Business

Can crowdfunding end the corrupt influence of money in U.S. politics? $1.5M in donations say yes.

american flag
Image Credit: Shapeways

Updated on 6/11/2014 — MayDay.us raised its first $1 million from individuals, and later saw donations wealthy tech leaders. Also, the secondary funding goal is $5 million, not $1 million.

MayDay.us, the super PAC set up to help pro-campaign finance reform congressional candidates win the 2016 elections, has cleared nearly $1.5 million in crowdfunding since launching in early May, according to the super PAC’s website.

Super PACs are entities that can raise unlimited amounts of money from pretty much anywhere (corporations, union groups, rich individuals, and the rest of us) for the purpose of getting candidates elected to U.S. public office — so long as it doesn’t coordinate directly with those candidates. It’s a sore spot among politicians currently in office because those that stand against money from super PACs risk losing to challengers with more money and influence (in large part because of super PACs).

The MayDay.us fund is being billed as the “super PAC to end super PACs” because its main purpose is to install only new congressional members that want to get rid of this kind of unchecked spending.

The move is interesting because it has the potential to use the current broken campaign finance system to force change. It’ll also be something to watch because there’s nothing to stop those that disagree with MayDay.us from launching their own super PACs to counteract MayDay’s efforts.

MayDay.us raised $1 million in its first two weeks from over 12,800 individual contributors. MayDay.us told VentureBeat once this first goal was met, it saw  large donations from a handful of influential technology business leaders, including TED conference curator Chris Anderson ($250,000), Schooner Capital founder Vin Ryan ($250,000), LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman ($150,000), PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel ($150,000), Union Square Ventures managing partner Brad Burnham ($100,000), and others.

MayDay.us said it wants to raise a total of $12 million for candidates in the 2016 elections. With the first goal met, the super PAC is currently trying to reach a new goal of $5 million by July 4 — having already raised about $600,000 of that amount.

Do you think MayDay.us has a shot at getting rid of super PACs? Please share you thoughts in the comments.

h/t BoingBoing


We're studying conversion rate optimization. Take our quick survey and we'll share the results with you.