Federal Legislative Updates

ASTAPAC Overview

ASTAPAC 2016 Annual Report ASTAPAC 2016 Annual Report

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Quick PAC Facts

  • Political Action Committees (PACs) were created via passage of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1974.
  • Most PACs represent business, labor or ideological interests.
  • PACs are supported by voluntary personal contributions, but can accept corporate funding to defray operational expenses.
  • PACs can give $5,000 to a candidate committee per election (primary, general or special).
  • They can also give up to $15,000 annually to any national party committee and $5,000 annually to any other PAC.
  • PACs may receive up to $5,000 from any one individual, PAC or party committee per calendar year.
  • All PAC's must file scheduled reports of their activities with the Federal Election Commission.

The ABC’s of ASTAPAC

  • ASTAPAC has been instrumental in building political influence for the nation's working travel agents for 40 years.
  • The ASTA Government & Political Affairs Committee oversees the annual fund-raising campaign and distribution of funds to worthy political candidates who promote a strong and healthy travel industry.
  • Contributions or gifts to ASTAPAC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.
  • ASTA will not favor or disadvantage anyone based upon the amounts of or failure to make ASTAPAC contributions.
  • Contributions to ASTAPAC are subject to the limitations of Federal Elections Commission regulations.
  • According to a Washington think tank that monitors PACs, ASTAPAC is the 7th ranking PAC in the lodging and tourism industry.
  • Your participation is what is most important. While $100 is the minimum suggested contribution, regardless of the dollar amount, every donation counts!

How ASTAPAC Works on Your Behalf

  • A PAC, or political action committee, is the only legal means by which ASTA can channel donations to federal candidates who support the travel agent industry's legislative issues.
  • By having a strong PAC, ASTA gains necessary access to policy makers in the White House and the U.S. Congress. This access provides the opportunity to educate elected lawmakers and voice travel agent concerns.
  • A PAC provides the ability to counterbalance the opposition’s influence on legislative matters.
  • A strong PAC indicates the Society’s determination to be a major component in the democratic process and identifies the travel agency community as a recognizable force in seeking good government for the industry and the small business community at large.
  • In pooling resources, a PAC provides greater impact for delivering what we send to Congress – it is one voice representing many.
  • A PAC provides a unique and effective way for travel agents to become actively involved in the political process, which shapes our country.

To download an ASTAPAC solicitation form, click here.

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ASTAPAC History and Organization

The American Society of Travel Agents’ Political Action Committee (ASTAPAC) was established in 1979 to represent the collective voice of the Society's travel agent membership before the United States Congress and the White House. For nearly 40 years, ASTAPAC has served as the only PAC for travel agents, educating elected officials about our issues and counterbalancing opposing positions. Within the last five years alone, ASTAPAC has raised over $680,000 in support of worthy, pro-travel agent candidates.

The ASTA Government & Political Affairs Committee oversees all aspects of the PAC, including fundraising campaigns and determining which political candidates receive ASTAPAC contributions. ASTA’s Government Affairs department works to ensure that ASTAPAC functions properly and remains compliant with federal reporting requirements.

ASTAPAC funds are granted, in a bipartisan manner, to those candidates whose views are consistent with ASTA on issues vital to the travel agent and tourism industry. Through your active participation, your recommendations to the ASTA Government & Political Affairs Committee and your voiced concern on key issues, you decide the candidates ASTAPAC supports. We want to hear from you frequently and clearly.

ASTAPAC depends primarily on personal, voluntary contributions from ASTA members on an annual basis. It can also accept funds from member companies, allied members and non-members but these “soft dollars” can only be used for operational expenses and not for campaign contributions. Neither ASTA, nor any ASTA member employer, will favor or disadvantage anyone based upon whether they contribute or decline to contribute, or on the amount of any contribution.

 

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Related Resources:

ASTAPAC History and Organization

ASTAPAC

ASTAPAC - ASTA's Political Action Committee

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