What is a Political Action Committee (PAC)?
Political Action Committees, commonly called “PACs,” are organizations dedicated to raising and spending money to support or oppose candidates for political office. In addition to providing campaign contributions to candidates, they can also endorse candidates, and provide information on candidates and their positions on key issues to different groups of people and voters.
What is the Washington Anglers for Conservation (WAC) PAC?
WACPAC is a Political Action Committee comprised of, and supported by, recreational fishermen and other conservation-minded individuals to provide political support and campaign contributions to worthy candidates for state legislative and state-wide political office in Washington State.
WACPAC’s mission is to support candidates who share our passion to conserve and restore key marine and freshwater fish and wildlife populations, including wild Salmon & Steelhead runs, sturgeon, bottom fish, crab and other shellfish while promoting policies to make Washington a world class place for recreational fishing.
We are registered with the Washington Pubic Disclosure Commission as a Political Action Committee and comply with all state reporting requirements.
Who directs the activities of WACPAC?
WACPAC has a Board of Directors that oversees and directs all its activities. Rob Tobeck, former 710 ESPN Outdoor Line radio host and Seattle Seahawk helped spearhead WACPAC’s creation and serves as its Chairman. Other current board members include well known and longtime fish advocates Larry Cassidy, Frank Haw, and Andy Marks. Other Board members include Joe Palena, Lee Blankenship, and Roger Goodan.
The Board of Directors helps raise money to fund the PAC’s activities and approves all campaign contributions, endorsements and candidate information provided by the PAC.
How is WACPAC different from existing recreational fishing organizations?
WACPAC is a Political Action Committee meant to complement and support the issue advocacy and lobbying efforts of our existing recreational fishing organizations. These recreational fishing groups are either legally prohibited from undertaking direct political and campaign activities as tax-exempt organizations or have limits on their activities since they are not Political Action Committees.
Some well-known organizations, such as Puget Sound Anglers and the Coastal Conservation Association, are permitted to influence legislative activity through lobbying, but don’t directly support, endorse or contribute to worthy political candidates.
WACPAC will not replace or duplicate the legislative and agency lobbying efforts of these other organizations, but will focus on directly influencing elections and organizing recreational anglers politically. After all, electing politicians favorable to our interests is a key ingredient to achieving policy and legislative victories!
What specific activities will WACPAC undertake?
- The WACPAC will endorse, provide political support and campaign contributions to worthy candidates and elected officials.
- The WACPAC will also produce a voter’s guide for recreational fishermen based on legislative voting records, candidate interviews and positions on issues. This information will be available at the WACPAC website and promoted through email, radio and newspapers/newsletters. It will also be made available to businesses that rely on recreational angling and healthy fish and wildlife populations.
- As a political action committee, the WACPAC can also undertake political efforts to alert recreational anglers and voters when candidates for public office strongly oppose our interests.
How will WACPAC determine which candidates to support?
WACPAC is a nonpartisan organization, meaning it is not associated with a particular political party. WACPAC will support worthy candidates for political office based on their positions and past votes on key issues, whether they are Democrats or Republicans, and with the approval of the Board.
In determining which candidates to support, the Board will generally consider a candidate’s positions and past votes against some of the following principles:
- Support for policies and legislation that conserve our fisheries.
- Reforms to how our state manages and conserves its fisheries, including expanding selective fishing for salmon and steelhead, creating other sustainable recreational opportunities, and promoting transparency and science in agency decision making.
- Support for policies and legislation that recognize and increase the economic contributions of recreational fishing to Washington’s economy.
- Maintain and enhance the ability of citizens to influence how the state’s fish and wildlife populations are managed and conserved.
How will contributions to WACPAC be spent?
WACPAC is administered and run by unpaid volunteers. Other than minor (postage, printing, office supplies), routine administrative and banking expenses, every dollar will be spent to support worthy candidates for state political office and inform voters of candidates’ records. WACPAC will not employ political consultants or lobbyists.