But ActBlue lists any Democratic candidate running for state or local office, without picking or choosing, or endorsing. As such, they really are not acting like a PAC. In fact, ActBlue has been instrumental in jumpstarting more individual contributions, hence more widespread participation in the ever-present and very corrupt money game. This is only a good thing for democracy.
Kos has more, and also advises that the FEC is taking comments in regards to this ruling. They are often swayed by public comment when an argument can be made, but the more emails sent, the better. You can send public comment to Mary Dove at email@example.com.
I myself sent the following email:
I am registering my opposition to considering ActBlue a PAC for purposes of public matching funds.
ActBlue literally is just a mechanism for any Dem candidate to set up online fundraising. The rules governing public matching funds are intended to keep “big money” out of politics and keep “small donors” important. I agree with that completely. However, ActBlue has the effect in campaigns of encouraging small donors, by allowing individuals, be they bloggers, or just Joe down the street, to set up a place for people to send the same sort of individual donation that you might do directly through a candidate’s website or by sending them a check.
By ruling them ineligible for matching funds, you would be stifling small donor participation in the process of donations. In regards to the fact that ActBlue only allows one political party to participate, there is nothing stopping any other party from setting up the same mechanism online, and I believe they should be accorded the same ruling.
Please allow ActBlue donations to count towards public matching funds. I say this as a voter who has not even made up my mind about which Democrat to support in the primary, so I have no reason to want Senator Edwards (who is as I understand the impetus for clarifying this rule) to gain a serious advantage by getting this money. I just believe in fairness and want to ensure that the rules governing our elections encourage instead of discourage public participation…as the rules were intended to do. ActBlue is a poster child for the spirit of democratic participation. Please do not let your ruling stifle that.