She recently scheduled time at a commission meeting for public comments on her idea, and no one showed up. She's going to repeat the offer next month.
I called some political operatives to see if donating by text message raised any red flags for them.
"It's a terrific idea," said Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC and a former Republican strategist. "If you can buy a book or a sweater online, you ought to be able to buy a politician."
Of course, anyone already can buy in at a website. But Schnur, who teaches a political science class, says: "for 21-year-olds, going to a website and making a contribution is the equivalent of sending the money by pony express. My students don't send email. They communicate by texting."
Texting a $10 donation would be an entry-level political action, Schnur notes. If someone ever got to the point of giving $1,000, the donor would want to personally put the check in the candidate's hand to assure full credit.
Los Angeles-based political consultant Parke Skelton (no relation) thinks "anything that broadens [a candidate's] base and makes it easier to contribute is a good idea."
He adds: "Anyone who gives $5 to your campaign is going to vote for you."
Richard Temple, a veteran campaign strategist, says "there's a new generation coming up. This is the way they communicate. Campaigns have to change with that."
For politicians, he says, contributing by text message would be "another useful tool. But it still wouldn't replace hand-to-hand fundraising. People aren't going to text $3,000."
And he doubts it would significantly increase political participation.
Voter turnouts have been dropping, he says, "because of technology in reverse. People are bombarded with information nonstop — poorly done advertising that turns people off, politicians attacking each other and not saying anything.
"Add that to a faster-paced world. People don't have time to eat together at the dinner table anymore, let alone pay attention to politics."
Texting political donations might not change any of that. But it would make good sense and put California ahead of the pack nationally.