- What is a PAC?
Under federal law, associations may establish and administer separate segregated funds known as political action committees (PACs) to pool the voluntary contributions of their members. PACs are a legal, transparent, federally monitored means of contributing to candidates. Today, there are more than 4,000 federally registered PACs in the U.S.
- Why did ACEP form a PAC?
ACEP has an ambitious legislative agenda due to the many issues that impact access to emergency medical care and the practice of emergency medicine. NEMPAC is a critical tool to help ACEP promote our legislative goals and express the concerns of emergency medicine to Members of Congress. It is the financial vehicle through which ACEP members can support the election or re-election of federal candidates who share their commitment to emergency medicine.
NEMPAC pools smaller donations from individual ACEP members, donating them in one larger and more impressive contribution on behalf of the entire profession.
- Why is NEMPAC important to ACEP and to members like me?
NEMPAC’s growth in size and presence in Washington, D.C. is increasingly important as Congress continues to address many issues facing emergency medicine such as Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, medical liability reform, implementation and/or revisions to the Affordable Care Act, and funding for graduate medical education, trauma care and EM research, just to name a few! Elected officials are frequently asked to make decisions between competing interests. We must be prepared to support legislators and candidates who understand and advocate for emergency medicine issues.
- I don’t get involved in politics so why should I make a political contribution?
Will Rogers once said, “Even if you are on the right track, you will get
run over if you just sit there.” By participating in NEMPAC, you join
thousands of your colleagues in promoting the shared political interests
of emergency medicine. If you don’t participate, you allow others to
determine the political fate of our specialty. That’s a risk we can’t
afford to take.
- I know that political involvement is important, but what if I care about different issues?
You may not agree with every position on every issue that candidates supported by NEMPAC may take. But every candidate supported by NEMPAC will understand the concerns and interests you share with you emergency medicine colleagues. NEMPAC exists to represent emergency medicine. NEMPAC donors are Republicans, Democrats and Independents. What we all have in common is emergency medicine. NEMPAC was created to bring us together as one voice to work on behalf of the issues that we all share as professionals.
- How does NEMPAC spend the money it receives from contributors?
All personal contributions received from ACEP members to NEMPAC are considered “hard dollars.” NEMPAC uses these hard dollars only for the purpose of making political contributions to U.S. Senate and House candidates, to national parties and other political action committees sponsored by federal legislators. NEMPAC does not donate to Presidential candidates, or to candidates for state or local office.
- How does NEMPAC pay for administrative expenses?
NEMPAC uses a combination of ACEP general operating funds along with corporate contributions donated to NEMPAC known as “soft dollars.”
- Who decides which candidates receive NEMPAC donations?
NEMPAC donors do! The NEMPAC Board of Trustees, comprised of ACEP members, approves a candidate budget for each election cycle. Evaluation criteria is based on the candidate’s or Member’s support of ACEP’s legislative priorities. Other factors considered include the Member’s committee assignment, leadership position and difficulty of his/her election campaign. We also rely on the input of ACEP state chapter leadership, individual 911 Network members, and NEMPAC supporters when evaluating open seat and challenger races.
- Does NEMPAC support legislators who have voted against our interests? Why would we support them?
This can happen. Some lawmakers might be opposed to us on one issue, but our most vocal and active proponents on another issue. And, of course, we always want to continue a dialogue with a legislator and maximize any opportunity to present our position in the hope that we can change or influence an opinion or point of view.
- I already contribute to individual candidates. Why should I make a contribution to NEMPAC?
Your individual contribution can make a bigger impact when pooled with those of your ACEP colleagues. When NEMPAC makes a contribution to a campaign, it sends a strong collective message that the members of ACEP are an involved and politically active group who merit the candidate’s attention on issues important to our healthcare system and more specifically to emergency medicine and patients. NEMPAC also encourages members of ACEP to get involved in campaigns, particularly when a member of ACEP has a personal relationship with a Member of Congress or candidate for federal office.
- How much can NEMPAC contribute to a candidate?
Federal PACs are regulated by the Federal Election Commission and are permitted to contribute $5,000 to a candidate per election in an election cycle – the primary, runoff, and general elections each count separately. This means that NEMPAC could give up to $15,000 to a candidate in one cycle.
- How much can an ACEP Member contribute to NEMPAC?
An individual may contribute up to $5,000 per year to a federal political action committee such as NEMPAC. Contributions are voluntary and are not tax deductible.
- How can I personally contribute to NEMPAC?
An ACEP member has several contribution options. 1) Write a personal check; 2) contribute by VISA, MasterCard or American Express; 3) contribute online at www.acep.org/nempac; 4) sign up for an installment plan on a monthly, quarterly or semi-annual basis on a contribution form or online.
- Can our group practice make a contribution to NEMPAC?
There are many options for ACEP members within a group practice and the group collectively to donate to NEMPAC including payroll deduction. A description of the options is available on the NEMPAC website and by contacting Jeanne Slade, NEMPAC Director at 800-320-0610.
- Can I request that NEMPAC make a contribution to a specific candidate?
NEMPAC encourages members of ACEP and donors to NEMPAC to become actively engaged in the political process and welcomes your suggestions. NEMPAC will consider your request based on the criteria mentioned above. If NEMPAC decides to make a contribution to the candidate that you recommend, most likely you will be asked to deliver the check to the candidate on behalf of NEMPAC.
- How will I know what NEMPAC is doing?
All NEMPAC contributors have access to the NEMPAC website which is regularly updated with information on our political activities, lists of candidates supported, comparison charts, and recognition for donors and contribution options.
- What if I choose not to donate to NEMPAC?
Participation in NEMPAC is strictly voluntary. You may decline to contribute without reprisal. Suggested contribution levels are only suggestions; more or less can be given, and the amount given, or the decision not to give, will not benefit or disadvantage you.
- Where can I find additional information about NEMPAC?
You can contact Jeanne Slade, NEMPAC Director at 202-728-0610 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.