WindPAC is the political action committee of the American Wind Energy Association. WindPAC’s purpose is to help elect candidates to the public office who support policies that will drive demand for wind power in America. WindPAC strengthens the wind industry's advocacy efforts and presence in Washington. If you have questions about WindPAC, please direct them to WindPAC@awea.org.
What is WindPAC?
WindPAC is the political action committee (PAC) of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the national trade association of America's wind industry. Federal election campaign laws prohibit trade associations from using their general treasury funds to make contributions to federal elections. WindPAC makes political contributions to candidates for public office using personal, non-corporate funds contributed by employees of member companies. WindPAC is registered with the Federal Election Commission as a 501 (c) 6 PAC and operates within the strict conformity of federal election campaign laws.
How does the wind industry benefit from WindPAC contributions?
By supporting WindPAC, AWEA members can join together to help elect candidates to the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate who understand the wind industry, share our concerns, and value our perspectives. WindPAC-sponsored fundraisers allow members of the wind industry to meet with key legislators in a small group setting.
Who can contribute to WindPAC?
All executive and administrative personnel of AWEA’s member companies may contribute to WindPAC after AWEA obtains prior approval by the member company for the calendar year. All contributions must be personal funds, not corporate. Contributing to WindPAC is a voluntary decision. In accordance with the law, AWEA may accept contributions from U.S. citizens only. AWEA will not give any advantage or disadvantage to any person who decides to contribute or not to contribute.
What is prior approval?
Federal law requires WindPAC to obtain written authorization from a member company prior to soliciting contributions to the PAC. If you would like to receive an Approval for Solicitation Authorization form, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Once prior approval is granted, only executive personnel, administrative personnel, stockholders and families of corporate members may be solicited by WindPAC. The Federal Election Commission defines executive and administrative personnel as “employees who are paid on a salary (rather than hourly) basis and who have policymaking, managerial, professional or supervisory responsibilities.” Unlike other classes of PACs, federal law limits each company from granting permission to solicit PAC contributions to one trade association per calendar year.
The Approval for Solicitation Authorization form to be filled out by an authorized representative of the company will allow WindPAC to solicit managers and executives of your company for personal contributions. These solicitations will be carried out by mail, electronic mail, or during AWEA meetings. Completing the authorization form does not obligate you in any way to support or contribute to WindPAC.
What is the maximum amount an individual can contribute to a PAC?
Federal law prohibits contributions in excess of $5,000 per year to a single PAC. There are also aggregated limits on amounts an individual can contribute to federal candidates, PACs and political parties.
What are the criteria for WindPAC disbursements?
In determining whether disbursements shall be made from WindPAC funds to a particular candidate, the following factors are taken into account:
- The integrity and character of the candidate;
- The candidate's position on issues important to the wind power industry;
- The candidate's experience and influence in the policy-making process, including whether the candidate holds a leadership position or is likely to hold such a position in the future;
- The candidate's voting record and past leadership on issues of concern to the wind energy industry;
- The support for the candidate by one or more of the Association's member companies located within the candidate's congressional district;
- And the nature and strength of the candidate's opposition in primary and general elections.