An important part of the American Coatings Association’s (ACA) role as an advocate for the industry is to educate decision makers with regard to important industry issues. For several years, the industry has faced heightened challenges in both the political and legal arenas. Increasing focus on issues such as air quality, product liability, product stewardship, water quality and waste management, labor and safety in the workplace, corporate tax, and international trade all loom as potential threats to the vitality of the industry. All of these issues have a political component and are directly affected by decisions made by elected officials on the federal, state and local levels.
The Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2002 and the ban on “soft” money have raised the importance of contributions from political action committees. ACA’s political action committee (PAC) — PaintPAC — greatly enhances industry’s efforts to make sure that its point of view is heard as part of an organized effort to educate and inform key decision makers.
In 2005, PaintPAC secured an important “multi-candidate” status with the Federal Election Commission. A “multi-candidate” committee is a political action committee that has been registered for at least six months, has received contributions from more than 50 different contributors and has made contributions to at least five federal candidates. Qualifying as a “multi-candidate” PAC enables PaintPAC to contribute more to candidates per each election.
PaintPAC offers the association an additional forum in which to advise candidates for national and state office, members of Congress, state legislators, and elected state agency officials about ACA’s position on various issues. This is particularly important during an election year, where our efforts can help shape the outcome. In order to attain successful resolution of issues impacting the industry, everyone has to be involved.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the American Coatings Association's PaintPAC?
The PaintPAC is a voluntary nonpartisan political action committee established to make contributions to political candidates at the federal, state and local level. Such contributions would help political candidates that are supportive of the industry’s views on business and industry-related issues.
2. Who pays the cost of running the PaintPAC?
The operating expenditures will be defrayed by ACA, thus 100% of contributions will go to worthy candidates.
3. Who manages the PaintPAC?
A PAC director, who is a member of the ACA staff, manages the PAC on a daily basis. A PAC Steering Committee, comprised of senior executives from ACA member companies is responsible for all PAC policy matters, including decisions regarding contributions. The PAC has a permanent treasurer who is also a member of the ACA staff.
4. How does the PaintPAC select candidates to support?
The PaintPAC Steering Committee will work in a consensus fashion to determine which candidates to support. Some of the guidelines that will be used include:
- A candidate’s commitment to improving business and understanding of the challenges facing the paint industry;
- Voting record and positions on issues impacting the paint industry;
- Committee assignments and leadership role;
- Campaign finance needs and election prospects;
- Presence of paint industry facilities, employees or economic activity;
- A candidate’s character, integrity and leadership abilities.
5. Are ACA members or their employees required to join the PaintPAC?
No. PaintPAC participation is strictly voluntary.
6. Who is eligible to participate in the PaintPAC?
The executive and administrative staff of ACA member companies, member company stockholders, and the association’s executive and professional staff are eligible to participate in the PAC. ACA members must give the PaintPAC permission to solicit contributions from their employees. All contributions to the PAC must be personal; federal election laws strictly forbid corporate contributions. Each eligible contributor may give the PAC up to $5,000 each year.
ACA member companies, on an annual basis, may give only one trade association permission to solicit its employees.
7. Who is considered executive and administrative personnel?
Executive and administrative personnel include employees who are paid on a salary (rather than hourly) basis and who have policymaking, managerial, professional or supervisory responsibilities.
8. How do member companies authorize PaintPAC to solicit their executive and administrative personnel?
The chief executive or other designated executive contact may authorize ACA to solicit their executive and administrative personnel. For more information please contact: ACA PaintPAC, 901 New York Avenue, Suite 300 NW, Washington, DC 20001 or fax it to (202) 462-8549.
9. Are there income tax deductions for contributors?
Unfortunately, PAC contributions are not tax deductible.
10. How will you know what the PaintPAC Steering Committee is doing?
ACA will periodically issue a PaintPAC newsletter to keep PAC members abreast of recent developments and current activities as well as update this site.
11. Who should you contact if you have a suggestion or questions?
Any questions may be submitted to PaintPAC Director, Heidi McAuliffe, 901 New York Avenue, NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20001 or call (202) 462-6272.