LeadingAge Wisconsin Political Action Committee (PAC)

LeadingAge Wisconsin’s Political Action Committee (LeadingAge WI PAC) was established as part of the Association’s efforts to increase its advocacy impact on behalf of its members. This is a voluntary member-sponsored political action fund and another tool that allows our Association and its members to further strengthen and expand their visibility among current and future elected officials. By contributing to the LeadingAge WI PAC you will be working to promote the voice of the nonprofit long-term care provider community with state elected officials.

What is a PAC?

A PAC or Political Action Committee is a fund which allows individuals to pool their personal financial resources together and donate them to candidates running for election to a public office.  The advantage of making financial contributions to a PAC is that an individual can combine his or her own funds with other members’ funds to make a larger contribution to a candidate, while also ensuring that their Association receives credit for supporting the candidate.

Why do we need a PAC?

Since nonprofits and corporations cannot be directly involved in political campaigns, the PAC allows LeadingAge Wisconsin members and staff to be more actively involved in the political process by informing, supporting, and electing public officials who will represent their interests. A PAC will provide a way for our members to combine their resources to affect the outcome of political races.

How does the PAC fit in our advocacy efforts?

Effective advocacy really is a three-prong approach which needs all three of the following components:  1) grassroots efforts such as member visits, letter-writing campaigns, and phone calls to the Governor’s office and the Legislature; 2) direct lobbying that the Association does on our members’ behalf at the Capitol and with the state Departments; and 3) contributions to the campaigns of elected officials who support and are committed to investments in long-term care services.

What is LeadingAge WI PAC?

LeadingAge WI PAC is LeadingAge Wisconsin’s political action committee fund, which is a bi-partisan fund supported by voluntary personal contributions from members and supporters of the Association.  Individual contributions are pooled together and given to candidates under the LeadingAge WI PAC name.  With the PAC, candidates do not know the individual contributors to the fund as the check identifies only LeadingAge Wisconsin as the donor.

Why give to LeadingAge WI PAC?

Over 700 registered lobbyists work in Wisconsin, representing various interests, all competing to be heard by our state lawmakers and the Governor.  In order to protect our interests and make our voices heard at the Capitol, our members need to be politically active by supporting the election of candidates who are committed to our members’ priorities

Do member dues support LeadingAge WI PAC activities?

No.  PACs cannot accept contributions from corporations nor can membership dues be used to support their activities.  LeadingAge WI PAC is a separate account dedicated solely to supporting the political campaigns of public officials and candidates running for public office.  Nonprofit organizations are prohibited from contributing to a PAC, and all LeadingAge WI PAC contributions are voluntary and at the discretion of the individual.

What can members expect from their LeadingAge WI PAC contribution?

Individual contributions are critical to our success in reelecting incumbents who support our priorities and to build relationships with newly elected officials.  LeadingAge Wisconsin members and staff will work together to actively engage and educate new candidates and incumbents on the importance of our members’ businesses and facilities located in their districts.  Through the LeadingAge WI PAC, Association staff and/or members will be able to participate in and attend fundraising activities and events for those candidates the LeadingAge WI PAC Advisory Committee identifies as supportive of and influential in advancing our priorities.

What if a member wants candidate recognition of his or her contribution? 

Individual members are always welcome to contribute to candidates on their own. In addition, upon approval by the LeadingAge WI PAC Advisory Committee, PAC funds may be used by a member who is interested in attending a political event in his or her district on behalf of LeadingAge Wisconsin.

Why are annual contributions important?

LeadingAge WI PAC’s success depends on the continuous generosity of its contributors.  In order to be effective, we must continually maintain our contacts, reach out to new candidates, and provide constant education on our issues.  One-time contributions are greatly appreciated, but they are not always enough to support ongoing relationships with our elected officials or to guarantee that the candidates who support our priorities are elected and remain in office. All contributions to LeadingAge WI PAC are voluntary and we encourage our individual members to give when they can and in amounts that fit their budget.

Are PACs common among other long-term care associations?

Yes. There are a number of other LeadingAge state associations who have formed PACs.  Some of the more active PACs are in California, Minnesota, Michigan, and New York.  In addition, many of our fellow long-term care state associations such as WHCA/WiCAL and WALA maintain active PACs.