Capitol Alert

Can bitcoin be used for campaign contributions?

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The California Fair Political Practices Commission is holding a meeting at 10 a.m. today to discuss whether campaigns should be able to accept bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as political contributions.

Though staff members have conducted extensive research, FPCC commissioners have yet to formally address the issue. The commission's legal division concluded in a recent memo that cryptocurrency contributions do not violate the state's Political Reform Act — a 1974 initiative that created the commission to regulate campaign finance, lobbying activity and conflicts of interest.

While it's not illegal to accept donations through bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, the FPCC memo strongly discourages campaigns from doing so.

"One of the main purposes of the (Political Reform) Act is to allow the public and enforcement agencies to be able to accurately identify the true source of a campaign contribution," the memo says. "Given the anonymous nature of digital currency, which is rapidly developing and constantly evolving, there could be significant difficulties in establishing the true source of bitcoin donors."

Jay Wierenga, communications director for the FPPC, said a formal decision from the commission is unlikely to take place today.

LATINO CAUCUS HOLDING HEARING PROTESTING TRUMP IMMIGRATION POLICIES

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order directing the Department of Homeland Security to keep families intact after they are caught crossing the border. Caucus members are holding a news conference at 10:30 a.m. today in Room 317 of the Capitol.

PPIC HOLDING WEBCAST PROP 47's IMPACT

The Public Policy Institute of California is hosting a webcast at noon today to discuss findings from its recent report on the impact of Proposition 47 — the 2014 ballot measure aimed at reducing penalties for certain nonviolent drug and property crimes. The Bee reported on the findings last week, along with the subsequent Republican backlash.

INFLUENCER OF THE DAY

How to solve California's housing crisis? Influencers have plenty to say.

"We need a ‘Butch and Sundance’ moment ... ‘I’ll jump if you jump.’ Our housing crisis requires both revenue and reform. Democrats need to accept the need for reforms on issues like CEQA that impact housing costs and construction. Republicans need to appreciate the need for funding affordable homes. It takes revenue and reforms."

-Carl Guardino, President and CEO of Silicon Valley Leadership Group

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