The newly established RVPAC will be a powerful voice for the RV Industry Association and our members during the 2020 election cycle and beyond.
WHAT'S A PAC?
Let’s start at the beginning. PAC stands for a Political Action Committee, which is a legal, transparent and federally monitored means of expressing united interests with one powerful voice representing many members. PACs are tax-exempt organizations that pool campaign contributions from like-minded people with common political goals to maximize the impact of their contributions to candidates. PACs are democracy at work—they are protected political speech that give individuals a more influential way to participate in the process. PACs are heavily regulated political activity, with incredibly stringent reporting requirements, and are closely monitored by the United States Federal Election Commission (FEC) to ensure transparency and compliance with FEC rules. At their heart, PACs are power in numbers, amplifying individual voices so that elected officials hear their message loud and clear.
WHY ARE PACs VALUABLE?
PACs are an invaluable tool for influencing candidates and members by:
- Make organizations more proactive
- Elect officials who support member issues
- Make the association a visible player in policymaking
- Participate in good government
- Help meet legislative goals and supplement other government affairs efforts
HOW DO OUTDOOR RECREATION INDUSTRY PACs INFLUENCE ELECTIONS AND POLICYMAKING?
Now that we’ve established what PACs are, it’s time to look at them in action. In 2018 alone, outdoor recreation industry PACs contributed millions of dollars to federal candidates. Some examples include:
- The National Marine Manufacturer Association’s PAC, BoatPAC, contributed $249,500 to federal candidates
- The Outdoor Industry Association’s PAC, OIAPAC, contributed $17,000 to federal candidates
- The American Sportfishing Association’s SportfishingPAC contributed $125,500 to federal candidates
- The American Motorcyclist Political Action Committee, AMPAC, contributed $75,250 to federal candidates
This is only a small look into the role outdoor recreation related PACs played in the 2018 elections. While the dollar amount contributed tells part of the story, the access and influence gained from these contributions is invaluable to the host trade associations.