Risky Business? Pac Decisionmaking in Congressional Elections

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

election cycle. In this sense, NEA-PAC benefits American democracy--it works to increase voter information and political participation among its members. For the NEA, its 1992 campaign and PAC activities represent a continuation of long-standing, relatively institutionalized relationships with the Democratic party. These relationships may become even stronger as a result of the appointment of Debra DeLee, director of NEA's Government Relations, as an unpaid co--vice chair of the Democratic National Committee. Yet 1992 was also a success because NEA was able to make educational issues an important area of choice between the parties, even as both candidates stressed education's importance to their issue agendas.


Notes
1.
The authors wish to thank Joe Standa for his graciousness, patience, and openness in answering questions about NEA and NEA-PAC in the 1992 cycle. The preliminary personal interviews in October 1991 and March 1992 were conducted by Martha Bailey; the pre- and post-election interviews in October 1992 and November 1992 were conducted by Denise Baer.
2.
Allan M. West, The National Education Association: The Power Base for Education ( New York: The Free Press, 1980), p. 193.
3.
Includes the fifty state associations, the Overseas Education Association, and the Puerto Rican Association. "NEA Fact Sheet," National Education Association, Washington, D.C., March 1990.
4.
Marjorie Murphy, Blackboard Unions, The AFT and the NEA, 1900-1980 ( Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1990).
5.
West, The National Education Association, p. 193.
7.
Titles include: You and Politics: A Workbook Introduction; How to Set Up and Operate a Local Association Political Action Program; How to Raise Money for NEA- PAC: Education's Defense Fund; How to Recruit, Organize and Manage Volunteers; How to Run Voter Contact Programs; How to Conduct Opinion Polls; How to Target for Elections (Including Campaign Research and Demographics), How to Participate in Party Politics; How to Prepare and Use Print Communications; and How to Conduct the NEA Congressional Contact Team Program.
8.
Personal interview with Joe Standa, October 1991.
9.
Herbert Alexander, "The PAC Phenomenon," in Edward Zuckerman, ed., Almanac of Federal PACS: 1992 ( Washington, D.C.: Amward Publications, 1992), p. xiv.
10.
Mary Jordan, "Education Chief Rebukes Biggest Teachers' Union," Washington Post, July 7, 1992, p. A4.
11.
Personal interview with Joe Standa, October 1991.
12.
Larry J. Sabato, PAC Power: Inside the World of Political Action Committees ( New York: W.W. Norton, 1984), p. 62.
13.
Personal interview with Joe Standa, October 1992.
14.
Herbert Alexander, "The PAC Phenomenon," p. xiv.
15.
Lynn Olson, "Unions Putting Time, Money, Energy to Task of Campaigning for Clinton," Education Week, October 14, 1992, p. 1.
17.
Personal interview with Joe Standa, November 1992.
18.
Frank J. Sorauf, Inside Campaign Finance: Myths and Realities ( New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992), p. 108.

-78-

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