February 20, 2008 · Lessig
A bunch have written asking whether one can consistently oppose taking money from “PACs” while accepting contributions through ActBlue — a PAC. In my view, there is a difference, since every dollar given is directed to a candidate directly by an individual, and the problem with “PACs” is that it allows a single entity to leverage a number of donations. (Compare: It is not legal to take money from corporations. But if you have a PayPal account, you get a check from PayPal — a corporation — whenever you withdraw the money. But obviously, there’s no problem in that.)
But no reason to create confusion, so as we move through the alpha/beta of our site, this may be an issue to reconsider.
I’ve spoken some more to the people who decided we would use ActBlue. The FEC has permitted ActBlue to function as a payment processor — e.g., exactly like PayPal. Any contribution through ActBlue is recorded as a contribution from the person making it, not ActBlue. So, no, in the relevant sense, ActBlue is not a PAC.