|Posted:||February 15, 2022 10:37 AM|
|From:||Senator Amanda M. Cappelletti|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Campaign Finance Reform|
|In the near future, I intend to introduce legislation that would prohibit the use of pre-checked donation boxes to solicit recurring campaign contributions from donors without their consent.
Under current law, political candidates and committees are allowed to engage in deceptive fundraising practices, purposely obscuring a default feature of solicitations that automatically enrolls individuals into recurring donation programs. Instead of prompting supporters to choose either one-time or recurring donations, the option to provide recurring donations is pre-selected for them. Individuals who intend to provide a single donation, but erroneously overlook the fine print of the pre-checked recurring donation box, are alarmed to find additional donation amounts are being withdrawn from their bank accounts on a regular schedule, often monthly or weekly.
Such dark practices are unethical and circumvent donors’ freedom of choice in supporting political candidates. In May 2021, the Federal Election Commission, recognizing this as a growing issue of concern, recommended unanimously that Congress ban campaigns from using pre-checked recurring donation boxes online. Since then, federal legislation has been introduced to outlaw the use of such measures on political solicitations.
In an effort to end this unfair practice in Pennsylvania and help restore fairness in fundraising, I urge you to support this legislation requiring campaigns to obtain donors’ express agreement for the payment of recurring political donations.
Introduced as SB1129