Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hit the (Political) Ground Running

Today is Inauguration Day in the United States. At noon (EST), Barack Obama will take the oath of office and become the 44th President of the United States. Regardless of one's political beliefs, I think everyone will agree today's festivities will be historic.

Even though we are at the very beginning of Obama's presidency, in the political world the 2010 midterm elections are just around the corner, which is why tomorrow, albeit with less pomp and circumstance, IAAPA's Political Action Committee (PAC) will begin its fund-raising for the midterm elections.

IAAPA PAC is a way for IAAPA members and staff to join together and donate to the campaigns of candidates who share an interest in the attractions industry. Federal law prohibits corporations or associations from donating to political campaigns; however members, shareholders, and employees of these organizations can donate up to $5,000 annually to a separate fund called a Political Action Committee or PAC.

Supporting IAAPA PAC represents a true investment in the attractions industry and makes a real difference in our association’s and the industry’s future. Without PACs and voluntary support from millions of donors, the face of modern campaigns could be dominated by wealthy activists willing to spend whatever it takes to defeat or elect a candidate.

Any IAAPA member who is a U.S. citizen or greencard holder is able to participate in the PAC. However, the FEC (that's Federal Election Commission--the government agency that oversees campaign finance and other election matters) requires IAAPA have a prior approval form on hand before we solicit you. So the first step in getting involved in IAAPA PAC is completing our simple, online prior approval form. You can give prior approval for up to three years by filling in your contact information. And completing a prior approval form doesn't commit you to giving any money to the PAC; it simply allows me to send you invitations to events and other information you may find useful.

I hope you'll make the choice to get involved in IAAPA PAC and help us support candidates who support our industry. For more information, visit our PAC web page or e-mail me at sthienel@IAAPA.org.

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