It would appear as if the idea of accepting bitcoin as campaign contributions is going beyond the borders of Texas, where a Congressman is accepting the digital currency in his run for Senate, and another in his run for State Governor.
Madison, Wisconsin Alderman Mark Clear became the state’s first candidate to embrace bitcoin as a means to finance his campaign.
Clear, who is running for State Assembly, is no stranger to technology. As the executive director of Accelerate Madison, his job is to “[advance] the strategic role of digital technology in business growth, economic expansion, and job creation.”
Certainly seems like a nice fit.
Clear told a local paper that he doesn’t exactly see any reason why him accepting bitcoin donations would violate the law.
“The method of transaction is not really material,” he told The Cap Times.
“I suppose if one wanted to be overly precise, the donation of Bitcoin could be considered an in-kind, which then the campaign ‘sold’ for cash, but that seems like an unimportant nuance,” he said. “The key part of campaign finance disclosure is knowing who gave how much to whom, not the details of how.”
Many in the community argue that this is one of the key benefits of the block chain technology when it comes to political donations. Nothing is behind walls, and all are able to see how much has been donated.
Clear managed to receive a contribution from Monty Schmidt in the amount of 0.2213 BTC (just over $98 at the current exchange rate), a local entrepreneur who runs Wuntusk — a firm with goals to promote the use of digital currency.
Board says no to bitcoin contributions
Unfortunately for Clear, the Government Accountability Board’s Jonathan Becker has reportedly instructed his staff to make candidates aware that bitcoin donations are not allowed for campaigns.
That is, unless, the board passes a policy to explicitly allow for it (which, mind you, they have not).
“The board did not believe it needed to set a policy because Bitcoin is not one of the forms of negotiable financial instruments authorized by state law for campaign contributions,” a Board spokesperson said.
Clear doesn’t quite understand their position:
“It sounds like they didn’t really want to deal with it,” he noted. “In my opinion it’s just another transaction method, but it’s their opinion that matters, so I’ll talk with Monty about returning the contribution.”
[textmarker color=”C24000″]Source[/textmarker] The Cap Times