Obama, Romney set to take donations via text

Small contributions to be charged to cellphone bills

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Phone companies have expressed concerns about being held liable if their cell users exceed the maximum donation amounts or donate illegally, but will not be subject to any penalties, according to advisory legal opinions issued by the FEC.

The phone-service providers will be able to choose for which campaigns it wants to allow text donations, based on whether they consider an arrangement to be commercially viable. The providers and third-party aggregators would be entitled to a portion of each donation.

While no donor system is entirely foolproof, Mr. Lawlor said, he expects that the rules in place are relatively uncontroversial and will minimize fraud.

“It’s good to see people from different parties and from reform groups supporting this and thinking it’s a good idea,” he said. “I think a lot of the processes are going to prevent any of the concerns that are out there.”

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