Mark Clear, a Democrat running for a State Assembly seat in Madison, Wisconsin, has begun lobbying for local approval for state candidates to take Bitcoin donations.
Clear attended a meeting of the state’s Government Accountability Board (GAB) last week to argue in favor of widening the Bitcoin-in-politics pool.
“If Bitcoin is good enough for federal candidates, it ought to be good enough for Wisconsin candidates,” he told local newspaper The Capital Times. “I’m hoping they’ll roughly follow the guidelines that the FEC declared.”
The FEC has advised that federal political candidates should be allowed to accept up to $100 in Bitcoin per donor. There is still no hard-and-fast policy on cryptocurrency donations for state-level candidates, though the Wisconsin GAB earlier told Clear that state politicians were not authorized to accept Bitcoin.
At the GAB meeting last week, Clear argued that state candidates should be able to accept up to $50 in Bitcoin per donor, equivalent to the same current limit for cash donations. To minimize the fluctuation in value that has come to characterize Bitcoin among cryptocurrency enthusiasts, Clear said that politicians should have to convert their digital donations to dollars as soon as possible.
Of all the potential white knights leading the charge for Bitcoin in politics, Clear is a logical candidate: he publicized himself earlier this month as the first candidate in state history to accept a Bitcoin campaign donation after getting about $100 worth from a local software entrepreneur. However, Clear was forced to return the donation after being advised by GAB that the donation wasn’t above-board.
Here’s hoping that GAB doesn’t dillydally with Clear’s request. After all, as FEC Chairman Lee Goodman once wrote about Bitcoin,
“Technology cannot and will not wait until government regulators are comfortable to move forward, experiment, and innovate.”