WindPAC is the Political Action Committee of the American Wind Energy Association. Its purpose is to help elect candidates to the U.S. Congress who support AWEA's legislative goals for growing wind power in America. By supporting WindPAC, AWEA members can join together to help elect candidates to the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate who understand the wind industry, who share our concerns, and who are interested in hearing our views on issues that affect us.
Why does AWEA need the PAC?
WindPAC is an essential tool that enables AWEA to participate in the political process. Federal election campaign laws prohibit trade associations from using their general treasury funds to make contributions to federal elections. WindPAC makes political contributions to candidates for federal office using personal, non-corporate funds contributed by individuals of member companies. WindPAC is registered with the Federal Election Commission as a 501 (c) 6 PAC and operates in strict conformity with federal election campaign laws.
Who can contribute to WindPAC?
Before soliciting contributions, WindPAC must receive a Prior Approval Form filled out by an authorized representative of a company. The form will allow WindPAC to solicit managers and executives of your company for personal contributions. Completing the authorization form does not obligate you in any way to support or contribute to WindPAC.
All contributions must be personal, not corporate. Contributing to WindPAC is a voluntary decision. In accordance with the law, AWEA may accept contributions from U.S. citizens only. AWEA will not give any advantage or disadvantage if any person decides to contribute or not.
What is the maximum an individual can contribute to a PAC?
An individual or company PAC can contribute up to $5,000 per calendar year.
How does the PAC operate?
The PAC is run jointly by the AWEA federal legislative staff and the WindPAC Committee. The WindPAC Committee consists of 10 representatives from member companies who are selected from the AWEA Legislative Committee's membership.
What are the criteria for WindPAC Contributions?
In determining whether contributions shall be made from WindPAC funds to a particular candidate, the following factors are taken into account:
- The integrity and character of the candidate;
- The candidate's position on issues important to the wind power industry;
- The candidate's experience and influence in the policy-making process, including whether the candidate holds a leadership position or is likely to hold such a position in the future;
- The candidate's voting record and past leadership on issues of concern to the wind energy industry;
- The support for the candidate by one or more of the Association's member companies located within the candidate's congressional district or state;
- The nature and strength of the candidate's opposition in primary and general elections.