NACSPAC (NACS Political Action Committee) was created in 1979 by NACS as the entity through which the association can legally contribute funds to political candidates supportive of our industry's issues.
PACs have been around since 1944, when the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) formed the first PAC to raise money for the re-election of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The PAC's money came from voluntary contributions from union members, rather than from union treasuries, to avoid violating federal laws, which forbade unions from contributing to federal candidates.
PACs themselves can give $5,000 to a candidate per election (primary, general or special election) and they can also give up to $15,000 annually to any national party and $5,000 annually to any other PAC.
PACs funding of congressional elections is heavily, though not exclusively, directed toward those candidates already elected and seeking re-election. The reason for this is clear: elected representatives have a voting record on issues of importance to interest groups that can indicate future support of, or opposition to, relevant legislation. Further, if incumbents have legal access to money to finance an election campaign, they are likely to have an advantage over challengers.
It is generally agreed that the starting point for a Senatorial election is $5 million and a House election is $1 million. A candidate wishing to get involved in politics at a national level quite obviously has to have access to large sums of money.
There is no clear evidence that PACs directly influence the voting behavior of those they help get elected. How a representative votes on an issue should be grounded on sound public policy and constituent support of the position. The most important role that PAC contributions play is to enhance access to the representatives and their staffs to compellingly present the association's position on an issue and to urge support of that position. PAC contributions open the door to allow that to happen.
As a concerned member of the convenience and fuel retailing community, there are several ways you can support the industry:
- Become a Friend of NACS: An individual can become more engaged in NACS activities by becoming a Friend of NACS. There are no membership dues associated with becoming a Friend of NACS.
- Attend the NACS Government Relations Conference: Show your support of our industry's issues in person. Meet with your congressional leaders and tell them face-to-face how the policies they vote on can affect your business on a daily basis. NACS will schedule your meetings for you, guide you through the issues and process, and help you maximize your influence. This is a great opportunity to get involved and make a difference!
- Write a letter to Congress: There is nothing more influential in the eyes of lawmakers than a communication from a concerned constituent. NACS' Grassroots programs allow you to contact the lawmakers in your Congressional district directly. Make your voice heard!
- NACSPAC Company Authorization Card: NACS is required by federal law to obtain valid written authorization of its corporate members before it can solicit their stockholders and executive and administrative employees for contributions to NACSPAC.