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FPPC Weighs Campaign Donations by Text Message

California’s campaign finance watchdog is considering how it might create a system that would allow political donations by text message. The Fair Political Practices Commission held a meeting Tuesday to hear from cell phone companies and public interest groups. FPPC Chair Ann Ravel said the commission’s goal is to make it legal to text a campaign donation.

“We are only interested in providing the vehicle," said Ravel. "Then it’s up to the industry to work it out in a way that fits with the law.”

For example, it would be up to the cell phone carriers to report campaign donors’ names and addresses when donations exceed 25 dollars.

The group California Common Cause wants to make sure there’s no abuse and no loss of transparency under the proposal, only increased access to the political system.

The FPPC will vote on the text message proposal next month. If approved, California would be the first state to have such a system, and it would be in place in time for next year’s elections. However, only state candidates and ballot measures would be covered.