POLITICAL ACTION

POLITICS IS NOT A DIRTY WORD...

Democratic Principles: They govern your cooperative and your country’s political structure. In order to run effectively, a democratic government needs the active involvement of informed citizens—just like your cooperative needs the active involvement of informed and committed members.

Cooperatives are grassroots democracies in action. But in order for co-ops to benefit politically from that grassroots power, individuals need to make a commitment to help their co-op.

You can carry out that important commitment by participating in the Action Committee for Rural Electrification (ACRE) and/or the WECA Direct Givers Fund—the political action committee and conduit that support candidates who are friends of rural electrification.

Face It: Public policy decisions have a direct impact on your livelihood and on your cooperative’s bottom line. It is in the best interests of co-op members and employees to support candidates who support rural electric cooperative issues.

Think about the ultimate outcome for your co-op’s future. Your decision to participate in the political process will help ensure that your voice is heard when important policy decisions are being made.

ACTION COMMITTEE FOR RURAL ELECTRIFICATION (ACRE®)

The Action Committee for Rural Electrification (ACRE®) is the federal Political Action Committee (PAC) of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). ACRE raises personal, voluntary contributions from NRECA's eligible membership. Federal law prohibits soliciting contributions from individuals other than NRECA and member-systems’ eligible employees, boards of directors, consumer-owners and the families of such individuals.  ACRE contributions are generally given to candidates who support the legislative goals of rural electric cooperatives at the state and federal levels.
 
A portion of the ACRE® contributions from Wisconsin members is returned to WECA for in-state use for state legislative candidates and campaign committees.
 
ACRE contributions to candidates are determined by ACRE national and state committees, working with association staff. ACRE supports both Democrats and Republicans. ACRE contributions are based, first and foremost, on demonstrated support for rural electrification. ACRE is an effort of rural electric co-op members nationwide to help elect and back individuals who support cooperative objectives for and energy issues affecting electric cooperatives.
 
Contributions to ACRE® are not tax deductible for federal or state income tax purposes. All contributions to ACRE® are voluntary and will be used for political purposes.

Persons who are eligible to contribute to ACRE include:
  • Any cooperative consumer-owner (member)
  • Salaried co-op employees with policy-making, managerial, professional, or supervisory responsibilities*
  • Co-op directors
  • Spouses and family of eligible individuals
*Does not include (i) professionals who are represented by a labor organization, or (ii) salaried foremen and other salaried lower level supervisors having direct supervision over hourly employees.

WECA DIRECT GIVERS FUND

The WECA Direct Givers Fund was formed in 1996 to provide electric co-op members, directors, employees, and associates with another opportunity for political involvement on the state level.
 
WECA administers the Direct Givers Conduit Account on behalf of members who participate by making deposits in to the account and withdraw their dollars for campaign contributions. WECA maintains the accounts, manages the transfers, and required state reporting.
 
A key element of the conduit is that each participant retains the absolute right to decide when and where their contributions are distributed. WECA, the administering body of the conduit, provides information to members about candidates, political events, offers suggestions as to where contributions would be most beneficial, but the ultimate decision on whether a contribution is made rests solely with each participant.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Tina Walden
(608) 467-4599 or Email

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q. Should I participate in ACRE or in the WECA Direct Givers Fund?
A. PACs and conduits each have their distinct advantages, so participation in both is encouraged. Contributions to ACRE are in the form of dues and ACRE funds are distributed to state and federal candidates through a committee process. Contributions to WECA Direct Givers Fund are made with a deposit by check or payroll deduction and creation of an account. The withdrawals for political donations are determined by the individual account holder and can only be made to state candidates.
 
Q. How do I contribute to ACRE and/or the WECA Direct Givers Fund?
A. Talk to your cooperative manager and contact Tina Walden at the WECA office by calling (608) 467-4599 or Email. Tina will collect some basic information and request a check made payable to ACRE and/or the WECA Direct Givers Fund.
 
Q. Are political contributions tax deductible?
A. No.
 
Q. Are there other ways I can get involved?
A. Yes! You can play an active role in helping elect lawmakers who support co-ops and rural electrification. Vote for candidates who have demonstrated support for co-ops. Assist the efforts of WECA by participating in events, attending candidate forums, seeking information on candidates and informing them about our issues.


Associate Membership

Associate membership in the Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association provides a continuing opportunity for providers of goods, services, materials, and equipment to build and maintain networking contacts with Wisconsin's electric co-ops and others with interests and needs related to all aspects of the electric power industry.

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