PAC VP: Jerry Thixton
Political Action Committee
The Postmasters and Managers Political Fund (UPMA PAC) is a multi-candidate political action committee (PAC) fun created with the merger of the political action committees connected with National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. and the National League of Postmasters of the U.S. UPMA PAC is made up of voluntary contributions solicited from the members and their families of the United Postmasters and Managers of America (UPMA). The sole purpose of UMPA PAC is to provide bipartisan political financial support to members of Congress and congressional candidates who are supportive of the UPMA legislative agenda. Contributions made to UPMA PAC are legally separate from the UPMA operating budget and are strictly regulated by the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
UPMA PAC is usually a congressional candidate’s first exposure to UPMA. A strong PAC enables UPMA to let legislators know that Postmasters and Postal Managers appreciate the opportunity to be heard on issues of concern. It also allows Postmasters and Postal Managers to financially support those legislators who have been responsive to the needs of UPMA members.
It is for these reasons that chapter PAC chairs promote UPMA PAC at every opportunity. It is imperative that chapter officers and all UPMA members boost participation in our PAC. This includes both active and retired Postmasters and Postal Managers. UPMA PAC contributions should be encouraged in all chapter publications, as well as at all chapter and district meetings and in one-to-one communications among Postmasters and Postal Managers. The National Government Relations Chair and the UPMA National Office will do their part by highlighting UPMA PAC in the UPMA Leader magazine and other UPMA communications.
Why a UPMA PAC?
UPMA PAC helps elect members of Congress who will support legislation that will benefit active and retired Postmasters and Postal Managers . UPMA is legally permitted to communicate with members of Congress, postal regulators and employees of the Executive Branch, and to provide political education to UPMA members.
However, federal law prohibits UPMA from making campaign contributions to candidates for federal offices. Membership dues are not permitted for such use. Consequently, UPMA offers its members a means by which they may provide financial support to candidates for federal office. This is achieved through a “separate, segregated fund” known as a political action committee (PAC). A solicitation from PAC discloses to its contributors a clear explanation that the funds will be used for political campaign contributions.
Although UPMA PAC was created November 2016, the two PACs from which it emerged were recognized within the political community as stable performers with an outstanding success record. Our PAC is far more effective than Postmasters and Postal Managers making individual contributions to particular candidates. Postmasters, Postal Managers, retirees and their families are encouraged to participate in the political process through the strength of their pooled contributions. The results have a greater impact than small, scattered efforts UPMA PAC allows employed and retired Postmasters and Postal mangers to make one, coordinated effort to support their allies in Congress and to candidates we believe will be agreeable to legislative issues. The fact that the contributions are made to candidates in the name of UPMA PAC nurtures positive identification between the candidates and UPMA.
Also, UPMA PAC complements our lobbying efforts, providing an additional avenue of access to members of Congress. UPMA officers, UPMA members or staff may attend fund-raising events where our PAC has made contributions on behalf of the incumbent or candidate.
UPMA PAC and Political Campaigns
The outcome of political elections can boost or block our legislative agenda. Promoting a strong and vibrant UPMA PAC helps elevate Postmaster and Postal Manager visibility in political campaigns. In this way, UPMA can help shape the composition of the Congress and have an impact on its priorities. UPMA PAC campaign contributions are an essential aspect of conveying to the incumbent or the candidate for Congress our support and endorsement. It is a tangible expression of agreement with his or her individual goals. Contributions help ensure the re-election of our helpful friends in office.
Campaigns need money to effectively support candidates’ bids for office. Direct mail, television, radio and travel expenses all strain the financial resources of most campaigns. The cost for candidates to educate the public about themselves and their positions on relevant issues increases each year. In election year 2016, the cost of a viable congressional campaign generally exceeds $5 million. As a result, PAC support is essential to a winning congressional campaign.
For-profit Postal Service competitors (e.g., UPS and FedEx, delivery upstarts and those who seek to dismantle the U.S. Postal Service are key players in the PAC arena. They have used their vast financial resources to undermine the institution that helps support our families and secure our retirement. This is one of many reasons Postmasters and Postal Managers must contribute generously to UPMA PAC. UPMA’s involvement in the political process provides you with direct access to the decision- and policymakers who can pass laws and regulations that will directly affect your life.
Who Receives UPMA PAC Funds?
UPMA PAC uses many factors to determine how much or if a candidate for federal office will receive financial support. UPMA PAC utilizes a questionnaire to help evaluate the candidates. In addition, questions that should be asked when assessing an incumbent member of Congress include:
* Is the member of Congress on the committee of jurisdiction over the Postal Service?
* Is the member in a leadership position or has seniority in Congress?
* What is his or her ability to influence legislation?
* Is the member on a key committee, such as Appropriations, Budget, Commerce, Rules or Ways and Means?
* Is the member a sponsor or co-sponsor of a bill that would benefit Postmasters and postal managers?
* Does the member have a good “voting record” on key Postmaster and postal manager legislation?
* Can the incumbent win re-election?
* Is the member accessible to Postmasters and Postal Managers during Capitol Hill office visits and during visits in the home districts?
With the help of Postmasters and Postal Managers throughout the country, we have been able to identify candidates with a serious chance to win the seat they are seeking. Several factors are considered:
* the strength of the campaign manager
* the potency of the campaign staff
* the polling numbers of the candidate
* the ability to raise campaign funds
* the historical performance of the candidate’s party in the district
* the satisfactory completion of the “UPMA Candidate Survey”
In an effort to assure the candidate recognizes UPMA members whom they will represent, the Government Relations Director encourages UPMA members, individually or small groups, to attend fund-raising events in congressional districts. (The director will notify the chapter legislative chair or PAC chair of events.) As a result, when Postmasters and Postal Managers need to visit with a member in his or her district office or on Capitol Hill, the doors of communication are open and inviting.
Candidates for the House and Senate of the United States Congress are eligible to receive funds from our PAC. State political parties, state representatives and gubernatorial campaigns are ineligible.
UMPA PAC Organizational Structure
The Government Relations Director coordinates the activities of UPMA PAC at the UPMA National Office.
The director of government relations advises the national president(s) on PAC and political issues. The director helps develop strategy to raise PAC funds and identifies potential candidates deserving UPMA PAC support. The director serves as the registered PAC treasurer and is legally responsible for the accuracy of all FEC filings.
The director administers UPMA PAC and is the primary contact between chapter PAC chairs and the government relations department. The director oversees all PAC activity, including ensuring that receipts and disbursements are accounted for accurately. The director makes certain all required PAC reports are in compliance with FEC regulations. The director also serves as the registered assistant treasurer for NUPMA PAC.
The National Government Relations Committee chair periodically consults with the Director of Government Relations on PAC solicitation and political issues.
The chapter PAC chairs are responsible for soliciting PAC funds at all chapter events. In addition, in consultation with the Government Relations Director, the chairs should develop innovative techniques to solicit chapter members (see “Duties and Responsibilities”). The chairs work closely with the chapter legislative chairs to establish close contacts in state congressional offices.
Chapter PAC Committee Chairs
Each chapter president should appoint a PAC chair and enough committee members to carry out an effective PAC program in the chapter. Active and/or retired Postmasters can serve on the committee.
The chapter president should provide the director of government relations with the name, address, phone number and effective date of the newly appointed PAC chair as soon as the appointment is made. The director will provide training and assistance to the PAC chair.
Duties and Responsibilities
As chair of your chapter’s PAC program, you should:
*Participate in PAC training sessions and seminars.
* Solicit funds for chapter events and area/district meetings.
* In consultation with the UPMA Director of Government Relations, implement creative contacts, correspondence and incentives.
* Write a monthly PAC article for your chapter newsletter.
* Maintain accurate records of all receipts in the chapter.
* Make sure a complete PAC envelope is prepared for each contribution received (this is an FEC requirement).
* Prepare and forward all receipts to the UPMA Director of Government Relations (see “Processing PAC Receipts”).
PAC Supply Kits
PAC chairs should be prepared to accept PAC contributions as soon as possible following their appointments:
* How to order and when to order PAC supplies:
* All PAC supplies are stored at the National Office. To order a supply kit for your chapter’s PAC program, immediately contact the UPMA Director of Government Relations at Postmasters and Managers Political Fund, 8 Herbert Street, Alexandria, VA 22305-2600; (703) 683-9027; fax, (703) 683-0923; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have early district, area or organizational meetings, you will need supplies for those meetings and enough to last until your state convention. Make sure you order convention supplies at least three weeks prior to your departure for the convention site. If you have fall meetings, you will order additional supplies immediately after the annual national convention.
What Supplies Should Be Ordered and How Much?
In an effort to curb the cost of PAC supplies and incentives, we dispense supplies on an as-needed basis. This helps run a successful program throughout all the chapters. When ordering supplies, in consultation with the UPMA Director of Government Relations, consider the following:
* How many UPMA members are registered for your meeting or state convention?
* How many items were actually used in your chapter the previous year?
* Do you have a plan to use more of certain categories of pins in your chapter.
* What was the chapter’s prior year total PAC receipts?
Your PAC Supply Kit may include:
* A PAC manual
* A computer printout of your chapter’s receipts
* PAC envelopes (use for each individual contribution)
* PAC lapel pins (dispense appropriate pin for each level)
* PAC lapel ribbons
* PAC certificates
Solicitation of PAC Funds
UPMA PAC sends an annual direct-mail solicitation to all UPMA members for UPMA PAC contributions. All contributions received as a result of that solicitation will be applied toward each chapter’s solicitation effort for the year. Contributions will be credited to a chapter according to the member’s home address or “address of record” on file with the UPMA National Office.
At chapter conventions, area/district meetings:
* Make prior arrangements with the chapter president to speak from the podium at the first business session. Confirm your presentation prior to and at arrival.
* Present a brief overview of the PAC program at that time and a statement of the “goal” for that event.
* Request several minutes at the beginning of each morning session to report on the progress of the “goal” and to present any awards and incentives, if applicable.
* Arrange for a PAC table to be located adjacent to the general meeting area. This will be convenient for Postmasters to make their contributions.
* Ask each area/state officer to encourage support of the PAC Committee’s efforts whenever possible.
* Work closely with the Chapter Legislative chair and the Legislative Committee.
Restrictions on Solicitations
Who Can Be Solicited?
Solicitation of PAC contributions must be from UPMA members and members of their immediate families only. UPMA members and UPMA staff members are prohibited from soliciting funds from nonmembers. Any form of solicitation, whether written or oral, must adhere to the following Federal Election Commission regulations:
* Solicitations of PAC funds are prohibited in federal buildings (post offices are considered federal buildings).
* Solicitations for PAC funds via the mail must be addressed to each individual’s home address (a post office box is considered the home address of the box holder).
* National and chapter publications can be addressed to the Postmaster at the post office with news items related to the PAC program, provided no solicitation is made for funds.
* A solicitation cannot use threats of physical force, job or financial reprisals (each person solicited must be informed they may refuse to contribute without reprisals).
* Do not accept funds written from your chapter account as a PAC contribution.
* Membership dues are not permitted for use as a contribution to the PAC fund.
* Each person solicited must be informed that the funds will be used for political purposes.
* If the solicitation suggests a specific contribution amount, the person being solicited must be informed that (1) the guideline is merely a suggestion and he/she is free to contribute more or less than the suggested guideline, and (2) that NAPUS will neither favor nor disadvantage anyone by reason of the amount of his or her contribution or a decision not to contribute.
Nonmembers may contribute to UPMA PAC under their own initiative. However, an unsolicited contribution may not be accepted if it is from:
* A national bank
* Foreign nationals
* Government contractors from a corporation
Processing PAC Receipts
UMPA PAC guidelines for processing PAC contributions must comply with Federal Election Commission regulations. Our process also seeks to expedite the process from receipt of the contribution to providing reports to our membership.
All chapter PAC programs should strictly adhere to the following primary regulations:
* Make certain each contributor completes a PAC contribution envelope.
* Do not open a separate bank account for PAC funds.
* Do not commingle PAC funds with your chapter account or your personal account.
* Do not deduct expenses for stamps or the cost of money orders from the collected PAC contributions; ask your chapter president to help you run your program by providing a small budgeted amount for minor expenses.
* Convert cash contributions to a money order or cashier’s check.
* Mail the cash contribution cards, along with the money order, to Postmasters and Postal Managers Political Fund, 8 Herbert St., Alexandria VA 22305-2600.
* Place one check inside each completed PAC contribution card/envelope.
* Bundle these card envelopes together (without stamps).
* Place the bundle inside a mailing envelope and send the packet to the Postmasters and Postal Managers Political Fund, 8 Herbert Street, Alexandria, VA 22305-2600.
Credit Card Contributions
Send the card envelope containing the credit card information to the Postmasters and Postal Managers Political Fund, 8 Herbert St., Alexandria, VA 22305-2600.
Note: Under federal law, a PAC contribution should be deposited into the PAC account no later than 10 days after receipt from contributor
UPMA PAC has established an innovative and convenient way to support members of Congress and congressional candidates who support legislative issues that impact NAPUS members. It’s easy to participate.Through our automated system, an individual PAC contributor may make a contribution from his or her monthly annuity, using his or her Civil Service Administration (CSA) number. It’s as easy as making a phone call and following the prompts:
- Payroll Withholding through the Postal Service’s PostalEase
- Annuity Withholding (CSRS or FERS) though the Office of Personnel Management
- Monthly or Biweekly Signature Federal Credit Union allotment (for those with Signature FCU account)
- Monthly charge to personal credit card