Some say that politics is a contact sport. One thing is for certain; it is a multifaceted and dynamic activity that everybody can participate in and has a voice that should be heard. It goes without saying that at every level, it impacts the lives of small businesses such as those in ASA.
ASA provides members with a robust e-Advocacy service that enables them to write elected officials with just a few clicks of a button. In addition, candidates and incumbents can be “graded” based on their voting record. There are several opportunities to visit members of Congress face-to-face as was done at the recent ASA and PMI Legislative Fly-In. Perhaps most importantly, ASA contributes to political candidates who are responsive and supportive of issues important to the association and its members.
What each of these activities has in common is that they absolutely require the active participation of ASA membership. They are not nearly as effective without them taking part. When the government is wrong or unfair, employers need to speak out and write elected officials. When voters go to the polls, they should do so armed with facts about how well their candidate aligns with their views. And most importantly, to have a seat at the political dinner table, business owners should contribute financially to their chosen candidates and political action committees.
According to the Federal Election Commission, the term “political action committee” refers to two distinct types of political committees registered with the FEC: separate segregated funds and non-connected committees. Basically, SSFs are political committees established and administered by corporations, labor unions, membership organizations or trade associations. These committees can only solicit contributions from individuals associated with a connected or sponsoring organization. By contrast, non-connected committees - as their name suggests - are not sponsored by or connected to any of the aforementioned entities and are free to solicit contributions from the general public.
ASA PAC is the American Supply Association’s Political Action Committee. It is the PHCP/PVF industry’s voice in our nation’s political process and is the pipeline to elected officials that impacts the way members run their companies. ASA PAC is the only political action committee that works solely to elect pro-PHCP and PVF industry candidates to the House and Senate. Through voluntary contributions from eligible executive and management employees, ASA PAC supports candidates for Congress who are sympathetic to PHCP and PVF industry concerns.
PAC’s support political campaigns; campaigns that produce officials who are responsible for making decisions that impact businesses each day. ASA believes that the PHCP and PVF industry needs a PAC to help elect those officials who share member views, are supportive of small-to-medium-sized, multigenerational businesses and have an understanding of the issues that are important.
Political campaigns and contributions are a heavily regulated activity. Most importantly, they are voluntary. ASA dues do not support ASA PAC. ASA PAC receives voluntary contributions from dedicated individuals each year. For those individuals, doing so is an essential responsibility as an industry citizen. It is a show of support for a mature industry that helped build our country with more than 3,600 companies that provide a livelihood for more than 75,000 professionals, employees and their families.
At this spring’s Legislative Fly-in, ASA’s Government Affairs Committee, which also serves as the association’s PAC governing board, set an ambitious goal. ASA PAC asked members to step up this election year and help raise $30,000.It can be done, has been done and will be done again. “This is the only industry association that represents plumbing wholesalers, manufacturers and companies that specialize in industrial pipe, valves and fittings. The time is now to come together and send a strong message to Washington,” said Government Affairs Committee member and loyal PAC contributor John Mills of WHCI Plumbing Supply.
Do you have a candidate you think ASA should support? Contact Dan Hilton, ASA director of government affairs, at 703/328-5234 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. ASA wants to help those that help themselves and their businesses. New ASA PAC promotional materials are being mailed to members this spring. Stay tuned for more details.