State and federal government officials make policy decisions that affect your local cooperative and your way of life. America's Electric Cooperatives PAC provides a way for cooperative members and employees to ensure the needs of their co-op communities are considered when policy decisions are being made.
What is America's Electric Cooperatives PAC?
America's Electric Cooperatives PAC® (formerly known as ACRE Co-op Owners for Political Action) is the political action committee (PAC) of the nation’s electric cooperatives. Founded in 1966 by the more than 900 cooperatives of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), it supports candidates for state and federal office – both those in office now and those running for office – who will speak for and protect the interests of cooperatives and their member-owners. Today, America's Electric Cooperatives PAC is backed by more than 33,000 cooperative employees and members from across the United States.
Cooperative member participation in the nationwide America's Electric Cooperatives PAC ensures that the voice of cooperatives remains strong in our nation’s capital and in your state legislature. Maintaining a strong grassroots presence in the political process is instrumental to the long-term success of the cooperative program and the communities they serve in these unpredictable times.
What are the priorities of America's Electric Cooperatives PAC?
America's Electric Cooperatives PAC is committed to supporting elected officials who will:
- Keep co-op member energy bills affordable to improve their quality of life.
- Help cooperatives ensure reliable energy service.
- Assist members’ efforts to use energy more efficiently.
- Make renewable energy more affordable for cooperative members.
- Help rebuild electric cooperatives after a storm.
- Protect our nation’s economy and jobs when making energy laws.
What is a political action committee (PAC)?
The law allows individuals with common interests to pool their resources using PACs in order to make political contributions to candidates for state and federal office. Currently 33,000 like-minded supporters of the cooperative program combine their contributions through America's Electric Cooperatives PAC. Candidates who receive a substantial contribution from America's Electric Cooperatives PAC get an important message about your interest in your local community’s cooperative. The candidate knows that the cooperative member-owners and employees who supported them want to elect individuals to office who will make good policy decisions on their behalf.
Are contributions tax-deductible?
No. The Internal Revenue Service has ruled that all political contributions, such as those to America's Electric Cooperatives PAC®, are not tax deductible.
What do I receive for my contribution?
The most important benefit that you receive as an America's Electric Cooperatives PAC member is a voice in helping elect state and federal officials that will support your cooperative and your community. In addition, you will receive quarterly issues of the America's Electric Cooperatives PAC® newsletter, which includes legislative alerts, profiles of cooperative leaders, and other timely features.
Where does my contribution go?
With the exception of a small federal tax payment of less than one percent, all contributions to America's Electric Cooperatives PAC go directly to the campaigns of candidates for political office. In addition, a portion of your contribution (about half) may be refunded to your state cooperative PAC to support candidates for state office.
Who determines how these contributions are made?
America's Electric Cooperatives PAC follows established procedures for making contributions to candidates running for political office. Factors that determine financial support include the candidate’s position on issues critical to cooperatives, the candidate’s committee assignments and leadership positions, his or her relative importance to cooperatives’, and a candidate’s financial need and the strength of his or her opponent. The candidate’s political affiliation is never taken into account.
Individual states have their own guidelines for making contributions to candidates for statewide offices. While these rules are set by the individual states, they often mirror those guidelines used by the national America's Electric Cooperatives PAC program.
Do I really make a difference?
Our ability to serve you and your community is heavily dependent on members like you who use America's Electric Cooperatives PAC to get the right people into political office. The personal dedication of member-owners to stand together forms the backbone of a powerful grassroots network that promotes policies to secure the future of your cooperative and the families they serve. This is an opportunity to make a huge difference.
For more information on the America's Electric Cooperatives PAC program or your eligibility to participate, please contact us here or by calling 1-800-533-8658