In announcing his intention to run for governor of California in 2018, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is accepting donations in bitcoin, supporting his tech-savvy image. The “Gavin for Governor” invites supporters to donate via bitcoin. Newsom is one of the nation’s first high-profile politicians to accept contributions in bitcoin, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.
Newsom has about $3 million left from his successful 2014 re-election campaign for lieutenant governor, according to reports on his campaign for governor in 2018.
A political bitcoin pioneer
When Newsom ran for re-election for lieutenant governor in 2014, news reports cited him as one of the nation’s first high-profile politicians to accept contributions in bitcoin.
He was swayed by people like top Silicon Valley venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, an investor who has put more than $50 million in bitcoin-related startups, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Aside from Newsom, Democrats like Oakland mayoral candidate Bryan Parker and Colorado Rep. Jared Polis, and Republicans like Texas attorney general and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott, the newspaper noted.
FEC issues opinion on bitcoin contributions
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) in May approved an advisory opinion allowing bitcoin contributions. In response to a request from Make Your Laws PAC, Inc., the FEC decided that the organization could accept contributions of bitcoins as proposed, subject to valuation and reporting procedures detailed in the opinion.
“I’ve never been a fan of pretense or procrastination,” Newsom states on his website announcing his 2018 bid for governor. “After all, our state is defined by its independent, outspoken spirit. When Californians see something we truly believe in, we say so and act accordingly – without evasiveness or equivocation.
“So today I’m announcing that I’m creating a committee to run for California Governor in 2018. Because I truly and passionately believe in the future of this great state. Today, Californians are blessed with the remarkable leadership of Governor Jerry Brown, who in the face of long odds has led our state to firm fiscal footing and brought us to the enviable position of dreaming – and achieving – big dreams again. Even so, long-term challenges remain daunting – we must continue to grow our economy and create private-sector jobs, we must invest in public education and keep college affordable, we must address the widening inequalities that separate our communities and we must maintain California’s historic leadership in meeting the climate challenge.”