A political action committee, or PAC, is a legal entity formed by like-minded individuals, companies, or other organizations or groups to facilitate the ability to combine their monetary resources to more effectively support candidates for public office who are supporters of the issues affecting the PAC supporters. All PACs are required to register with the Texas Ethics Commission and to report all financial activities conducted by the PAC.
02. Why is it important for supporters of The Texas A&M University System to have a PAC?
Nearly every interest group in Texas has a PAC. It is very important that supporters of The Texas A&M System manifest their appreciation through the A&M PAC for and in recognition of those political candidates and elected officials who have supported higher education in Texas as well as the A&M System. With the competition for higher education dollars continuing to heat up, it is vital that supporters of the A&M System become more involved in the public policy process to ensure that System’s needs are communicated in an effective manner.
03. Who can contribute to the A&M PAC?
Any person can contribute to the A&M PAC, and any level of giving is welcome and important to the success of the PAC. Corporate contributions to the PAC are also allowed under the Texas Ethics laws, but corporate contributions may only be used to defer the PAC’s administrative costs. The old adage “there’s strength in numbers” applies in the case of the A&M PAC and its ultimate success.
04. Does the A&M PAC contribute to candidates for federal office?
No, the A&M PAC is established as a PAC that only contributes to candidates and elected officials holding office in Texas.
05. Where does my money go when I donate it to the PAC?
A&M PAC contributions are used primarily for financially supporting the election of candidates for the Texas Senate and the Texas House of Representatives. A small percentage, less than 15 percent, of the contributions received by the A&M PAC are used to defray administrative and fundraising costs.
06. Who is responsible for PAC activities and expenditures?
The A&M PAC is governed by a Board of Trustees, each of whom is dedicated to the success of the PAC. The Board strictly follows established guidelines regarding the administration of the PAC. The Trustees develop and approve a list of candidates to whom the PAC will make contributions. That list of candidates is developed following specific criteria regarding contributions to candidates. Those criteria include consideration of legislators who are members of House and Senate committees where legislation impacting higher education is considered and of legislators in leadership positions. In addition, the Board of Trustees must adhere to the ethics laws of the State of Texas in all of their activities related to the operation of the A&M PAC.
07. Does the A&M PAC make contributions to political candidates based on party affiliation?
No, whether a candidate is a Democrat or a Republican is not part of the criteria used in the decision-making process regarding PAC contributions.
08. Is my contribution really important to the PAC and The Texas A&M University System?
Absolutely! Your contribution to the A&M PAC is important because, when it is combined with all other contributions the PAC receives, it enables supporters of the A&M System to deliver a strong message to state elected officials that we appreciate what they are doing to support higher education as well as The Texas A&M University System.
09. May my company contribute to the PAC?
Yes, corporations may contribute to the A&M PAC, but corporate contributions may only be used to pay for administrative costs incurred by the PAC.
10. How many A&M PAC contributors are there?
At the present time there are over 300 individuals and corporations that have contributed to the A&M PAC. It is our hope that if you haven’t already contributed to the PAC, you will do so in the near future.
12. Will my name be given or sold to other entities for their mailing lists?
No, your name will only be used for purposes of A&M PAC- related communications. Our database and mailing lists are the exclusive property of the A&M PAC, and the PAC’s policies prohibit the use of our contributor’s names and addresses in any manner outside the PAC.