Political Action and PowerPAC


What is PowerPAC?

PowerPAC (Public Ownership of Electric Resources Political Action Committee) is an organization of public power professionals from across the United States who recognize the importance of supporting Members of Congress who protect the interests of public power. PowerPAC, a political action committee, is an essential part of public power’s effort to increase our effectiveness in government affairs. 

Why does APPA have a political action committee?

APPA focuses heavily on direct lobbying to achieve our legislative priorities, providing quality information on current and pending legislation to our members, and cultivating strong relationships with Members of Congress and their staff. However, additional opportunities exist for APPA’s members to express their opinions and ideas with Members of Congress, while building relationships with those who support public power. For that reason, in 1982, APPA formed PowerPAC.

PowerPAC enables public power to communicate our positions, interests and concerns effectively to Capitol Hill. It is crucial that we help elect and re-elect candidates who understand public power and who will make decisions that are in our and your customers' collective interest. By making the voice of public power louder and stronger, PowerPAC can affect the course of public policy debates and have input into the outcomes of important public policy decisions that will affect the future of public power.

Which candidates does PowerPAC support?

Decisions about who PowerPAC supports are made on the basis of five criteria:

Does the candidate understand and support the concerns and interests of public power? Is the candidate's position and voting record supportive of public power? Does he or she serve on a committee considering legislation important to public power? Does he or she hold a leadership position within Congress or have the potential to hold a leadership position? Is the candidate electable and does he or she need PowerPAC's financial assistance?

Who oversees the operations of PowerPAC?

Voluntary and non-partisan, PowerPAC is governed by a board of directors that represents a cross-section of APPA’s membership, including each region of the country. The board reviews and selects candidates to receive support and manages fundraising and communications for the PAC. All administrative and solicitation costs for PowerPAC, as allowed under federal law, are paid for by APPA, thereby enabling all donations to go directly to the support of candidates.

Where can I find out more about PowerPAC and other political action committees?

PowerPAC is registered with the Federal Election Commission in Washington, D.C. It is authorized by the Federal Election Campaign Act, as amended, and is in compliance with all applicable laws.

Prior Approval

The FEC requires PowerPAC to obtain written approval from APPA members before it may solicit and accept contributions from employees of the member utility. Granting Prior Approval does not obligate the utility or its employees to support the PAC – it simply gives APPA permission to communicate in much greater detail about the PAC to certain employees (a member’s general manager, executive team, managers and other salaried, exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act) and the role it plays in advancing and protecting the industry’s interests in Washington. For more information on prior approval, click here.

For more information about PowerPAC, contact Steve Medved at SMedved@PublicPower.org or 202-467-2928.