Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who's running for governor against Wendy Davis, has a new plan to attract young, digitally-savvy voters: Bitcoin.
Abbott's campaign announced this week that it would officially accept the cryptocurrency donations. Abbott's communications director Matt Hirsch tells Politico's Ben White:
Our campaign has focused on making use of cutting-edge tools to communicate online and has made digital a priority from the start. Something as innovative as Bitcoin is an opportunity for us to continue this focus, especially given the fact that it embodies free market principles, which Texans are very fond of.
In a stump speech on Wednesday, Abbott said, "We welcome the Bitcoin community to join our team."
Bitcoin users tend to be young, white, libertarian males. This is partly because Bitcoin is completely decentralized and outside the Federal Reserve's purview. While Abbott isn't one of the politicians calling to "End the Fed," he is definitely a proponent of states rights. As Attorney General, he sued the federal government 27 times.
That does not seem to be enough for die-hard Bitcoin fans, however. On Reddit's Bitcoin forum, users are lamenting the fact that Abbott hasn't said what he would do to help give the cryptocurrency legitimacy. Many are already Davis fans, presumably because of her stance on social issues.
The FEC will issue an advisory opinion next week on Bitcoin campaign donations. Right now, politicians are considering them in-kind donations, since the IRS ruled that Bitcoin should be taxed as property. According to Michael Lindenberger at The Dallas Morning News, the FEC may allow Bitcoin to "be used to pay campaign bills, provided vendors would accept the novel currency."