You're right that currently only declared presidential campaigns can beneficiaries of causes -- I was responding to the absoluteness of your statement "you're wrong about the rest." 13th Texan correctly pointed out that ActBlue is working with Causes, which in your original diary you seemed not to know.
Regarding the subtantive point: as mentioned above, the Causes folks wanted to start by keeping things simple and focusing just on the presidential candidates, but I'd encourage you to ask if they would be willing to support congressional candidates, etc.
Linking causes and pages is certainly desirable, and I expect we'll get there at some point. Can't give you a timeline, though, we've got a lot on our plate :-)
Aziz -- I don't think you're being very fair to tell the 13th Texan that s/he "wrong about the rest". ActBlue is indeed working with the Causes folks, and they decided to start simple with just the declared presidentials. If you'd like to create a Cause to support other entities on ActBlue (e.g. Draft Gore or Noriega), by all means ask them! I imagine they'd be open to the request if it came from someone serious about raising funds, and it's certainly easy for us.
If I might make a more general comment:
If you'd like to suggest some new functionality for consideration or have other questions, please feel free to ask us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Getting the facts straight in advance would make for a more productive public discussion.
Accusing someone of being "AWOL" without first making a friendly inquiry seems a somewhat less effective method of getting your concerns addressed. Everyone here at ActBlue is working overdrive, overtime, to strengthen the progressive movement, and suggestions to the contrary are not appreciated.
"Local bloggers are simply grassroots activists who happen to have come of age in the era of blogging."
This observation is useful for activists (both online and offline) to understand how they relate -- and even more importantly, it's an important way of selling the progressive blogosphere as part of a larger mainstream phenomenon rather than a fringe element.
To those skeptical about whether bloggers are "normal", I often explain that the conversations you see online are just like the conversations you'd overhear in coffeeshops, PTAs, and kitchen tables all over the country -- it's just that the former are much easier to listen in on (and join) than the latter.
All -- contributors such as Aeolus who generously signed on as monthly contributors to blogpac last week are counted among the first 60-ish blogpac contributors on this new joint page. We would, of course, be very appreciative if you'd be willing to join on as a recurring contributor to ActBlue as well!
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.
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 :-)
We've certainly looked at offering paypal (and continue to revisit from time to time) but there are just too many potential downsides to justify a modest boost in convenience.
* Horror stories of undelivered/frozen funds. We have to move the money within ten days of the contribution, and the FEC doesn't take "I couldn't get ahold of customer service" for an excuse.
* Legal ambiguity is also a major problem -- PayPal's method of capturing the money before passing it on is different from standard credit cards and a major no-no. (I know that there are some folks in the community who take a different point of view on this one; with all due respect, this is a risk we have chosen not to take.)
Stay tuned, though. We may have something coming down the pike in the next few months that will make fans of PayPals's convenience happy :-)