Presidential candidate Darryl Perry sent the following letter to the Federal Election Commission on May 7, 2013, discussing his campaign decision to accept only Bitcoin, Litecoin, and precious metals as campaign contributions. Bitcoin and Litecoin are open source software exchanged online as currency. Bitcoin was developed first and has been in use since 2009.
Perry is an author, radio host, and political activist who owns and edits Free Press Publications. He served as the chairman of the now-defunct Boston Tea Party and is an announced candidate for the 2016 presidential nomination of the Libertarian Party. The Saturnalian does not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the letter below.
This letter is being sent on behalf of the Darryl W. Perry for President (2016) campaign.
I would like to inform you that on behalf of the campaign, the FEC will not be receiving a Statement of Organization, Statement of Candidacy, any financial reports, etc.
As you know, current federal campaign reporting rules want a candidate (or committee) to begin filing with the FEC after collecting or spending $5,000 dollars towards a campaign; an amount virtually unchanged since the 1970’s.
As a libertarian, I do not believe the Federal Election Commission has legitimate authority to regulate the fundraising of candidates or donations of those giving to candidates or their campaigns. In fact, as you are likely aware, the 1974 amendments to the FECA were challenged in the case of Buckley v. Valeo. It was argued in Buckley, “Restrictions on campaign contributions and spending… constitute restrictions on speech as surely as would a statute directly prohibiting an individual from speaking… The mediating factor that turns money into votes is speech. More money leads to more communications supporting the candidate. More communications supporting the candidate leads to additional votes… Advocacy cannot be proscribed simply because it may be effective.” In a per curiam decision, “[t]he Court upheld contribution limits because they served the government’s interest…” That is the absolute worst reason to uphold legislation that limits an individual’s right to association and speech.
The Darryl W. Perry for President (2016) campaign will not be accepting donations in currencies recognized by the federal legal tender laws, instead the campaign will only accept Bitcoin, Litecoin and precious metals. The campaign will not accept any donations via cash, credit/debit card, check or money order.
The campaign will be using one Bitcoin wallet (Bitcoin wallet id: 1DWP16K2oeZEsX5z6vPWsZJ7GB5ajtgcb4) and one Litecoin wallet (Litecoin wallet id: LbuXfKMzNiEq5fP8cZ616EYEg3hD3wbTJU), so that all Bitcoin & Litecoin donations will be as transparent as possible without governmental involvement. For the sake of my donors, I will attempt to make my expenses and donations of precious metals transparent, all without government oversight or involvement.
I intend this to be the last communication I have with this commission as part of my campaign.
A year after the FEC received the above letter, it issued a ruling authorizing the use of Bitcoin and Litecoin as campaign donations with certain rules and regulations. In response, Perry said the ruling made little difference to his campaign and that he would not abide by the rules and regulations provided.