Answers to Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Home Builders Association of Central Arizona Political Action Committee (HBACA PAC)
Why do we need Political Action Committees (PACs)?
Although an individual may personally support or oppose candidates with few restrictions other than limits on contribution amounts, state and federal laws prohibit individuals from collectively working together to support or oppose candidates without forming a political action committee.
What is a PAC?
A PAC is simply a group of citizens sharing a common interest that have joined together to elect candidates who espouse their views. Many businesses and business associations have PACs. The Home Builders Association of Central Arizona, chambers of commerce, realtors and the National Association of Home Builders are all good examples of business associations with PACs. Most unions such as teachers, police and firefighters have PACs. Most activist/social issue groups also have PACs, including the NRA, AARP, environmental organizations, etc. In other words, at some point in our lives, the majority of Americans have either have been or will be represented in the political process by a PAC. It is the only legal way that people can work together, collectively, to provide funding to candidates. Contrary to what we are constantly told by a few outspoken anti-PAC groups who insist on referring to PACs as “special interests,” PACs really do represent most segments of society.
What is the HBACA PACs mission?
The HBACA PAC has been formed to support candidates who understand the benefits of new home construction and remodeling, and will work to promote legislation that benefits home builders and other industries involved in the construction of homes. The HBACA PAC is non-partisan; any candidate who befriends our industry is eligible for support. The PAC also works to support or oppose legislation and/or initiatives or referendums that will have a positive or negative impact on home building.
I don’t work for a home builder, so why should I support the HBACA PAC?
The benefits of new home construction don’t stop with those of us who actually work for home builders. It takes people from all walks of life to put together a house. Just stop and think for a moment how many of us work for companies that make products used in new home construction? To build a home you need electricity, light fixtures, heating and cooling systems, pipes and ductwork, plumbing, water and sewer, carpet, tile, concrete, lumber, roof tiles, stucco, plants, sinks and faucets, drywall, doors and windows, cabinets, appliances, smoke detectors…the list is virtually endless when it comes to the many products needed to make a new home complete and comfortable. Home building also requires the services of many professionals and trades including architects, engineers, interior designers, landscape architects, framing contractors, pool builders, lighting designers, carpenters, plumbers, pipe fitters, electricians, painting contractors, graphic artists, attorneys, etc… And getting buyers into their new homes requires the services of realtors, bankers, mortgage lenders, credit researchers, title companies and movers. And, once people have moved into their new home they need window coverings, furniture, linens, kitchen and bath supplies, lawn and garden tools, and much, much more. In other words, it would pretty hard to find a household that doesn’t have at least one member who directly benefits from new home construction.
Finally, think about the industries that indirectly benefit from new home construction. With new home developments come stores and shopping malls, restaurants, gas stations, golf courses, banks…well, you get the point! Everyone benefits from new home construction.
Does the PAC accept corporate contributions?
NO. 100% of the PAC’s income comes from individual contributors. Per state and federal statutes, corporations are prohibited from making contributions to PACs.
What is my contribution to the PAC used for?
The HBACA PAC uses the contributions it receives to support candidates who are friends of the home building community, and who share our belief that economic development is critical to a healthy economy. We support candidates by making direct contributions to their campaigns. We also promote candidates independently of their campaign committees. This type of promotion is referred to as an “independent expenditure,” and is typically carried out when a candidate has reached his/her limit in PAC contributions.
How much does it cost to become a PAC member?
Although there is no set contribution amount, the minimum we suggest is $10 per person per year. In order for us to maintain our status with the State as a “Super PAC” – a designation that allows us to make a contribution to candidates that is five times larger than the standard PAC – we must maintain an annual membership base of 500+ contributors giving a minimum of $10 each. As campaigns these days are becoming costlier to undertake, we encourage you to give more if at all possible as every additional dollar received helps us elect candidates who are friends of the home building community.
What percentage of my contribution is used for administration of the PAC?
Less than 5%. Virtually every dollar you contribute to the PAC is used in support of its mission. From time to time the PAC does have expenses that we are required to pay directly out of our PAC account in order to comply with state/federal statutes, but these are few and far between.
The PAC’s overhead, administrative and fund raising expenses are covered by the Homebuilders Association directly, and through our PAC Administrative Fund which receives its funding from voluntary corporate contributions made by HBACA member companies. The bank account for the Administrative Fund is entirely separate from the PAC bank account, and monies from these two separate accounts are never co-mingled.
Is there someone I can talk to if I have additional questions?
Contact Jim Sorgatz, HBACA’s VP of Member Services, at (602) 274-6545 or firstname.lastname@example.org.