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Texas Rural Water PAC
Amended December 1, 2006
Contributions – PAC Solicitation efforts to a corporate member of a trade association must include prior written approval from the member to solicit contributions from its "restricted class”. A restricted class is defined as a director, manager or an administrative employee of the member corporation and their families. Hourly workers, part-time employees, non-management employees or customers of the corporation may not be solicited. Prior approval must be granted in advance of the solicitation effort. Permission is granted for 5 years and the corporate approval form may not be included with a PAC solicitation effort. TRWA will seek prior approval to solicit the restricted class of our member corporations on the annual dues statement.
Contributions From Political Subdivisions – A political subdivision such as a water district or municipality is prohibited by the Texas Constitution and state law from making a contribution to a PAC including the use of public funds to purchase a ticket to a PAC fundraising event (PAC Luncheo) or to purchase a gift or PAC auction item with public funds. TRWA will refund any PAC event tickets purchased with a check or credit card by a political subdivision.
Fundraising Activities – In contrast to other states, raffles are illegal in Texas for anything other than authorized charitable organizations. And because the Texas Penal Code makes it illegal for TRWA to conduct a raffle, it is illegal to use any of the money raised by a raffle for any PAC activity. Sales of products, auctions, celebrity dinners, charity matches, solicitation mailings, conference attendee solicitation, golf tournaments and other games of skill are legal and may be utilized by the PAC in its fundraising efforts. TRWA may use its own corporate funds (or funds from other corporate members) to pay for a fundraising event at which an individual may make a personal contribution by purchasing a ticket with personal funds. Solicitation for PAC fundraising activities shall have the appropriate state and federal legal disclaimers prominently displayed on all promotional materials.
PAC Breakfast, Golf Tournament – The PAC may not accept corporate checks or credit cards written for PAC events. On rare occasions, corporate donations may be accepted and used to pay administrative expenses and solicitation expenses for the PAC. TRWA will place proceeds received from corporate members into a general revenue account and pay for the cost of the breakfast, golf tournament and auction items with general revenue funds. Personal checks and cash received for these events will be placed directly into the PAC account.
PAC Auction – TRWA may use its own corporate funds to purchase PAC auction items. However, if corporate funds are used to purchase auction items, then federal law requires that the item sell for at least 3 times its retail value or the PAC must refund a portion of the retail value back to the corporation. As an option, auction items can be aggregated and as such the total amount raised must equal to at least 3 times the retail value of all the items in the auction on an aggregated basis. Items that are considered one of a kind or "priceless” such as antiques, art, and celebrity autographs, etc., are not subject to the "one third rule”. There is no such legal requirement if an individual donates an item for the auction. Auction items from a district director or individual member will be accepted and considered donated by the individual unless otherwise noted at the time the donation is made.
Distributions to Candidates for Public Office – The PAC Trustees will determine those candidates who will receive a political contribution from the state and federal PACs based upon recommendations from the PAC Treasurer. Distributions will be made without regard to political party affiliation. Preference will be given to candidates for public office who hold key committee assignments and other positions of leadership in the U.S. Congress or State Legislature.
Accounting – The PAC Treasurer is required by law to keep a record of all PAC contributions and report them in a timely manner to the appropriate state and federal agencies. The PAC Treasurer shall keep a record of all corporate cash or in-kind contributions separate from individual contributions. To prevent any co-mingling of these funds, the PAC Treasurer will not deposit any corporate funds into either the state or federal PAC accounts. All funds deposited into the state and federal PAC accounts will be for the intended purpose of direct contributions to candidates for public office or as a contribution to other state and federal PAC’s. The state PAC account shall be designated as the "collecting agent” for contributions to the federal PAC account. The PAC Trustees shall receive quarterly financial reports on the status of the accounts.
Solicitation Efforts – The Rural Water PAC action plan for the current year includes:
The Rural Water PAC Fundraising events will include a PAC Luncheon at the Annual Convention, Live and Silent Auction at the Annual Convention, Games of Skill at the Technical Conference, Golf Tournament at the Annual Convention and Technical Conference and a PAC Sponsorship Campaign. In addition, a "pass the hat” PAC solicitation effort will be made at all TRWA Conferences.
The PAC Sponsorship Campaign will be promoted by direct mail, in the TRWA Magazine and at the Convention and Conferences. Sponsorships include a Bronze Level ($25 individual contribution), Silver Level ($100 individual contribution) and Gold Level ($250 or more individual contribution). A reasonable reward will be associated with a sponsorship.
All members of the TRWA Board of Directors are expected to participate at the Gold Level and actively encourage individuals in their district to be a sponsor at least at the Bronze Level. Districts with the most Gold Sponsorships will be recognized at the PAC Luncheon and a plaque honoring those districts for their accomplishments will be on display at the TRWA Headquarters Building . Competition between Districts will be encouraged.
In accordance with state and federal law, sponsorships can only be made with personal funds as corporate and district contributions are prohibited. Solicitations can only be made to water system Directors, Managers, and their spouses.
Sponsorships are for the current calendar year only.