Like it or not, politics is politics, and the only game in town when it comes to getting the right people elected to Congress involves helping to fund their campaigns. These days, it takes more and more money to get elected than ever before, and campaigns heat up quickly through the use of television and radio advertising. No matter how upstanding the candidate, no matter that his or her principles are beyond reproach, if there isn't enough money in the account to buy a big hunk of media time, the campaign is finished before it's begun.

That's why it's become more important than ever to support the people who are looking to represent your interests in Washington. You can support them through direct donations, or you can support them through an organized Political Action Committee like ASA's. What's the difference?

As an independent citizen, the law limits your donation to any one Congressional campaign to $2,000 in “hard” money (personal vs. corporate). Your contribution will be welcomed and you will be sincerely thanked. Your position on the Hours of Service Rules, however, probably won't go down in anyone's books.

By contributing to ASA's Political Action Committee, your contribution (whether it's $250, $500 or the $2,000 maximum) will be combined with others from like-minded industry citizens like you. The ASA PAC then aggregates these funds and makes contributions to the Congressional campaigns of individuals that are likely to support our industry's best interests. The difference I'm trying to illustrate is that the ASA Government Affairs Program, the legislative and regulatory voice of ASA, is there in Washington to back it up….not only with a one-time message, but with regular contact and input into Congress' agenda.

This year, November's elections will find a Congress in the balance. Will the Republicans retain their majority, or will the Democrats try to wrestle it back? At risk are some important decisions that'll affect your business's future beginning in 2005.

No, we're not buying votes. And no, we're not feathering the nests of politicians who are looking to expand their power bases. We're facing the facts and realizing that in 2004, you need money to get elected, plain and simple. If we can't change the environment in which we're operating, we may as well buck up and play the game.

Help ASA's PAC by getting involved today. Please call me for more information about how you can participate. I'd love to hear from you: 312-464-0090 or email me at