Prior Authorization

Political action committees (PACs) sponsored by corporate-based trade associations, like AGC PAC, are required by federal law to obtain a corporate member company’s approval before asking eligible individuals to join or informing them about PAC-related activities.

This may seem unusual given that AGC PAC is funded by personal contributions, but it is the law.

A corporate member company may grant prior authorization by having an authorized representative of the company complete the AGC PAC Prior Authorization Form.

Granting AGC PAC prior authorization does not obligate anyone in a company to make a financial commitment nor does it preclude employees of the company from contributing to local, state, ideological or national member PACs. It simply gives eligible employees the opportunity to learn more about AGC PAC and to make a choice whether or not to provide their support.

Grant prior authorization online or download the AGC PAC Prior Authorization Form.

For more information or assistance, please contact David Ashinoff, Director of Political Affairs, at ashinoffd@agc.org.

ONLINE FORM

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Frequently Asked Questions

Prior Authorization is a federal election regulation that requires PACs of corporate-based trade associations to obtain separate and specific approval in writing from member corporations before soliciting their executive or administrative staff.

This regulation was established by the 1978 amendments to the Federal Election Campaign Act.  It was heavily supported by organized labor which was alarmed by the Federal Election Commission’s SUNPAC decision. In its advisory opinion, the commission ruled that in addition to soliciting shareholders, corporate PACs could now solicit their eligible employees. Organized labor successfully lobbied for the prior authorization regulation because it was concerned that corporate political programs would dwarf labor’s and “exploit” the law to gain even more dominance via association PACs. While this scenario never materialized, association PACs are still straddled with this burdensome regulation.

Absolutely. Your AGC membership will in no way be affected by completing or not completing the form. Granting prior authorization does not obligate the company or its employees to support AGC PAC – it simply gives AGC permission to communicate in much greater detail about the PAC to certain employees (executives, managers, stockholders and their families) about the role the PAC plays in advancing and protecting construction interests in Washington, D.C.

As you know, the actions of Congress can significantly impact AGC members’ ability to do business (i.e. 3% withholding, MAP-21). Legislation can be passed that either advances or stifles the construction industry. To ensure it is the former and not the latter that gets enacted into law, you need to be involved in the political process. One advocacy tool available to the association is AGC PAC.

Established in 1977, AGC PAC is a nonpartisan political action committee sponsored by AGC.   It is registered with the U.S. Federal Election Commission (FEC) and allows eligible employees of AGC member companies to pool personal, voluntary financial contributions. The contributions are used to support candidates seeking elected office at the federal and state level who are proponents of issues important to our members, our employees and our shareholders.

To advance our efforts, AGC PAC would like to share important political information with you and your colleagues. Federal election law, however, first requires corporate-based trade association political action committees, like AGC PAC, to obtain written authorization from its corporate members before they can provide any such information or accept/solicit contributions from employees of its member companies.

Absolutely not. Federal PACs are not permitted to accept corporate contributions.  All personal contributions to AGC PAC from eligible donors are voluntary. Individuals may refuse to contribute without reprisal.

Any individual at the company who has the ability to grant the authorization to AGC PAC can sign the authorization form on behalf of his or her company. Typically, this individual is an owner, CEO, COO, vice president or senior executive.

Unfortunately, they did not. The Supreme Court cases of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission struck down federal election regulations barriers to free speech for corporations and individuals, but they did not affect how trade association PACs are regulated.