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Author Topic: US Bitcoin Folks: Ask Your Congressperson to Advocate for Bitcoin  (Read 1156 times)
Gliph
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April 26, 2013, 04:36:50 PM
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Want to expand your Bitcoin advocacy? Apart from sharing the benefits of the currency with people you meet, you can also help shape the national dialog around Bitcoin as well.

Consider writing your congressperson and asking that they familiarize themselves with Bitcoin and that they advocate against regulation that would stifle alternative currencies. In addition, you may want to ask if you can make a political contribution via Bitcoin.

It isn't hard, has no age restrictions and can be very satisfying:

Step one: Look up your full Zip Code (XYZPD-ABCD) on the US Postal web page.

Step two: Find the representative for your congressional district using the above zip code.

Step three: Click on the Contact Me link on your rep's web page.

Often members of Congress, or their staff will take the time to personally reply to letters from their constituents. This is an opportunity to work within the existing political structure and have your voice heard.  

Use these steps to ensure you are contacting your actual representative, as often they will not reply to constituents outside their districts.
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Gavin Andresen
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April 26, 2013, 05:06:07 PM
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Probably more effective to ask if you can contribute to their campaign using Bitcoin.

They like getting money.

How often do you get the chance to work on a potentially world-changing project?
Gliph
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April 26, 2013, 05:21:53 PM
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Probably more effective to ask if you can contribute to their campaign using Bitcoin.

They like getting money.
That's a terrific idea.  I'll edit the top post.  Very curious to hear feedback from BTC community members who do this.  I have written my congressmen and will share the response here.
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April 26, 2013, 05:49:25 PM
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Probably more effective to ask if you can contribute to their campaign using Bitcoin.

They like getting money.


Yes.

One doesn't merely 'ask' congresscritters to advocate for things.

< Obligatory pic of the Most Interesting Man in the World... >

One greases their wheels.

Anyway, it won't matter until regular people can contribute on an equal standing with the PACs - i.e., anonymously.  Right now, the typical approach in bitcoinland ("If you accept bitcoin, I'll send you a bunch.") won't work - US campaign reporting requirements pretty much prohibit accepting bitcoin, due to their lack of connection to a real person's identity.

And congresscritters are an unsavory, two-faced lot.  If you donate US dollars you'll get a hearty thank you, and nothing else.

We're just not ready - not big enough that is - to buy our way into the seats of government.  And buying in is the only way in.

That was Gates' mistake, by the way.  For years, he just wouldn't pay the freight.  For all his brilliance, he never quite got politics...

Dankedan: price seems low, time to sell I think...
Wilikon
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April 26, 2013, 06:27:53 PM
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As soon as the bitcoin protocol will be useful beyond its money/currency then the community will have a much more solid foundation to involve politicians.

It is all about timing.

The tools are still being developed for services other than what the press is making fun of today. Maybe bitcoin could be a way for a universal copyright time stamp for example, or a way to link a person with a contract, or a will for all to see after his passing. Those are examples I wish will become true one day.
bit777
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April 26, 2013, 06:44:42 PM
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Someone could build a donation platform for politicians to accept bitcoin campaign donations for free. BitPolitics. Then all the politicians could create a public profile and collect.
Mike Christ
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April 26, 2013, 06:47:04 PM
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I offered future Nevada governor VanDerBeek some Bitcoin to support his campaign.  I've yet to hear from him back tho, but it seems right up his alley.

superduh
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April 26, 2013, 10:16:04 PM
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someone would need to make a platform where people can make donations and disclose who they are (confirming they are US citizens) under the penalty of perjury - i'm sure that this would probably meet the requirements?

ok
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April 26, 2013, 11:05:59 PM
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someone would need to make a platform where people can make donations and disclose who they are (confirming they are US citizens) under the penalty of perjury - i'm sure that this would probably meet the requirements?

No.  It wouldn't.

Political donations are accepted only in those forms of fiat - credit card, personal or business check, bank wire, ACH, & etc. - that have an reasonably uncontestable identity linked to them.

There are websites you can go to that list every non-PAC donation to every politician running for office - by name and address:  and they are gone through very carefully by political volunteers from all parties, looking for wrists to slap.  Remember Keith Olbermann?  Or Ed Schultz?

Dankedan: price seems low, time to sell I think...
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April 26, 2013, 11:24:27 PM
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someone would need to make a platform where people can make donations and disclose who they are (confirming they are US citizens) under the penalty of perjury - i'm sure that this would probably meet the requirements?

No.  It wouldn't.

Political donations are accepted only in those forms of fiat - credit card, personal or business check, bank wire, ACH, & etc. - that have an reasonably uncontestable identity linked to them.

There are websites you can go to that list every non-PAC donation to every politician running for office - by name and address:  and they are gone through very carefully by political volunteers from all parties, looking for wrists to slap.  Remember Keith Olbermann?  Or Ed Schultz?

you may be right - but, that is not full proof that the person giving is THEIR money. so are people unable to donate gold or something? i thought all it required was verification of identity

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BTC Books
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April 27, 2013, 12:09:18 AM
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you may be right - but, that is not full proof that the person giving is THEIR money. so are people unable to donate gold or something? i thought all it required was verification of identity

It's true that verifying ownership of donated money can be difficult - but keep in mind that the name it's donated under is the name that's legally on the hook.  Donating somebody else's money under your own name is a sucker's game; I don't know anyone who'd be willing to do that.  Would you?

This I'm unsure of:  donating gold and high-valuables in general.  The question would be:  how many politicians would accept them?  I know that there's an acceptable vehicle for donating campaign requirements:  paper, imprinted gee-gaws (hats, buttons and the like), food, and so on.  My suspicion is that gold wouldn't fly.

Dankedan: price seems low, time to sell I think...
Freebanking.org
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May 01, 2013, 03:05:10 PM
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What, exactly, do you want them to do?

Bradley Jansen, editor, freebanking.org
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May 01, 2013, 03:42:47 PM
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someone would need to make a platform where people can make donations and disclose who they are (confirming they are US citizens) under the penalty of perjury - i'm sure that this would probably meet the requirements?
Political donations are accepted only in those forms of fiat - credit card, personal or business check, bank wire, ACH, & etc. - that have an reasonably uncontestable identity linked to them.

Except that isn't true:
http://bitcoinmagazine.com/bitcoin-usage-for-political-donations-expands-to-vermont/
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May 01, 2013, 04:08:06 PM
 #14

I will never understand why you americans like to give money to politicians.
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May 01, 2013, 04:32:48 PM
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I will never understand why you americans like to give money to politicians.

I hope you're not one of those people who think this sort of thing only happens in America Tongue
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May 01, 2013, 04:35:54 PM
 #16

Probably more effective to ask if you can contribute to their campaign using Bitcoin.

They like getting money.

Or bribe them in bitcoin.  Grin
No, don't do that.

The gospel according to Satoshi - https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf

Free bitcoin in ICELAND - https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1610684
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May 01, 2013, 04:41:00 PM
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Probably more effective to ask if you can contribute to their campaign using Bitcoin.

They like getting money.

Or bribe them in bitcoin.  Grin
No, don't do that.

It really would make my day if a politician, particularly one publicly against Bitcoin took Bitcoin as a bribe Cheesy
BTC Books
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May 01, 2013, 05:38:47 PM
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someone would need to make a platform where people can make donations and disclose who they are (confirming they are US citizens) under the penalty of perjury - i'm sure that this would probably meet the requirements?
Political donations are accepted only in those forms of fiat - credit card, personal or business check, bank wire, ACH, & etc. - that have an reasonably uncontestable identity linked to them.

Except that isn't true:
http://bitcoinmagazine.com/bitcoin-usage-for-political-donations-expands-to-vermont/

Yes - I am - and was - aware of that.

As I said:  "...that have an reasonably uncontestable identity linked to them."  Campaign workers for opposing parties do make the phone calls and verify the email addresses, you know - that information is in the public record.  And that falls under the heading of 'reasonably uncontestable'.  For the biggest races in the US, campaign workers for the party receiving the donations verify identities before accepting them.  (Fair disclosure:  I have worked for political campaigns since the US election of 1972, and I have made those calls.)

From your cited article:  [emphases mine]

“The system up now at http://www.bitcoinbuilder.com/donate/,” he writes, “allows political campaigns to create donation forms in one click that comply with the legal requirements Jeremy and I have identified.” And indeed it does. Going to the link, visitors are immediately presented with a form that allows them to create a donation campaign, whether for political purposes or otherwise, set or modify some basic settings like what personal information to require (the default is name, email, phone and address)..."

Frankly though, as a matter of political reality, bitcoin donations in those races weren't worth contesting for the players who will eventually do so if that service catches on.  Or if any bitcoin donation type catches on.  For the size, profile level, and relative importance of those races, filling out the bitcoinbuilder form was good enough.  For now.

First, they ignore you...  You'll see.

Dankedan: price seems low, time to sell I think...
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May 01, 2013, 10:24:28 PM
 #19

The only way to get anything done in Congress is to hire a lobbying firm to push legislation that's in the best interest of Bitcoin.  So the real question is, what is it you want from Congress?  What kind of legislation are you looking for?  You do understand that with legislation comes regulation, right?  I personally am not seeing the benefit of such a venture.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking the out-of-the-box thinking, I'm just being honest that Congress could actually cause more problems than they solve and that's all while facing the multi-million dollar lobbying effort that odds say, would fail anyway.

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