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POLITICAL ACTION

Politics is not a dirty word ...
Action Committee for Rural Electrification (ACRE)
2013-14 ACRE Officers
WECA Direct Givers Fund
Frequently Asked Questions

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Politics is not a dirty word ...

Democratic principles: they govern your cooperative and your country’s political structure. In order to run effectively, a democratic government needs the active involvement of informed citizens—just like your cooperative needs the active involvement of informed and committed members.

Cooperatives are grassroots democracies in action. But in order for co-ops to benefit politically from that grassroots power, individuals need to make a commitment to help their co-op.

You can carry out that important commitment by participating in the Action Committee for Rural Electrification (ACRE) and/or the WECA Direct Givers Fund—the political action committee and conduit that support candidates who are friends of rural electrification.

Face it: public policy decisions have a direct impact on your livelihood and on your cooperative’s bottom line. It is in the best interests of co-op members and employees to support candidates who support rural electric cooperative issues.

Think about the ultimate outcome for your co-op’s future. Your decision to participate in the political process will help ensure that your voice is heard when important policy decisions are being made.

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Action Committee for
Rural Electrification (ACRE)

A political action committee, or PAC, is an organization of people with common goals that collects money to contribute to candidates for political office.

ACRE—the Action Committee for Rural Electrification—was organized in 1966 by members of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. ACRE contributions go to candidates who support the legislative goals of rural electric cooperatives at the state and federal levels. A portion of ACRE contributions is sent to NRECA and then disbursed to Congressional candidates or campaign committees. Another portion goes to the Wisconsin ACRE Campaign Fund and is disbursed to state legislative candidates and campaign committees. National and state committees, working with association staff, determine which candidates should receive contributions

ACRE supports both Democrats and Republicans. ACRE contributions are based, first and foremost, on demonstrated support for rural electrification. ACRE does not buy votes. ACRE is simply an effort of rural electric people nationwide to help elect individuals who support cooperative objectives for rural electrification and rural America.

 

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2013-2014 ACRE Officers

State ACRE Chairman:
Robert Kretzschmar
President, Bayfield Electric Cooperative
Route 1, Box 53
Mellen, WI 54546

National ACRE Director:
Larry Becker
Director, Adams-Columbia Electric Cooperative
Director, NRACA
N2657 14th Road
Montello, WI 53949-9005

State ACRE Secretary-Treasurer:
Bridget McCann-Horn
Director of Public Affairs, Cooperative Network
1 South Pinckney St., Ste. 810
Madison, WI 53703-2869

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WECA Direct Givers Fund

A conduit is an organization that receives money from individuals for political purposes. The money is then deposited in a financial institution and transferred to candidates or campaign committees by the conduit administrator at the request of the contributor.

The WECA Direct Givers Fund was formed in 1996 to provide REC members, directors and employees with another opportunity for political involvement. A key element of the conduit is that each participant retains the absolute right to decide when and where their contributions are distributed. WECA, the administering body of the conduit, follows political events and makes suggestions as to where contributions would be most beneficial, but the ultimate decision on whether a contribution is made rests solely with each program participant.

The conduit allows WECA to track the political giving activities of its members and helps candidates recognize individuals as cooperative supporters. Contributions are transferred to candidates with a check from the conduit account and individual contributors are listed on a transmittal letter that must accompany each check.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Should I participate in ACRE or in the WECA Direct Givers Fund?
A. PACs and conduits each have their distinct advantages, so you should participate in both programs if possible. One option is for directors and employees to contribute to the Direct Givers Fund via payroll deduction. Once you have sufficient funds in the conduit, you could request a check which in turn can be used to pay your ACRE membership dues. You also designate which candidates receive contributions from your account

Q. How do I contribute to ACRE and/or the WECA Direct Givers Fund?
A. Talk to your cooperative manager or contact Bridget McCann-Horn at the Cooperative Network by calling (608) 258-4408 or
. She’ll collect some basic information and request a check made payable to ACRE and/or the WECA Direct Givers Fund. It’s easy to get involved!

Q. Are political contributions tax deductible?
A. No!

B. Are there other ways I can get involved?
A. Yes! You can play an active role in helping elect lawmakers who support co-ops and rural electrification. Volunteer to stuff envelopes, distribute literature or make get-out-the-vote calls. Vote for candidates who have demonstrated support for co-ops. Assist the efforts of WECA and other co-op trade associations. For example, respond to special requests to call or write your elected officials. These contacts are invaluable!

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