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FEC Buys a Bit of Bitcoins

Another federal agency has bought into the use of the bitcoin virtual currency.  

The Federal Election Commission has approved an advisory opinion for a political committee who asked permission to receive virtual bitcoin political contributions capped at $100 per person.  

In a Roll Call article , “FEC Clears Campaigns to Solicit Bitcoins,” Eliza Newlin Carney describes the opinion and the committee’s obligations to ensure safeguards and report identities of the donors.  

While unanimously approving something new in the political fundraising world, another action of a FEC Commissioner reminded the public of how the agency has still not forged a smooth working relationship among its partisan commissioners. In the early years of the Commission, the FEC commissioners keep most of their disagreements inside the agency and worked towards finding common ground. In particular, the FEC chairman, in public, spoke on behalf of a unified agency, and held his or her personal opinions to inside the agency. In recent years, some commissioners have gone out of the way to highlight divisions and make consensus and solutions harder to achieve.  

In a Fox News interview FEC Chairman Lee E. Goodman stated, “The impulse to regulate the media within the FEC is alive and well.” Goodman also wrote a Wall Street Journal article in February about TV newsrooms having to be concerned about government regulations when inviting candidates for a joint appearance.  

Other FEC Commissioners responded to Goodman’s column saying the Chairman drew some ‘mystifying references’ from a recent case, and appears to have overstated the situation.

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