Crowdpac seeks confirmation from FEC to collect fees on political donations

By David Yates | Jul 3, 2014

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - Instead of going to a candidate's individual website to donate, Crowdpac wants to offer web surfers the opportunity to browse an array of candidates and donate on site.

However, the Internet service company is first seeking approval from the Federal Election Commission before it begins to collect an eight percent fee for routing donations to the nation's political candidates.

Crowdpac recently filed a request for an advisory opinion with the FEC that states the company "was founded on the principle that individual campaign contributors are not heard enough in the political process at the expense of special interests and extreme voices that have seized an outsized role in the financing of federal elections."

In hopes of strengthening those purported drowned voices, Crowdpac wants to connect users with candidates via its website, crowdpac.com.

Surfers can create their own "political profile" and search for candidates. Each Crowdpac candidate page, which can be updated by the candidate, will contain a link allowing the user to contribute, FEC records show.

The company has partnered with Democracy Engine to ensure all donations conform to FEC regulations and are routed to the proper place.

For each surfer's donation, the company will assess an eight percent fee.

"Every aspect of Crowdpac's business plan is consistent with ... (FEC) regulations," the company's request states. "Therefore, the (FEC) should confirm that Crowdpac's planned operations are consistent with federal campaign finance law."

Neither Crowdpac nor Democracy Engine will be contractually engaged with candidate committees, they say.

Attorneys Ben Ginsberg and Marc Elias represent Crowdpac.

Reach David Yates at elections@legalnewsline.com

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