Candice J. Nelson
The Business-Industry Political Action Committee (BIPAC) has been a lead PAC in the business community since its inception in 1963. Formed originally to give business a political voice, BIPAC was and still is a way for the business community to participate in elections. While BIPAC's role in the business community has change, its importance has not. As more corporations and trade associations formed PACs during the 1970s, BIPAC's more was joined by other voices representing the business community. BIPAC's importance today comes less from its contributions and more from the impact of its endorsements on the flow of money form other business-oriented PACs to political candidates.
BIPAC's contribution philosophy differs from that of other business PACs. While most PACs give to incumbents, the majority of BIPAC's support goes to challengers and candidates for open seats. In 1990, for example, 9 percent of all corporate PAC contributions went to challengers, 1 yet 36 percent of BIPAC's contributions went to challengers that year. BIPAC believes that electing a few new members of Congress each year makes a difference and perceives its role as promoting business interests. 2
Though PACs have long been a vehicle for labor participation in politics, few business-oriented PACs existed prior to 1974. While most corporate money entered politics through individual contributions prior to the FECA, in the early