In a matter of months, corporate Super PAC donors have taken over campaign finance like the Monopoly player who builds a hotel on Boardwalk. What’s an average person with $20 in their pocket to do? A unanimous decision made by the Federal Election Commission on Monday may hold the answer for small donors: Both the Obama and Romney campaigns will now accept donations by text.
There’s lots of evidence to suggest mobile donations encourage those who are reluctant to open their wallets. In 2010 the Red Cross raised more than $32 million in Haiti disaster relief through mobile donations alone. And as The Hill explains, campaign donations will be capped at between $10 and $50 per billing cycle. Sorry, corporate donors – no late night, million-dollar drunk texts to your favorite Super PAC.
But will campaign donation texts work as well as donations to the Red Cross? Some criticize the rise of mobile donations as an example of “slacktivism,” or doing something in support of an issue that requires minimal personal effort. The Obama campaign is banking on a response similar to an experiment they tried out in March. Through a workaround, the campaign started a text-based donation drive similar to what the FEC just approved: Text a number into your phone for instant Obama cash. The response rate was 20 percent higher than any other text message solicitation that had been tried before, according to Michael Scherer at TIME.
We’ll explore this subject further tonight when we interview Joe Williams from Politico and Congressional candidate Dr. Ami Bera. We’ll be discussing “big” versus “little” money, the GOP obstructing economic growth, and much more. You don’t want to miss it.