Q. What is a PAC? What does a PAC do?
A. PAC is an acronym for Political Action Committee. It is supposed to conjure up visions of activists sitting in a room and crafting grand political manifestos and then strategically determining how best to fund them. In reality, it’s a sub-set of former or current political hacks (the HBA PAC is the exception of course) relegated to interviewing candidates and determining whether or not what they are saying is true and/or good for our industry.
Q. What do we get for giving candidates and measures money?
A. Politics is often about two things: money and power. Elections cost money and candidates/measures need to raise cash to fund them. Theoretically, cash spent on candidates is so they will remember your group and allow you access to them once they have become an elected official (thus having power). This is mostly true, except when it isn’t, which makes political giving a bit of a risk.
Q. Where does the money for our PAC come from?
A. From your donations. No dues or assessments associated with the HBA are used for PAC expenditures. Each year, the HBA holds fundraisers and cajoles dollars from member’s pockets through begging and shame tactics. This is a fairly successful method, but the largest contributor to the PAC is PAC House.
Q. What is a PAC House?
A. The PAC House is a home generously built and sold by one of our builders each year. The builder dedicates the after expense profits to the PAC, providing the Association with funds for its political endeavors. This is an extremely generous way of supporting the Association, especially in the current marketplace.
Q. WOW! They just give you the profits? What about all the contracting work and stuff? That’s a lot of time and effort on behalf of the Association!
A. It is, but typically the HBA tries to lend a hand by asking contractors to contribute in kind products and services in order to get the house built for cheaper. This way, we maximize profit and have more to spend on “access to elected officials.” Jeff Fish of Fish Construction has built the last five PAC Houses, but we need to find another generous builder for future construction.
Q. How can members get involved in the PAC?
A. Contribute to the PAC and then join our monthly meetings. PAC meetings on the second Thursday of every month, typically at 9:30 a.m. We welcome any and all members who are interested.