Bitcoin enters Maine campaigns without official go-ahead from election regulators

maine-state-capitol26 Jan 2014 / Morning Sentinel – AUGUSTA — In a first for Maine, two 2014 political campaigns have decided to accept Bitcoin, a digital currency, absent official word from election watchdogs at the state and federal levels.

The candidates — Republican Eric Brakey, a state senate candidate from New Gloucester; and Blaine Richardson, an independent Belfast conservative running to represent Maine’s 2nd Congressional District – made the announcements earlier this month.

About two weeks ago, Brakeytweeted a screen shot of the state’s first Bitcoin campaign contribution: 0.1133 Bitcoin, or about $91 at its Friday price.

In an early January news release, Brakey touted his raising of more than $21,000 in 2013, more money than any past Maine legislative campaign had raised to that point in an election cycle. While Brakey said only “several hundred” dollars had come in Bitcoin, he said it’s still worthwhile.

“It’s attracted a lot of young people who are digitally savvy, and it’s just a constituency that Bitcoin is attractive to.”

Matthew McDonald, Richardson’s campaign manager, said the campaign has only 0.13 Bitcoin, or about $105, as of Friday. He said it’s not necessarily the money, but the buzz surrounding Bitcoin that makes accepting it beneficial.

“It’s cutting-edge,” McDonald said. “Our campaign’s experimenting with technology and avenues that no campaign in Maine’s history has ever dealt with.”….. Read more

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