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Prepared for use by the Illinois State Legislative Board to inform members about the importance of contributing to PAC funds.

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Title: Prepared for use by the Illinois State Legislative Board to inform members about the importance of contributing to PAC funds.


1
Political Action Committee Information (PAC
Funds)
  • Prepared for use by the Illinois State
    Legislative Board to inform members about the
    importance of contributing to PAC funds.

2
A look at , Political Campaigns, Corporations,
Unions PAC Funds
3
A Short History of Campaign Finance Laws and
PACs
  • The first Federal Finance Legislation was
    enacted in 1867. That law prohibited federal
    officers from requesting contributions from Navy
    ship yard workers.
  • ______________
  • In the year 1905 President Theodore Roosevelt
    called for legislation to ban corporate
    contributions for political purposes.
  • ______________
  • From 1907 until 1966 many federal statutes
    were enacted to limit the influence of wealthy
    individuals and special interest groups on the
    outcome of federal elections, regulate campaign
    spending for federal elections and halt abuses by
    requiring public discloser of campaign spending.

4
Election Campaigns during Theodore Roosevelt's
time were not near as costly as they are today
and involved public speeches and Whistle Stop
Campaigns. Modern campaigns require huge amounts
of money for political advertising mostly for
television, or they have virtually no chance to
succeed.
Theodore Roosevelt in Mattoon, Illinois
- 1912
5
  • On June 25, 1943 the Smith Connally Anti-Strike
    Act also called the War Labor Disputes Act, was
    passed into law over President Franklin D.
    Roosevelts veto.
  • _________________
  • The Smith-Connley Act let the Federal Government
    seize and operate industries threatened by or
    under strikes that would interfere with war
    production. This act also prohibited unions from
    making contributions in federal elections.

6
In the fall of 1943 President Roosevelt issued an
executive order for the Philadelphia Transit
System to hire and promote African-Americans into
positions that were formally held by Whites only.
This resulted in a strike against the Transit
System.

Eight Black Motormen that were hired by the
Philadelphia Transit System in 1948
7

Short History of the Philadelphia Transit
Strike The Philadelphia Transit Strike of 1944
is portrayed by many sources as being a strike by
white workers to protest the promotion of
African-American worker to the position of motor
car operators. The strike in fact was much more
involved and politically complicated then that.
The Philadelphia Rapid Transit Employees Union
(PRTEU), was a union closely aligned with the
Philadelphia Transit Company (PTC). Wages of the
employees represented by the PTREU were
substandard compared to other union employees
holding similar jobs across the country however,
it has been alleged that the union and the
company used the premise of job security provided
by a policy of whites only operating the transit
cars as an offset for the substandard
wages. James Wolfinger Liberty thats a lot
of Bunk 2005 by Australian Society for the Study
of Labour History
8
A campaign to get African-American employees
promoted ensued. That campaign involved the
National Association for the Advancement of
Colored People (NAACP), the Transport Workers
Union (TWU a Congress of Industrial
Organizations (CIO) affiliate), and the Fair
Employment Practices Committee (FEPC), which had
been established by the Federal Government to end
discrimination in war production plants. The
NAACP assumed leadership in the battle. They
could not have won however without the support of
the Transport Workers Union (TWU) which used
this opportunity to organize on the PTC and
replace the PRTEU. Within a few month of the
start of the campaign the TWU won enough votes to
call for a representation election on the
Philadelphia Transit Company. Another
interesting bit of history was that in 1944 the
TWU had many officials that were members of the
Communist Party. The CIO starting about this
time went thru a process that led to the purging
of the Communists from positions as union
officials following the passage of the
Taft-Hartley Act which penalized unions who's
officials did not sign affidavits stating that
they were not members of the Communist Party, by
not allowing them to bring a case before the
National Mediation Board. This provision of the
Taft-Hartley Act was later declared
unconstitutional by the United States Supreme
Court.

9
  • When Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an executive
    order instructing the FEPC to see that the
  • Philadelphia Transit Company promote
    African-Americans the result was a strike by the
    PRTEU
  • which effectively shut down Philadelphia shortly
    after D-Day and resulted in war production
  • being disrupted due to the fact that a large
    portion of the work force rode the transit system
    and due
  • to gas rationing at the time they had no other
    means of transportation.
  • Disruption of war production was something that
    Nazi Germany had been unable to accomplish
  • during the entire Second World War therefore
    this strike became major concern of the
    government
  • very quickly.
  • President Roosevelt invoked the powers granted
    him by the Smith-Connley Act which was
  • passed by congress over his veto, to ordered 5000
    Federal Troops in to run the transit system.
  • The transit workers were arrested for violating
    the Smith-Connley Act. and the workers were
  • given an ultimatum
  • Go back to work by Sunday at midnight, or lose
    your jobs, receive no unemployment and become
  • subject to the draft.

10

In 1944 the first PAC was formed when the
Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) formed
the first one to raise money for the re-election
of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
________________ The PAC's money came from
voluntary contributions from union members rather
than union treasuries thereby avoiding violating
the Smith Connally Act, which forbade unions from
contributing to federal candidates.
11
In 1971 Congress passed the Federal Election
Campaign Act, which consolidated previous reforms
that limited financial influence on elections.
This act was amended in 1974 due partly to the
Watergate scandal, in order to set limits on
contributions by individuals, political parties
and political action committees
(PACs). ______________ The Watergate Scandal
among other things involved corporations using
Caribbean and Mexican banks to funnel money for
political purposes. This was a violation of
several existing Federal laws dating back to the
Tillman Act of 1904 which forbid corporate
contributions and the Federal Corrupt Practices
Act of 1910, which limited campaign
spending. ________________ The Teapot Dome
Scandal which involved Oil Developers giving
Federal Officials gifts in return for lucrative
oil leases on Federal Lands led to the Federal
Corrupt Practices Act of 1925 which was the basis
for Federal Campaign Finance Law until the 1970s
12
  • The Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) made it
    illegal for certain individuals and organizations
    to make contributions or expenditures to
    influence federal elections. Among these are
  • Corporations
  • Labor Unions
  • Federal government contractors
  • Foreign nationals
  • FECA also made it illegal to make a contribution
    in another persons name or for and individual to
    contribute more then 1000 in cash.

13
  • While it is illegal for unions (and
    corporations) to contribute to a candidate
    running for federal office, it is perfectly legal
    for PACs to give them a donation, with certain
    restrictions.
  • _____________
  • PAC money is used to help put our friends in
    power and attempt to gain us influence in the
    legislative and executive branches of government.
  • ______________
  • This type of political contribution is called
    Hard Money since it goes directly to the
    candidate. It is considered a loophole in the
    law but be that as it may it is the only way that
    we as union members can collectively contribute
    money to help our friends in government.

14
  • PAC funds are properly called "separate
    segregated funds" because money contributed to a
    PAC is kept in a bank account separate from the
    general corporate or union treasury.
  • __________
  • All money donated to PACs is strictly on a
    voluntary basis and it is illegal for a union to
    tell you that you have to contribute to a PAC.
  • __________
  • We also have to use PAC money for other political
    activities that we engage in such as paying
    Legislative Representative to be poll watchers.
  • ___________
  • It is however, OK to explain our PAC Fund to
    you and suggest how the money that you contribute
    is used for political purposes which directly
    benefit you and your family!!!

15
  • It is important to remember that
  • Unions can not use your regular dues money to
    make political contributions.
  • The only way that you as a union member can
    collectively donate money to a Politian or
    political party is thru voluntarily contributing
    to a PAC Fund.
  • We can only receive PAC contributions from our
    own members.
  • Corporations can and do also establish PAC Funds
    to promote their political agendas which often
    directly conflict with our political agendas.

16
  • Contribution Limits at present
  • The rules governing how much an individual or PAC
    can contribute to a federal candidate or party
    committee. Limits apply to contributions of hard
    money, which is used to influence the election or
    defeat of a federal candidate. Unlimited
    contributions, also called soft money, were once
    allowed to the national political parties but are
    now banned by the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act.
    Contributions to state and local candidates and
    party committees to be used exclusively to elect
    state and local candidates are subject to state
    contribution limits. Under Federal law, an
    individual may contribute
  • 2,000 to a candidate per election (primary and
    general)
  • 25,000 to a political party per year
  • 5,000 to a PAC per year
  • 95,000 per election cycle to candidates, parties
    and PACs, combined
  • A PAC may contribute
  • 5,000 to a candidate per election (primary and
    general)
  • 15,000 to a political party per year
  • 5,000 to another PAC per year
  • Additional limits apply to contributions from
    parties to candidates and from individuals,
    corporations or labor unions to state parties for
    generic political activity (see Levin Funds).
  • Information on this page is from Federal
    Election Commission Web Site 3/20/2007

17
Levin Funds Contributions that state and local
parties can spend on voter registration and
get-out-the-vote activities are related to
federal elections. Levin funds are limited to the
lesser of 10,000 per donor or the amount that
may be given to state and local parties under the
applicable state law. Corporations and labor
unions may make Levin fund contributions if state
law otherwise allows such entities to contribute
to state elections. Levin funds are not
considered Hard Money and do not count against
contribution limits or prohibitions on hard money
contributions. They are named after Sen. Carl
Levin (D-Mich.), whose amendment to the
Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act created them so
that state and local parties could use nonfederal
funds for generic party-building activities
without violating the soft money ban. See also
Hard Money and Soft Money Information on this
page is from Federal Election Commission Web Site
3/20/2007
18
Campaign Finance Legislation continues to be an
ongoing process with no end in site. Every time
that the balance of power shifts in Congress it
seems that more legislation is introduced to
change campaign finance laws to favor the party
in power. Numerous law suits have been filed in
recent years against the FEC concerning
restrictions on the use of money for political
purposes. The McCain-Feingold Bill which was
passed into law on March 27, 2002 by a Republican
controlled Congress was almost immediately
challenged in court. A Federal Court ruled the
laws ban on Soft Money was unconstitutional but
upheld the laws restriction on how the money
could be spent. This decision was appealed to the
Supreme Court and by a 5-4 decision the court
chose to uphold the McCain-Feingold's soft money
and issue ad restrictions. While Congress agreed
to limit Soft Money it doubled the amount of Hard
Money that an individual can contribute to a
candidate during an election year to 2,000.
This had the effect of giving the Republican
Party a great advantage since the majority
traditionally about 2/3, of their money comes
from Hard Money while the Democrats raise about
half there money from Soft Money donors. PAC
funds are considered Hard Money. Figures used
on this page are from opensecrets.org
19
Although PAC Funds are limited to how much they
can contribute to any one Candidate they can also
contribute money to another PAC Fund which can in
turn contribute money to that Candidate. _________
_ Corporate donations to PAC Funds greatly
outpace Union donations however it is important
to donate to PAC Funds so that the Legislative
Arm of the BLET can use the money generated by
our members to help our Political Allies to get
elected. It takes money to run for office and we
want to help our friends get elected. ___________
It is also important to remember that our real
political strength comes from getting our members
to vote!!!! __________ Check with your Union
Brothers to make sure that they are registered
and encourage them to get out and vote!!!!!
20
Donation to selected PACs for 2004 Election year
Railroads PAC Contributions to Federal
Candidates, 2003-2004 Total Amount2,905,461 To
tal to Democrats734,585(25)Total to
Republicans2,170,876(75)Number of PACs Making
Contributions19 _________________________________
__________________  
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Begin Cash
on Hand 273,223 End Cash on Hand 300,993 Total
Receipts 806,487 Total Spent  778,722 from
this PAC to federal candidates 94 to
Democrats, 6 to Republicans Total of
310,250 Data from opensecrets.org These
figures are for donations to federal candidates.
50 of PAC money collected by the BLET PAC goes
back to the State Legislative Board
21
Examples of recently enacted legislation that has
benefited us directly Provision of the
amendment to the Railroad Retirement Act that had
raised the minimum retirement age to 62 years of
age was repelled bringing the minimum retirement
age back to 60 years of age. RAILROAD RETIREMENT
ACT OF 1974 enacted into law giving widows a
raise in benefits after death of their
spouse. Illinois Public Act 92-0108 was enacted
to require contract carriers that transport us to
have their vehicles inspected, carry insurance
and limit the hours that their drivers can
drive. Illinois Public Act 94-0318 - Railroad
Employees Medical Treatment Act enacted a law
requiring the railroad not to deny injured
employees medical treatment. Illinois Public Act
94-0846 Railroad Police Act. Limits how a
Railroad Police Officer may question a Union
Employee without a Union Official being present.
22
PAC Funds are highly regulated by Campaign
Financing Laws which are enforced by the Federal
Election Commission. _______________ It is widely
understood that hard money from sources such as
PAC funds can sway the outcome of elections and
have the potential of helping to gain political
influence for the organization or groups that
contribute to these funds. _______________ To
limit the influence of money on elections and as
a result control of or excessive influence over
the government, is why Campaign Finance Laws
exist. _______________ That very fact that PAC
funds do in fact help to gain us recognition is
the precisely why we should donate to them. It
is a well known fact that corporations
donate. ______________ If you do not already
contribute to the BLE-T PAC Fund please talk to
your local legislative representative about
signing up or go to this link on the internet to
download a printable form http//www.bletislb.org
/Documents/pacform.pdf
23
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