But, Marc Ambinder had a post today and linked the Wall Street Journal piece that explains it in detail – a painless way to give to the GOP with a click of the mouse and at no cost to the browser user.
Barack Obama may have John McCain beat when it comes to online fund-raising and Facebook friends (click here and here), but Republicans have an edge in one form of Internet campaigning â€“ and itâ€™s growing 2.3 cents at a time.
When supporters install a GOP toolbar for their Web browser, the Republican National Committee collects a few pennies every time they use the Yahoo-based search function. The gadget was designed by http://www.freecause.com/ FreeCause Inc. , which gets the micro-payments from Yahoo and passes them to the RNC, after collecting its commission. Users can track the total in their digital change jar, which tops out at the Federal Election Commissionâ€™s $28,500 limit. That would amount to more than 1.2 million searches. Users can also do their online shopping through the browser tool, which directs 1% to 8% of their spending to the RNC.
FreeCause co-founder Casey Adkisson says the company has worked mainly with charitable causes like the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast cancer organization and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.
When McCainâ€™s former chief strategist John Weaver heard about the new technology, his firm, The Network Companies LLC, bought the rights to the technology in the political marketplace. Beyond the fund-raising potential, Weaver sees the future of political communications and organizing in Web tools like this one.
â€œWeâ€™re all looking for a way to get around the media filters, to go directly to the consumer,â€ Weaver said. â€œThe browser is the new desktop. Now weâ€™ve got a communications tool in front of the user for six to ten hours every day. It will have a revolutionary impact.â€
Flap has installed the GOP toolbar and will be using it to search while contributing to the GOP. A novel approach.
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