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Author Topic: Bitcoin for my congressional campaign  (Read 24062 times)
ericools
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November 12, 2011, 03:23:50 AM
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I am running for US Congress in North Dakota District 1 (we only have the one)

I have read other posts on issues with accepting bitcoin.  However people donate cash to campaigns all the time.  Could I not simply have a form on my website collecting the required donor information and generating a bitcoin address?  How would this be different from cash donations.  In the unlikely event someone sent a large sum of coins to my campaign wallet, could I not simply state that any donations over the limit or not accompanied by the required donor information will be donated to the faucet or some non-profit?

Facebook page if you would like to give me a like:http://www.facebook.com/pages/Eric-Olson-for-US-Congress/178809988867755

Web site will be www.ericolson2012.com it should be up in a week or so.

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November 12, 2011, 03:35:42 AM
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Good luck!
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November 12, 2011, 03:39:49 AM
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You might want to put up a website instead of a bunch of ads before you publicize your link.

https://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
While no idea is perfect, some ideas are useful.
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November 12, 2011, 03:43:10 AM
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I am running for US Congress in North Dakota District 1 (we only have the one)

I have read other posts on issues with accepting bitcoin.  However people donate cash to campaigns all the time.  Could I not simply have a form on my website collecting the required donor information and generating a bitcoin address?  How would this be different from cash donations.  In the unlikely event someone sent a large sum of coins to my campaign wallet, could I not simply state that any donations over the limit or not accompanied by the required donor information will be donated to the faucet or some non-profit?

Facebook page if you would like to give me a like:http://www.facebook.com/pages/Eric-Olson-for-US-Congress/178809988867755

Web site will be www.ericolson2012.com it should be up in a week or so.

  All good questions for your campaign manager or accountant.  Ask your accountant how would donations made in gold coins be handled? I would trust bitcoin would be quite similar. Value of donation would be 'Consensus market value at time of donation' - cost of conversion to usd= $donation. As far as donations that do not have the acceptable donater information with them, state that any such donations will be returned to sender. Anyone sending bitcoins to your address will of course have their sending address recorded with the transaction in the blockchain.  Cheers, and good luck!

   Derek

If you're not excited by the idea of being an early adopter 'now', then you should come back in three or four years and either tell us "Told you it'd never work!" or join what should, by then, be a much more stable and easier-to-use system. - GA
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ericools
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November 12, 2011, 03:45:36 AM
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Well it should redirect to my host any time now so it will show a blank page with a link to download the ballot access petition.

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November 12, 2011, 04:10:04 AM
 #6

I am running for US Congress in North Dakota District 1 (we only have the one)

I have read other posts on issues with accepting bitcoin.  However people donate cash to campaigns all the time.  Could I not simply have a form on my website collecting the required donor information and generating a bitcoin address?  How would this be different from cash donations.  In the unlikely event someone sent a large sum of coins to my campaign wallet, could I not simply state that any donations over the limit or not accompanied by the required donor information will be donated to the faucet or some non-profit?

Facebook page if you would like to give me a like:http://www.facebook.com/pages/Eric-Olson-for-US-Congress/178809988867755

Web site will be www.ericolson2012.com it should be up in a week or so.

Eric - fantastic idea!

Let us know if we can help. The automated donation processing we do for charities and non-profits should work for your campaign needs.

https://bit-pay.com/forCharities.html

We can give you a Donate button for your site.  We collect the name and address of the donor for each transaction.  Check with your campaign manager, but this should cover the same requirements as if someone gave you a cash or check donation.  The source of the funds must be identified.  We can also collect a phone number from the donor if you want.

We sell the bitcoins immediately and record the current dollar valuation.  The donor gets a receipt, you get an email, and we forward the US dollars directly to your bank account.  It would be the exact same process as accepting a credit card. 

Let me know if we can help!

Thanks
Tony



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Does your website accept bitcoins?
sadpandatech
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November 12, 2011, 04:17:02 AM
 #7

Eric - fantastic idea!

Let us know if we can help. The automated donation processing we do for charities and non-profits should work for your campaign needs.

https://bit-pay.com/forCharities.html

We can give you a Donate button for your site.  We collect the name and address of the donor for each transaction.  Check with your campaign manager, but this should cover the same requirements as if someone gave you a cash or check donation.  The source of the funds must be identified.  We can also collect a phone number from the donor if you want.

We sell the bitcoins immediately and record the current dollar valuation.  The donor gets a receipt, you get an email, and we forward the US dollars directly to your bank account.  It would be the exact same process as accepting a credit card. 

Let me know if we can help!

Thanks
Tony


  That sounds like a perfect solution. I like the processes you have in place for immediate sale, info collection, etc. This would be fully useful for any organization accepting donations. I will need to look into your service and forward some info on to the Wikimedia, Seti@home guys, et al!

If you're not excited by the idea of being an early adopter 'now', then you should come back in three or four years and either tell us "Told you it'd never work!" or join what should, by then, be a much more stable and easier-to-use system. - GA
It is being worked on by smart people. -DamienBlack
ericools
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November 12, 2011, 04:26:31 AM
 #8

Thanks I actually did sign up for bitpay and would probably use it.  

My campaign manager only knows what I have told him about bitcoin.  My leaning is that I will probably go ahead and do it.  I think it is unlikely that I will raise any contributions with bitcoin that will run into reporting issues anyway, but I wanted to find out what the community thought.  I don't plan to make any statements about it in my campaign but hopefully someone from the media will question me about it so that I have a chance to introduce the concept to people in my state.

The only thing that I need as far as help right now is in collecting signatures to establish a Libertarian party in North Dakota for ballot access. 

Thank you for creating bitpay, I think the auto conversion should take care of the any valuation issues, though it would be nice to be able to use bitcoins for some of my campaign expenses.  To print some lit perhaps.

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November 12, 2011, 05:09:05 AM
 #9

Thanks I actually did sign up for bitpay and would probably use it.  

My campaign manager only knows what I have told him about bitcoin.  My leaning is that I will probably go ahead and do it.  I think it is unlikely that I will raise any contributions with bitcoin that will run into reporting issues anyway, but I wanted to find out what the community thought.  I don't plan to make any statements about it in my campaign but hopefully someone from the media will question me about it so that I have a chance to introduce the concept to people in my state.

The only thing that I need as far as help right now is in collecting signatures to establish a Libertarian party in North Dakota for ballot access. 

Thank you for creating bitpay, I think the auto conversion should take care of the any valuation issues, though it would be nice to be able to use bitcoins for some of my campaign expenses.  To print some lit perhaps.

You could perhaps pay your campaign workers a small percentage of their pay in bitcoins.

https://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
While no idea is perfect, some ideas are useful.
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November 12, 2011, 06:13:10 AM
 #10

Good luck!

+1
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November 12, 2011, 08:36:42 AM
 #11

Well it should redirect to my host any time now so it will show a blank page with a link to download the ballot access petition.

It's up, but there's a typo.  Just thought I'd let you know so you can get it fixed.

https://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
While no idea is perfect, some ideas are useful.
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November 12, 2011, 11:38:59 AM
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good luck, you seem to be off to a fantastic start
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November 12, 2011, 05:33:43 PM
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I am running for US Congress in North Dakota District 1 (we only have the one)

Care to detail your job experience for any potential ND voters here?
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November 12, 2011, 06:09:51 PM
 #14

Federal reporting requirements are the same regardless of the type of donation and are based on the fair market value.  Donations don't have to be cash.  For example someone could donate 90 days usage of their RV so you could drive around the state meeting voters.  The value of the donation is what matters.   Bitcoin would be the same as any other non-cash donation.  The market value of the donation at the time of the donation matters. 

When you think about it the reporting requirement has to be based on value otherwise it would open some easy loopholes.  I can't donate $20M but I could (if reporting was on cash only) donate a $20M painting to you which you promptly sell for $20M to fund your campaign.   Grin

Using Bitpay is likely a smart idea as having a third party do the collection and accounting always looks good.  Maybe next election cycle (2016) Bitpay could have a "election module" which does things like ensure people don't accidentally donate multiple times and exceed the federal limits (if they intentionally commit fraud well that is another thing), some basic data checking (doesn't look good getting 10,000 max donations from Donald Duck), and reporting. 
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November 12, 2011, 06:21:47 PM
 #15

Thank you for creating bitpay, I think the auto conversion should take care of the any valuation issues, though it would be nice to be able to use bitcoins for some of my campaign expenses.  To print some lit perhaps.
We maintain a record of the current exchange rates at the time every invoice is generated…thus, if you wanted to accept bitcoins, we can provide you with records of the equivalent dollar amount of those contributions.

(gasteve on IRC) Does your website accept cash? https://bitpay.com
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November 18, 2011, 05:40:08 AM
 #16

To me, it looks like an uphill climb. I figured right at 200,000 North Dakotans would need to vote for a person who has an established Dilworth, Minnesota, address. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Dakota%27s_At-large_congressional_district

Also, one must be at least 25 years of age to be a US Representative. Since you are now officially running for public office, and your age shouldn't be a secret, what's your date of birth?
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November 26, 2011, 05:46:30 PM
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I know your just trolling me, but here it is anyway:

Yes an uphill climb, I would say so.  I am running as a Libertarian, third party candidates are always at a disadvantage.  Additionally there is not currently a Libertarian Party in North Dakota.  We are currently working to establish one.  Well I would likely need much less than 200K depending on voter turn out due to it being a three way race. 

I don't know where you got the address from but I haven't lived in Dilworth for many years.  I currently reside in Fargo, ND (same metro area).  I am sure it is still listed on all sorts of accounts I have created over the years both on and off line, I don't see any point in trying to update them all as the only legally relevant thing is that I am a North Dakota resident and have been for much longer than is required to run for office.

My age isn't a secret, I was born May 20th 1983.  Both my birth date and current address are listed on several sites, I simply did not bother to enter the information here.  No I am not going to upload a copy of my birth certificate or anything else.  I am confident the State of North Dakota will be able to figure out that I am eligible to run when my paperwork gets filed in January.


So why run an uphill battle.  Because everyone I speak to is upset, they are angry at both parties.  I read in the paper congressional approval ratings of 9 or 12%.  Our country has a built in method of peaceful revolution.  That is to vote out bad government.  The currently can not be done, because both candidates on the ballot in almost every race are basically the same, save a few issues that don't affect anyones bottom line.  The only way to change this is to build up a third party, and run candidates (or run independent candidates) that people can vote for in order to show no confidence in both of the major parties.  I have chosen the Libertarian ticket because I believe that Libertarian principals are essentially correct (especially in regard to the federal government), and it is by far the biggest and most organized of the third parties in the United States, making it the most viable party to launch competitive national level candidates.     

Even a small percentage of the vote going to a third party changes the field.  It forces our representatives to pay attention to why people are voting for the third candidate.  It generates more interest and revenue for the party, making it easier to field candidates and easier to raise funds.  Well I am running the office, as I think it is very much necessary to replace at least some of the Dem/Rep hold on congress, I do not need to get elected to have the desired effect.  A double digit showing in the general election would be a major win.  It would mean that a party that did not have any real presence in my state prior to this election will hold significant mind share.  This will make the next cycle much easier, both for the party and for myself should I choose to run again.

That is not to say that it can not be won.  The major parties do not have a lot of favor right now, and North Dakota is one of the most Libertarian leaning of all states.

At the very least, I will have someone on the ballot I would want to vote for, and I know I can provide that for many others as well.

ericools
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November 26, 2011, 07:17:08 PM
 #18

Well I think people should be able to do what they want.  It's called freedom.  While civil liberties are very important me, at the moment I am more concerned about them spending us into an inescapable pit of debt, while they print money until they dilute the value of anyone's savings thats under a billion dollars to nil.

At this point we don't even get candidates with ideology.  We just get candidates who say whatever they think will get them elected and then do whatever the companies that funded their campaign want them to.

We need another choice.  If you don't like libertarian philosophy, vote for the green party, independent, write someone in.  The only way anything will change is if we stop voting for Republicans and Democrats.  (in general, I know we have a couple of genuine reps).

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November 26, 2011, 07:21:54 PM
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Well I think people should be able to do what they want.  It's called freedom.  While civil liberties are very important me, at the moment I am more concerned about them spending us into an inescapable pit of debt, while they print money until they dilute the value of anyone's savings thats under a billion dollars to nil.

At this point we don't even get candidates with ideology.  We just get candidates who say whatever they think will get them elected and then do whatever the companies that funded their campaign want them to.

We need another choice.  If you don't like libertarian philosophy, vote for the green party, independent, write someone in.  The only way anything will change is if we stop voting for Republicans and Democrats.  (in general, I know we have a couple of genuine reps).

If you should win, to which of the two major parties would you caucus with?

Freedom is a state of mind, and then Bitcoin comes along.....
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November 27, 2011, 02:36:21 AM
 #20

I know your just trolling me, but here it is anyway:

Yes an uphill climb, I would say so.  I am running as a Libertarian, third party candidates are always at a disadvantage.  Additionally there is not currently a Libertarian Party in North Dakota.  We are currently working to establish one.  Well I would likely need much less than 200K depending on voter turn out due to it being a three way race.  

I don't know where you got the address from but I haven't lived in Dilworth for many years.  I currently reside in Fargo, ND (same metro area).  I am sure it is still listed on all sorts of accounts I have created over the years both on and off line, I don't see any point in trying to update them all as the only legally relevant thing is that I am a North Dakota resident and have been for much longer than is required to run for office.

My age isn't a secret, I was born May 20th 1983.  Both my birth date and current address are listed on several sites, I simply did not bother to enter the information here.  No I am not going to upload a copy of my birth certificate or anything else.  I am confident the State of North Dakota will be able to figure out that I am eligible to run when my paperwork gets filed in January.


So why run an uphill battle.  Because everyone I speak to is upset, they are angry at both parties.  I read in the paper congressional approval ratings of 9 or 12%.  Our country has a built in method of peaceful revolution.  That is to vote out bad government.  The currently can not be done, because both candidates on the ballot in almost every race are basically the same, save a few issues that don't affect anyones bottom line.  The only way to change this is to build up a third party, and run candidates (or run independent candidates) that people can vote for in order to show no confidence in both of the major parties.  I have chosen the Libertarian ticket because I believe that Libertarian principals are essentially correct (especially in regard to the federal government), and it is by far the biggest and most organized of the third parties in the United States, making it the most viable party to launch competitive national level candidates.    

Even a small percentage of the vote going to a third party changes the field.  It forces our representatives to pay attention to why people are voting for the third candidate.  It generates more interest and revenue for the party, making it easier to field candidates and easier to raise funds.  Well I am running the office, as I think it is very much necessary to replace at least some of the Dem/Rep hold on congress, I do not need to get elected to have the desired effect.  A double digit showing in the general election would be a major win.  It would mean that a party that did not have any real presence in my state prior to this election will hold significant mind share.  This will make the next cycle much easier, both for the party and for myself should I choose to run again.

That is not to say that it can not be won.  The major parties do not have a lot of favor right now, and North Dakota is one of the most Libertarian leaning of all states.

At the very least, I will have someone on the ballot I would want to vote for, and I know I can provide that for many others as well.

Quote
I know your just trolling me, but here it is anyway:

How do you know I'm trolling? I've never trolled a single time on this forum or any other place on the internet.

Quote
I don't know where you got the address from but I haven't lived in Dilworth for many years.

Serously? No clue where I got the address from? Haven't lived there for years? I'm just a guy on the Bitcoin forum. Imagine what two other candidates could do if they saw the following.

Quote
Registrant:
Eric Olson
425 9th st sw
Dilworth, Minnesota 56529
United States

Registered through: GoDaddy.com, Inc. (http://www.godaddy.com)
Domain Name: ERICOLSON2012.COM
Created on: 05-Nov-11
Expires on: 05-Nov-12
Last Updated on: 11-Nov-11

The bottom line, Eric, is that I do wish you well with your campaign. To show my sincerity, I just tried donating 1 BTC on your donation page. It seems broken. Would you be so kind as to PM an address so that I can do this. Yes, it's not much, but it's something. My gesture of goodwill, is what I'm more concerned about. Please, no hard feelings. Get your GoDaddy account updated, also.

Bruno
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