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.
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.
America’s Electric Cooperatives PACThe America’s Electric Cooperatives PAC is the federal Political Action Committee (PAC) of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). America’s Electric Cooperatives PAC 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. America’s Electric Cooperatives PAC 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 America’s Electric Cooperatives PAC contributions from Wisconsin members is returned to WECA for in-state use for state legislative candidates and campaign committees.
America’s Electric Cooperatives PAC contributions to candidates are determined by America’s Electric Cooperatives PAC national and state committees, working with association staff. America’s Electric Cooperatives PAC supports both Democrats and Republicans. America’s Electric Cooperatives PAC contributions are based, first and foremost, on demonstrated support for rural electrification. America’s Electric Cooperatives PAC is an effort of rural electric co-op members nationwide to help elect and back individuals who support cooperative objectives and for energy issues affecting electric cooperatives.
Contributions to America’s Electric Cooperatives PAC are not tax deductible for federal or state income tax purposes. All contributions to America’s Electric Cooperatives PAC are voluntary and will be used for political purposes.
Persons who are eligible to contribute to America’s Electric Cooperatives PAC include:
- Any cooperative consumer-owner (member)
- Salaried co-op employees with policy-making, managerial, professional, or supervisory responsibilities*
- Co-op directors
- Spouses and families of eligible individuals
WECA DIRECT GIVERS FUNDThe 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 into 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 INFORMATIONTina Walden
(608) 467-4599 or Email
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONSQ. Should I participate in America’s Electric Cooperatives PAC or in the WECA Direct Givers Fund?
A. PACs and conduits each have their distinct advantages, so participation in both is encouraged. Contributions to America’s Electric Cooperatives PAC are in the form of dues and America’s Electric Cooperatives PAC 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.
Q. How do I contribute to America’s Electric Cooperatives PAC 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 America’s Electric Cooperatives PAC and/or the WECA Direct Givers Fund.
Q. Are political contributions tax deductible?
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.