Procedures for Disbursements of Funds in Support of Candidates
The guiding documents for the conduct of IMPACT, in the dispersal of funds to candidates, are set by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the Texas Ethics Commission (TEC). IMPACT is registered with the Texas Ethics Commission as a General Purpose Political Action Committee or GPAC. The Federal Agency recognizes IMPACT as a “nonconnected” PAC.
Processes Required of a GPAC
The FEC Rules apply to contributions to candidates for Senator, Congressman and President/Vice President. TEC rules apply to candidates for State executive offices, Texas Senate and Legislative offices and to County Commissioners and Judges. Local elections such as those for school board members and city government are not overtly political and are governed by local rules. IMPACT does not/cannot contribute to local elections.
Federal Limits on Donations
Donations from IMPACT as a nonconnected PAC to a candidate for federal office are limited to $5000 for the Primary Campaign and another $5000 donation for the General Election Campaign. Value of in-kind contributions to Federal campaigns must be included and reported. An event that raises money for a candidate is an example of in-kind donations. The expenses of the event, such as room, food, advertising and any other expenses associated with the event are considered an in-kind donation to the candidate or candidates. (Click here for chart)
Texas Limits on Donations
TEC rules governing accepting donations and dispersing funds to federal Candidates in Texas are the same as the FEC rules. TEC regulations for monetary support of Texas in-state candidates are different – there are no limits on GPAC donations to in-state Texas candidates. (Click here for chart)
IMPACT’s Operational Objective
Our Filing Statement with the TEC defines our limits and options in financial support to Democratic candidates. It names those persons who will make both the decisions about what contributions to accept and the decisions to whom those contributions will be distributed. Those named persons are the committee members of IMPACT. This document also indicates that the only GPAC that IMPACT will donate to is the Williamson County Democratic Party PAC.
IMPACT has chosen not to donate to candidates prior to the Primary election so that our potential IMPACT contributors and Democratic voters would, through the Primary Election, advise us of their preferences.
Procedures For Specific Funding Choices:
In early 2018, IMPACT team defined the principle factors of candidates and their campaigns that would provide guidance in allocation for funds to candidates.
These factors include:
Professional background / education / experience
Ability to raise campaign funds / fundraising results to date
Demonstrates knowledge of issues / offers solutions to important issues
Good speaker / engages crowd / leadership skills
Generates “earned” (free) media
A well formulated campaign plan including effective use of multiple media options: TV, radio, social media, internet (website), signs, meetings, debates house parties
Best probability of winning / most credible candidate
Vetting done by Williamson County Democrats in determining who would receive their endorsements
The necessity of IMPACT members to become aware and informed of each candidate and his/her campaign is a personal responsibility of each IMPACT member. And as such, committee members will do their own research and arrange to attend events where candidates are speaking. In doing their research, committee members may design and use their own evaluation forms.
After the Primary and before the November Election, the Committee will meet to review and discuss the list of candidates eligible to receive donations. The Committee will determine, by majority vote, how and when the Federal and State funds will be distributed. The Treasurer and Asst. Treasurer will assure that the contributions being made follow reporting regulations, that they have the proper name and address for each candidate and / or their PAC and that appropriate filings are timely made. Donations will be made by check and will be sent with an accompanying letter signed by the Chair.
Approved by Committee 6/10/2018