Over the years, ABATE of Iowa has taken different steps to protect your right to ride. One of them was the creation of the ABATE political action committee, better known as ABATE PAC. To many members, this is a mysterious entity they only hear about when asked for another donation of their hard-earned money. We hope this article can help explain its purpose and function and why it operates on donations.
The laws about political campaign donations are a tangled web of rules and regulations that I’m sure even some politicians don’t completely understand. They can only accept a certain amount of corporate donations to their campaigns. While most of us don’t like the money game and how it is played in Des Moines and Washington, we accept the need to be a player as a necessary evil. To be a player, we need to be able to donate to campaigns, and that is where ABATE PAC comes into the picture. By forming a political action committee, we can pool resources (donations from you, our members) and then use them for donations to the campaigns of candidates friendly to ABATE and the motorcyclists of Iowa. The political action committee can not accept money from corporations, and because of this, it is allowed different limits on donating to political campaigns. This regulation also prohibits the use of money from the general fund of ABATE of Iowa.
Therefore, we must rely on the generous contributions of the membership to fund the committee. Over the years, this has been accomplished in many ways. Events, donations at meetings, and a check off on the membership form are some of the different things done to generate cash for the committee to work with. The operations manual requires that legislative fundraising (as in PAC) be a part of each district meeting and event.
How to accomplish that is up to each district. A district PAC officer is a good idea. Some districts incorporate that into the job of the district legislative officer or his/her assistant. One of our better ideas is to ask for donations when you have people sign in for the district meeting. By recording this at sign-in, you have all the info needed to record the donation on the form sent to the ABATE PAC treasurer with monthly donations. This also allows the member to receive a pin that shows his support of ABATE PAC at different levels, $25, $50, and $75, during the PAC year, which runs from August 1 to July 31. Also, make sure to put out a jug at district events.
Is your district using any of these ideas to increase donations? Do you have any other ideas you can share? A bigger fund in ABATE PAC allows us to pay for our lobbyists and send people to Washington to meet with your congressman without going to the ABATE general fund. Please do all you can to help. I will include a donation form for those who can’t make the district meetings. Please, send what you can. It’s our right to ride; we’re fighting to protect it. Freedom isn’t Free!
***PLEASE NOTE: Contributions or gifts to ABATEPAC are not tax deductible as charitable contributions or as ordinary or necessary business expenses.
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