Why are some Pres Candidates shunning ActBlue?

I love ActBlue. I think it is one of the most critical pieces of infrastructure that the internet has allowed. Getting more Democratic activists using ActBlue to donate and raise money should be an important goal for everyone who wants to see scalable growth in Democratic Party fundraising in 2008 (and on and on).

Presidential candidates have a great opportunity to show their supporters how easy it is to raise money on ActBlue. This could have a huge effect when it comes to distributed fundraising for down-ticket races.

But some presidential candidates appear to be going the selfish route. I'm going to call some out after the flip and gives props to those who deserve it.

Either Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have zero support online or they have chosen to raise money the selfish way. These two candidates could have done wonders by having supporters set up their own ActBlue pages (where they could add their favorite senate, congressional, and state candidates in some states). Instead, they are focusing on raising all of their money through closed, in-house systems that do nothing for down-ticket races. In the case of Obama this is particularly unfortunate because there were pages set up for the Draft fund but now that he has an exploratory committee his people are running his campaign the selfish way. Tom Vilsack has a donut on ActBlue but that might just be a sign of his support. Same with Chris Dodd and Mike Gavel.

But some campaigns "get it" and are running in a way that helps the Democratic Party. John Edwards is off to a great start on ActBlue. Bill Richardson is using ActBlue. Hell, even Dennis Kucinich has raised some money via actblue.

If you look at the front page of ActBlue you'll see that they are measuring presidential support in almost a straw-poll manner. If some campaigns are too selfish campaign in a way that doesn't help other Democrats, then I'm glad that people will see that reflected in the Actblue rankings.

Tags: actblue, Barack Obama, Bill Richardson, Chris Dodd, Hillary Clinton, Mike Gavel, Tom Vilsack (all tags)

Comments

19 Comments

Re: Why are some Pres Candidates shunning ActBlue?

This is just stunning in Clinton's case with one of the biggest knocks against her being that she will decimate Democrats down-ticket. Going with ActBlue could have positioned her to help everyone, but instead she chose to do the opposite of what makes sense.

by Bob Brigham 2007-01-21 10:04AM | 0 recs
Pfizer and Lockheed Martin and MBNA

don't like to give $$ that is readily visible and public..

I'd suspect these guys give to their candidates in other ways

by TarHeel 2007-01-21 12:21PM | 0 recs
Why use ActBlue?

How does using ActBlue to process campaign contributions help other candidates?

Never quite understood ActBlue says giving $20 via ActBlue is like giving $2,100.

Personally I give directly and would never go through a third party.

As a place for resource poor campaigns to start doing online contributions because they don't have the onboard web talent, I guess that would provide a service...like Groundspring does for non-profits...but don't see how using ActBlue by one candidate helps other candidates.

by BrionLutz 2007-01-21 10:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Why use ActBlue?

If a campaign gets their supporters to each set up an actblue page, then once they tap out the presidential effort it is a piece of cake to get them to add other candidates. The fact that you aren't yet using actblue to give and raise money shows how much growth potential is out there.

But more so, it is just plain stupid not to use actblue. Every other method of raising money online costs money in transaction fees. When you don't use actblue to donate you are only giving a percentage of your contribution.

by Bob Brigham 2007-01-21 10:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Why use ActBlue?

You have given no reason why a candidate should use ActBlue.

You have not answered the question of why ActBlue claims giving a candidate $20 is really giving them $2,100 if given through ActBlue.

Does it help other Democratic or progressive candidates if they use ActBlue? How? Do the other candidates or progressives benefit in some way? How?

Sorry but it doesn't really make any sense for a candidate to use ActBlue...at least none you can articulate.

"Every other method of raising money online costs money in transaction fees."

Are you saying Visa/MC and Amex waive their transactions fees for ActBlue?

by BrionLutz 2007-01-21 10:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Why use ActBlue?

Read my post below.

by Vox Populi 2007-01-21 11:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Why use ActBlue?

Read mine above...if ActBlue can't explain why anyone should use it why should anyone use it?

by BrionLutz 2007-01-21 11:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Why use ActBlue?

Zero transaction fees isn't enough of a reason for you? The presidential campaigns that are too stupid to use act blue are going to waste six figure sums on transaction fees.

But more importantly, getting people to raise money for Democrats on actblue -- including but in addition to the presidential candidates -- helps the whole party. Most people who raise money on actblue do so for more than one candidate and most of the lists grow in numbers of candidates from the time they start until the end of the election.

Presidential campaigns not using actblue is both stupid and selfish.

by Bob Brigham 2007-01-21 11:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Why use ActBlue?

He doesn't understand the concept of "transaction fees."

Visa, American Express, etc., are not the fees we're talking about.  When you make a donation to a campaign directly, it isn't actually to the campaign directly.  They have a clearinghouse (Like PayPal for example) that charges the campaign to process the donations.  A campaign would actually have to create its own clearinghouse to avoid the fees, or utilize a non-profit like ActBlue to avoid them.

by Vox Populi 2007-01-21 11:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Why use ActBlue?

Look up ;)

by BrionLutz 2007-01-21 05:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Why use ActBlue?

"Zero transaction fees isn't enough of a reason for you?"

I don't think you understand transaction fees.  A fee is charged by Visa/MC to the seller for each online transaction. This fee is not waived for ActBlue.

In addition, the sellers bank charges a fee for merchant account to accept the payment.

These are transaction fees and do apply to ActBlue transactions.

It sounds like you really talking about one time only seutp fees for the website.

Bottom line would seem to be the same transaction fees apply via ActBlue or the candidates web site.

by BrionLutz 2007-01-21 03:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Why use ActBlue?

No, you are mistaken.

The fee is not waived, but paid for by Actblue which it can do since it is a PAC.

If you give via actblue, the campaign gets the entire amount.

If you give via any other mechanism, the campaign is receiving less than you contribute.

by Bob Brigham 2007-01-21 03:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Why use ActBlue?

Much appreciate your enthusiasm, but we're not that good -- if we covered all the transaction fees we wouldn't be able to pay the rent!  We pass the transaction costs on to the campaigns.

by brahn 2007-01-21 03:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Why use ActBlue?

If I give $50 bucks via actblue, what will the campaign receive?

by Bob Brigham 2007-01-21 09:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Why use ActBlue?

The exact number depends on the type of card (visa/mc/amex/discover and there are all sorts of subcategories within those) but ballpark is that our processor charges 3% so $48.50 goes to the campaign -- just as giving via the candidate's website directly.

Some processors have slightly lower %ages fee but higher startup and monthly fees (in our case there aren't any), and it works out about the same.  Others charge a heck of a lot more, esp. to small campaigns.

by brahn 2007-01-22 05:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Why use ActBlue?

ActBlue is a Democratic clearinghouse for donations.  People like you and I can set up our own pages with the candidates we support.  It's a way to set up fundraisers at home, or with the folks on your personal email lists.

by Vox Populi 2007-01-21 10:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Why use ActBlue?

Not to mention they don't charge the campaigns transaction fees, unlike the "professional" brokers.

by Vox Populi 2007-01-21 10:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Why use ActBlue?

Never quite understood ActBlue says giving $20 via ActBlue is like giving $2,100.

Am I correct in thinking that you're referring to a comment we make on our Support ActBlue page?  Perhaps we could phrase things more clearly :-)  We're really talking about why it's valuable to contribute to ActBlue: namely, that with a very modest investment we've created infrastructure that facilitates an enormous volume of contributions.  

Didn't mean to suggest that giving $100 to a candidate via ActBlue was like giving $2100 to them directly -- that would certainly be something of a stretch :-)

by brahn 2007-01-21 02:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Why use ActBlue?

"Didn't mean to suggest that giving $100 to a candidate via ActBlue was like giving $2100 to them directly -- that would certainly be something of a stretch :-)"

Following from ActBlue website looks very "stretchy" to me.

so giving $100 to ActBlue is like giving $2000 to Democrats -- making ActBlue a great investment.

by BrionLutz 2007-01-21 02:56PM | 0 recs

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