Risky Business? Pac Decisionmaking in Congressional Elections

By Robert Biersack; Paul S. Herrnson et al. | Go to book overview

tension, and the family medical leave bill. The most interesting changes in NFFE's giving patterns--its increase in giving to challengers and open-seat races--stem from the large number of competitive races and the uncertainty this created for the PAC director. Winners were not as easy to predict. The 1992 cycle also saw an increase in the number of FAIR/Federal Postal Coalition fundraisers and in the direct solicitations for money by members. They continued asking right up until the end.

According to the PAC's own officials, the size of NFFE's PAC is limited primarily by the constraints placed on it by the Hatch Act. With a liberalizing reauthorization working its way through Congress, it will be interesting to see whether NFFE's ability to raise money improves. However, there may also be other reasons for NFFE's inability to raise substantial money: reliance on the FAIR/Federal Postal Coalition relationship and union leadership's lack of emphasis on the value of the PAC. The union leadership's reluctance/inability to provide more operating funds to the PAC, and the dual role of the PAC director as legislative director and the lower priority given PAC activity, lead me to believe that a liberalization of the Hatch Act will not necessarily increase member contributions to NFFE's PAC.


Notes
1.
For a more detailed discussion of the Hatch Act, see Congressional Research Service briefs IB87153 and 91-544 Gov.
2.
This was a complete reorganization of federal benefits.
3.
Norman J. Ornstein, Thomas E. Mann, and Michael J. Malbin, eds., 1991-1992 Vital Statistics on Congress ( Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly & American Enterprise Institute, 1993).

-150-

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