American Foreign Service Association Political Action Committee (AFSA-PAC) Standard Operating Procedure
Approved by the AFSA Governing Board on 9/20/17.
Purposes and Objectives
The AFSA-PAC was created by the Governing Board of the American Foreign Service Association to further AFSA's goal of making the U.S. Foreign Service a more effective agent of United States international leadership. AFSA-PAC does this by supporting the reelection of Senators and Representatives who support a strong, effective Foreign Service.
The primary objectives of AFSA-PAC are:
- To further the legislative interests of active-duty and retired Foreign Service personnel by supporting Senators and Representatives who:a. favor legislation providing adequate resources for diplomatic readiness and/or strengthening the Foreign Service as an institution, and/orb. have expressed concern for the careers and the quality of life of active-duty and retired Foreign Service personnel and their families;
- To accept and receive monetary contributions voluntarily donated by any person or persons, group or groups, except those prohibited by law from making such contributions;
- To disburse monetary contributions to the campaign or leadership PACS of both incumbent members and non-incumbent candidates for the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives who have expressed support for the Foreign Service and for Foreign Service personnel;
- To carry on such other activities as may be deemed practicable relating to legislation and candidates for the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives in order to further serve the interests of the U.S. Foreign Service and its active-duty and retired personnel.
Section 1. Officers:
The PAC shall have three officers: the Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, and Keeper of Records. The AFSA Governing Board shall elect all three officers by majority vote for a term of two years. The AFSA Governing Board may replace these officers. All PAC officers must be registered with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC).
The PAC Treasurer must be a retiree AFSA member in good standing. The Assistant Treasurer may be any retiree AFSA member in good standing or an employee of AFSA. The Keeper of Records shall be an employee of AFSA.
The Treasurer and the registered Assistant Treasurer are responsible for:
- Ensuring compliance with all FEC regulations regarding solicitations, and receipt and disbursement of funds;
- Assuring that the required reports and documentation are filed with the FEC in a timely manner;
- Signing and approving all official PAC communications with the FEC, IRS, contributors and candidates;
- Signing and approving all checks or other disbursements of PAC funds.
In the absence of the Treasurer, the Assistant Treasurer of the PAC may perform the duties assigned to the Treasurer.
Section 2. Committee:
The PAC shall be governed by a committee consisting of retiree or associate AFSA members in good standing and the PAC Treasurer. The AFSA Governing Board will elect committee members by majority vote.
The committee is empowered to take actions necessary to pursue the objectives of the PAC. The committee will work in consultation with the AFSA Governing Board. The responsibilities of the committee include:
- Adopting rules and policies for the conduct of PAC business (subject to overall guidance established by the AFSA Governing Board);
- Using PAC contributions to reflect and advance AFSA's objectives and legislative priorities as established by the AFSA Governing Board;
- Determining the amount of money the PAC contributes to each candidate, while maintaining the bipartisan nature of the PAC by equally dividing contributions between the two major political parties;
- Reviewing and approving all communication to AFSA members regarding the business of the PAC;
- Making regular reports on PAC activities to the AFSA Governing Board.
The AFSA Governing Board may, by majority vote, overrule any action taken by the PAC committee.
The PAC has the right to solicit contributions from AFSA members at any time. The PAC will not knowingly solicit contributions from an active duty AFSA member at his or her government office.
The PAC shall not solicit non-members or use any method of solicitation prohibited by federal election laws.
100 percent of the funds disbursed by the PAC shall come from voluntary contributions made to the PAC. The PAC may not access or disburse money generated by membership dues paid to AFSA, or any other general treasury funds of the Association.
Section 1. Contributions Received:
All contributions must be registered with the date of receipt as well as the donor's name and address. Contributions aggregating over two hundred dollars ($200.00) from a single donor in one calendar year must also include the donor's occupation and employer. The Keeper of Records and the Treasurer are responsible for obtaining this information when it is not readily provided by the donor.
The PAC may not knowingly accept contributions from foreign nationals, or other contributions prohibited by law. The PAC may not knowingly accept contributions in excess of the limits established by federal election laws.
Section 2. Contributions Made:
The PAC shall not make contributions or disbursements related to candidates in state, county, or municipal/local elections. The PAC shall not make contributions or disbursements related to presidential elections. The PAC shall not make contributions or disbursements related to referenda on issues. The PAC shall not make any contributions or disbursements to a political party's national, state, or district committees.
The PAC may contribute to the campaign committees of incumbent and non-incumbent candidates running for seats in the United States Senate and House of Representatives.
Contributions made by the PAC shall be divided equally between candidates of the two major political parties during each calendar year. This balance will be confirmed on a semi-annual basis, with additional contributions made if needed to maintain balance. This equal division of funds shall be verifiable in public records of PAC transactions released by the FEC. The maintenance of equality is measured in dollars, not in the number of candidates receiving money from the PAC.
If the PAC decides to make contributions to candidates of a third party, or candidates running independent of party affiliation, these contributions shall not affect the equal division of funds between the two major political parties.
The PAC will not make disbursements to candidates that exceed the limits established by federal election laws. Federal election laws limit PAC contributions to $5,000 for a candidate’s primary election and $5,000 for his/her general election.
The direct and administrative costs of PAC activities may be paid for either from AFSA treasury funds as budgeted or from money received in contributions to the PAC.
This PAC guidance may be amended by majority vote of the AFSA Governing Board.