Open the floodgates: FEC supersizes political donations by text


One month after okaying a proposal to permit small political contributions by text, the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday green-lighted a Democratic firm's plan to collect standard-size contributions using a system that will collect all the identifying information required by the regulators.

In an advisory opinion released this afternoon, the commission said that a proposal by Revolution Messaging will meet federal disclosure requirements. The Democratic digital media company, which has several veterans of President Obama's 2008 campaign on its staff, offered a plan to collect names and addresses — required by the FEC for those giving $200 or more to a campaign.

The decision pushes the possibilities for digital donations considerably further than the FEC ruling earlier this summer that first opened the door to contributions by text. That ruling allowed only small donations to be made via cell phone. Under Monday's ruling, donors will be able to give the maximum allowed by law as long as they provide the necessary identifying information.

Also okayed by the FEC: Revolution Messaging's proposal to allow several campaign committees to share a "premium short code" — special phone numbers created for texting.

The latest innovation in fundraising has prompted rare bipartisan harmony: Late last month, the Obama campaign became the first to take advantage of the FEC's first ruling in favor of donations by text.  It didn't take long for the president's Republican rival, Mitt Romney, to follow suit