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Wireless Carriers Balk At Campaign Contributions by Text
Worried About Liability in Identity Verification
by Karl Bode 09:24AM Thursday Jul 12 2012
A report by Reuters this week indicates that wireless carriers are fighting back at new efforts to require that they allow political campaign contributions by text message. The effort is backed by both the Romney and Obama campaigns (obviously), and by consumer advocates and campaign finance reform groups, who claim text message donations would allow individuals to collectively gain a degree of power in a contribution space dominated by corporations and Super PACs. Carriers however are concerned about "an array of liability and regulatory issues" that could arise from the new changes, claims Reuters. Carriers are particularly concerned with their liability for correctly determining donors' eligibility to contribute to a campaign, such as whether the donor is a grandmother from Illinois -- or a Super PAC in disguise.

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pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
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join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

1 recommendation

Smart Move

Considering that it is only the surrogates, such as wireless carriers in this case, and nearly never the candidates themselves, that are punished for violations of campaign finance law, it is wise of the carriers to want to steer clear of this.
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drew
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Port Orchard, WA
kudos:6

Re: Smart Move

Absolutely - I can get behind the carrier's concerns here.

There are already a multitude of ways to contribute to a political campaign and I don't believe that SMS needs to be added to the fold considering the hurdles it would face.
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FFH
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Tavistock NJ
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Re: Smart Move

said by drew:

Absolutely - I can get behind the carrier's concerns here.

There are already a multitude of ways to contribute to a political campaign and I don't believe that SMS needs to be added to the fold considering the hurdles it would face.

Not to mention all the opportunities for fraud and hacking this would engender.
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drew
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Port Orchard, WA
kudos:6

Re: Smart Move

I want money out of politics (before you ask, I'm not smoking anything, but if I was, you could have some), so I might be biased.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: Smart Move

While I agree that the political influence that money buys is not fair, simple majority votes would also be unfair. Highly successful individuals, partnerships, LLCs and corporations can become "mob" targets despite not doing anything illegal.

That's why in the beginning only land owners could vote. That wasn't right either and we eventually replaced the protection that rule offered with political contributions and lobbyists.

None of this is right but without checks and balances, wrongs will always be perpetrated in direction that lacks protection because we're all selfish people who often want the best for ourselves without considering or understanding the impact to others.

fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2

Let them all use a fixed amount of public money only

There is WAY too much money in politics.

newview
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Re: Let them all use a fixed amount of public money only

said by fifty nine:

There is WAY too much money in politics.

... and a corresponding increase of too much influence exerted by those with the most money.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

1 recommendation

Ridiculous

Paying for ANYTHING by text is ridiculous. Network operators should not be billing companies! TWICE my cell phone bill has been "slammed" by unscrupulous companies charging me $9.99/month for ring tone plans and other BS services. Twice I've asked ATT customer service to block all such automatic signup/billing/payments on my account. They claim the holes are finally closed but I will forever watch my monthly statement like a hawk -- something I shouldn't have to do. Especially when ATT only refunds charges within 60 days. Twice they've graciously credited me beyond 60 days. 60 days only gives you ONE statement to catch it. If you don't catch it until the second statement, per policy they don't have to credit you.

limegrass69
Here's my Posting tag

join:2008-05-28

Wait for it...

I'm sure the carriers will change their tune once they figure out a way to monetize it.

mtech

join:2002-10-20
Jonesboro, AR

Re: Wait for it...

There is already a way for the carriers to monetize this in a big way!

From the Reuters article: "...The fee could reach 30 percent to 50 percent of each donation, according to FEC documents"

For every $10 donation it could mean $3-$5 for the carriers. Except for their liability concerns there is a big incentive for them to go along with it. The Pols will probably have a cow if they find out how much their campaign chests would be losing (or is this a typical fundraiser's pay for services?).

Squire James

@embarqhsd.net

Worry is Justified

Since they are not monopolies like various phone and cable companies, the government has no business telling them they MUST do something unless it's a safety issue. Which this isn't.

Of course, with Certain Laws that were passed in the last few years, that argument has been weakened a bit.