I find Fan the Vote (in which fans sell fannish services in return for campaign contributions to various liberal causes) a fascinating fannish development. I came across it first in Alara’s LJ, where the assumption that all fans are pro-Kerry struck me, as did the going rate for more Judgment Day - $10 for 3,000 words is less than a penny a word and not a professional rate.
At the Fan the Vote LJ community you can get any service (betaing, fic, icons) for any fandom. Issues of legality have been brought up - mainly that it’s illegal for an American political campaign to take money from foreign nationals even through a fannish intermediary, and it’s against the LJ TOS for the fans to solicit money for themselves.
But how about the biggest issue of all - trademark infringement? Sure, none of the fans are profiting from Fan the Vote, but Kerry is. I wouldn’t be so sure, if I were of the Democrat persuasion, that Paramount wanted its properties used to finance the Kerry campaign, or to finance anything at all. Remember when we held the moral high ground because no one was making any money off fandom? Those were the days…
For the sake of fairness in fandom, I had been planning to offer to help fan the vote the other way by ficcing in return for contributions to the Bush campaign, the Libertarian Party, or The Becket Fund, but I doubt that those organizations would want to be involved in this sort of illicit fundraising scheme. So my fic will remain free, at least until the lawyers hear about Fan the Vote and shut us all down, regardless of political persuasion.