Why a NAPUS PAC?
NAPUS PAC for Postmasters helps elect members of Congress who will support legislation that will benefit active and retired Postmasters. NAPUS is legally permitted to communicate with members of Congress and employees of the Executive Branch and to provide political education to NAPUS members.
However, federal law prohibits NAPUS from making campaign contributions to candidates for federal offices. Membership dues are not permitted for such use. Consequently, NAPUS offers its members and employees a means by which they may provide financial support to candidates for federal office. This is achieved through a “separate, segregated fund” known as a political action committee (PAC). A solicitation from PAC discloses to its contributors a clear explanation that the funds will be used for political campaign contributions.
NAPUS PAC is recognized within the political community as a stable performer with an outstanding success record. Our PAC is far more effective than Postmasters making individual contributions to particular candidates. Postmasters, retirees and their families are encouraged to participate in the political process through the strength of their pooled contributions. The results have a greater impact than small, scattered efforts.
NAPUS PAC allows Postmasters to make one, coordinated effort to support their allies in Congress and to candidates we believe will be agreeable to legislative issues. The fact that the contributions are made to candidates in the name of NAPUS PAC nurtures positive identification between the candidates and NAPUS.
Also, NAPUS PAC complements our lobbying efforts, providing an additional avenue of access to members of Congress. NAPUS officers, NAPUS members or staff may attend fund-raising events where our PAC has made contributions on behalf of the incumbent or candidate.
NAPUS PAC and Political Campaigns
The outcome of political elections can boost or block our legislative agenda. Promoting a strong and vibrant NAPUS PAC helps elevate Postmasters’ visibility in political campaigns. In this way, NAPUS can help shape the composition of the next Congress and have an impact on its priorities.
NAPUS PAC campaign contributions are an essential aspect of conveying to the incumbent or the candidate for Congress our support and endorsement. It is a tangible expression of agreement with his or her individual goals. Contributions help ensure the re-election of our helpful friends in office.
Campaigns need money to effectively support candidates’ bids for office. Direct mail, television, radio and travel expenses all strain the financial resources of most campaigns. The cost for candidates to educate the public about themselves and their positions on relevant issues increases each year. In election year 2000, the cost of a viable congressional campaign generally exceeded $1 million. As a result, PAC support is essential to a winning congressional campaign.
During the year 2000 election cycle, NAPUS members raised approximately $563,000 for NAPUS PAC. NAPUS PAC has a strong record of involvement in viable pro-Postmaster bipartisan campaigns throughout the country. During the year 2000 election cycle, NAPUS PAC participated in approximately 350 congressional campaigns. Our PAC contributed more than $417,000 in an effort to elect Postmaster-friendly members of Congress. Proudly, 96 percent of the individuals we supported won election to the 107th Congress.
For-profit Postal Service competitors (e.g., UPS and FedEx) are major players in the PAC arena. They have used their vast financial resources to undermine the institution that helps support our families. This is one of many reasons Postmasters must contribute generously to NAPUS PAC. NAPUS’ involvement in the political process provides you with direct access to the decision- and policymakers who can pass laws and regulations that will directly affect your life.
Who Receives NAPUS PAC Funds?
NAPUS PAC uses many factors to determine how much or if a candidate for federal office will receive financial support. During the 2000 election cycle, NAPUS PAC used a new questionnaire to help evaluate the candidates. In addition, questions that should be asked when assessing an incumbent member of Congress include:
- Is the member of Congress on the committee of jurisdiction over the Postal Service?
- Is the member in a leadership position or has seniority in Congress?
- What is his or her ability to influence legislation?
- Is the member on a key committee, such as Appropriations, Budget, Commerce, Rules or Ways and Means?
- Is the member a sponsor or co-sponsor of a bill that would benefit Postmasters?
- Does the member have a good “voting record” on key Postmaster legislation?
- Can the incumbent win re-elections
- Is the member accessible to Postmasters during Hill office visits and during visits in the home districts?
With the help of Postmasters throughout the country, we have been able to identify candidates with a serious chance to win the seat they are seeking. Several factors are considered:
- the strength of the campaign manager
- the potency of the campaign staff
- the polling numbers of the candidate
- the ability to raise campaign funds
- the historical performance of the candidate’s party in the district
- the satisfactory completion of the “NAPUS Candidate Survey”
In an effort to assure the candidate recognizes NAPUS Postmasters whom they will represent, the Government Relations Department encourages individual Postmasters or small groups to attend fund-raising events in congressional districts. (The department will notify the chapter legislative chair or PAC chair of events.) As a result, when Postmasters need to visit with a member in his or her district office or on Capitol Hill, the doors of communication are open and inviting.
Candidates for the House and Senate of the United States Congress are eligible to receive funds from our PAC. State representatives and gubernatorial campaigns are ineligible.