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Officials allow campaign donations via text message

Federal election officials say small-dollar donors may use their cellphones’ text-messaging to contribute to political campaigns.

The Federal Election Commission ruled unanimously Monday in favor of a Democrat-leaning group and campaign-finance watchdogs that had asked the commission to allow the contributions.

The new rules allow supporters to send a text message to a campaign, which would deduct the donation through the donor’s cellphone bill. A similar practice was used following the Haitian earthquake to contribute financial assistance.

The president of the political advertising firm Armour Media, Mark Armour, who helped usher in the change, calls the decision a game-changer for political contributions.


Obama, family headed to Chicago for weekend

President Obama is headed home again.

Mr. Obama, his wife and their two daughters will travel to Chicago on Friday night for the weekend, the White House said Tuesday.

The president is expected to leave from Chicago on Sunday for the G-20 summit in Mexico.

Mr. Obama has not spent much time in his hometown during his presidency, but that has changed lately.

He returned to Chicago for the NATO summit in May, and he was also back in the city early this month for a fundraising trip, during which he spent a rare night in his own house.

From wire dispatches and staff reports