Last week we told you how Texas Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) became the first sitting elected official in Washington to accept Bitcoin for his 2014 campaign against Sen. John Cornyn.
Dan Backer is going to make sure Stockman is not the last.
Today, Backer, a campaign finance lawyer, is launching Bit-PAC, the first ever Bitcoin political action committee designed to support candidates who will promote the digital currency’s acceptance.
“Our effort here is how to align the interests of legislators with that of the Bitcoin community to promote the broader acceptance of Bitcoin, both as an instrument of speech and of commerce,” he told BI by phone in Washington.
Backer, a conservative who serves as counsel to over 30 PACs and, directly or indirectly, 20 Members of the U.S. House and Senate, came up with the PAC on his own, and led the case that got the Federal Election Committee to look into allowing Bitcoin in campaigns. The agency has punted for now, but Backer believes they can’t in good conscience say no.
“It’s your right to contribute to candidates however you want to. If you want to give a candidate 5,000 plastic cups, if it has a monetary value, your entitled to contribute.”
Political action committees serve as mediums for channeling donations to candidates who support certain issues. Right now, there is no pending legislation regarding Bitcoin: The two days of Senate hearings that took place in November have not led to much, other than a general realisation on the Hill that Bitcoin is now mainstream.
But Backer claims there are other outside candidates besides Stockman (a client of Backer’s firm) who’ve announced they’re taking Bitcoin, and that the 2014 election is crucial to getting Bitcoin-friendly candidates into office, because it will inevitably start to come up in policy committees.
“There’s a desire, an interest to see something happen,” he said. “I don’t know who champion will be, but if there’s a law that’s going to be something on Bitcoin, we want to be around.”
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