BECKERMAN: “Just as our member companies have done for countless industries, the Internet Association has set out to revolutionize political fundraising.”
Washington, DC – Today, the Internet Association announced a new, innovative online platform that enables voters to better engage candidates for federal office on important internet policy issues. The new Internet Association political action platform will allow all Americans to participate, increasing transparency and engagement in the political process. This first-of-its-kind fundraising platform will give internet users unprecedented access to candidates for federal office, and allow them to find out where the candidates stand on important internet issues.
“Just as our member companies have done for countless industries, the Internet Association has set out to revolutionize political fundraising,” said Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of the Internet Association. “This fundamentally internet-based approach will democratize political giving – a process traditionally characterized by exclusivity and an overall lack of transparency – and convert it to a public forum that provides everyday internet voters with the ability to participate in a meaningful way.”
The Internet Association political action platform leverages engagement tools made possible by the internet such as live video streaming and chats with candidates and a real-time contribution system. The platform will allow voters around the country to attend virtual events with candidates, ask questions about their positions on internet issues, provide input to the candidates, and make political contributions.
“As an organization dedicated to making money in politics transparent, the Center for Responsive Politics applauds the Internet Association’s innovative approach to political fundraising and disclosure, which sets a new bar for openness and transparency in the way interests connect with and support candidates,” said Sheila Krumholz, Executive Director of the Center for Responsive Politics. “Money by itself isn’t inherently evil, but some aspects of modern political fundraising are antidemocratic. If this platform leverages technology to reduce the ‘cost’ of giving, facilitates more timely disclosure and brings more citizens into open dialogue with their representatives in Washington, it will have enhanced the democratic process.”
U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), a member of the Congressional Internet Caucus will be the first members of Congress to receive support from the Internet Association PAC.
Rep. McMorris Rodgers serves as the Chair of the House Republican Conference, where she’s been a constant advocate for improving government through technology. She also advocates for policy makers to connect with innovators and promote a robust startup ecosystem- she’s spoken at SXSW and participated in internet small business crawls. McMorris Rodgers has cosponsored legislation to prevent discriminatory internet access taxes, encourage internet access globally, and supported legislation to enhance STEM education efforts in the US.
Through this online platform, the Internet Association will host events for candidates of both political parties to discuss public policies affecting the internet economy and user community. These events will invite the general public and employees of internet companies to participate in an open dialogue with the candidates. The online video streaming system will broadcast live and archived conversations with candidates for federal office. These conversations will focus on the candidate’s views regarding internet policies and integrate user questions and feedback.