FEC Decision to Allow Political Campaign Contributions Via Text Message Presents Opportunity for Obama
With the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, a flood of money from special interest groups has flooded into campaigns through the device of Super PACs. In January of this year alone, Super PACs reported spending almost $50 million on political ads. This onslaught of funding has jammed the airwaves, so issues groups running ads for propositions and lower level candidates may be bumped from prime-time spots according to Sean Miller at the Journal of Campaigns & Elections.
This presents an opportunity for mobile marketers who can help a campaign reach potential donors directly. That money can be redirected from television ads to SMS marketing.
In addition to that, the FEC recently decided to allow federal campaign contributions via text message. Other groups had tried and failed over the years to prevail upon the Commission to permit texted contributions. Attorney Alan Sege, Executive Vice President of carrier aggregator m-Qube, finally succeeded on June 12, when the Commission, in a unanimous decision, granted an advisory opinion approving his m-Qube proposal as legal. “This is a huge step forward for democratizing our campaign finance system, and we are proud to do our part” explains Sege.
“Individuals will now be targeted on all fronts to donate to campaigns the same way they donated to the Haiti Relief efforts or how they vote for American Idol finalists – by way of text messaging,” Says Erdolo Eromo, SVP of Sales and Client Services at m-Qube. “This empowers a entirely new demographic of young smart-phone users to partake in the electoral process.”
Now, any individual can contribute money whimsically from their couch, train or office at any time. With consumers, the ease of payment directly correlates to the quantity of transactions made. When credit cards were introduced, the number of retail purchases increased. If this trend proves true for campaign donations, there will be a enormous push to acquire new donors via that platform. Eromo believes this could be a game changer for presidential elections.
With his first presidential campaign, Obama showed that he was able to quickly galvanize large numbers of potential voters. His use of new media was unprecedented and catapulted him far ahead of John McCain in early polls. While both the Romney and Obama campaigns support the FEC decision, Obama’s willingness to embrace technology may give him the edge that he needs to win.
Many in the mobile industry are following this new development closely, and attention will increase in the coming months as contributions start to roll in. This is an exciting time for the mobile industry and reinforces the recent reports that we are in the beginning stages of the mobile boom.
Erdolo Eromo moved to South Los Angeles from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at the age of eight. A natural athlete, he played football for powerhouses Crenshaw High School and UCLA. He went on to earn his Executive MBA from Pepperdine University in 2011. Climbing up the corporate ladder in 6 years, Erdolo is one of the youngest senior executives in the mobile industry. He now serves as Senior Vice President of Business Development and Client Relations at Payvia, A leading mobile and online payments company that allows consumers to make simple and secure payments via their mobile phone. He is responsible for identifying opportunities and designing strategies for sales growth. His efforts in the last year alone have grown the company’s annual gross revenues by 400%. By many, Erdolo is considered to be an expert in identifying trends in the mobile commerce space as well as finding new opportunities in which the mobile phone can be used as a billing platform.