shows up on your next phone bill. 

    A few seconds later your favorite candidate’s campaign coffers are a few dollars richer.

    Much easier than the old method of calling an 800 number and breaking out the credit card.

    It a good way to make the “little guy” feel engaged and involved. 

    Those small amounts will add up.  According to the Obama administration, 85 percent of people who have donated to his 2012 re-election campaign have contributed $80 or less. 

    It should be noted that this method wouldn’t take effect for federal campaigns.  The wireless industry has asked before and was denied by the Federal Elections Commission.

    It could also be an effective way to get people to the polls.  People who make the decision to donate, especially more than once, will almost certainly make it a point to show up on Election Day.

    So how likely is this idea to go into effect?  We’ll know more in October when the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission will take the topic into consideration. 

    So far it’s met with little resistance. Get your texting muscles ready.