|FROM THE HILL|
ALPA-PAC Prepares for Battle
Air Line Pilot, January 2004, p.31
The new year brings yet another federal election season to the United States. This fall all the seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate will be up for grabs. Americans will also elect a president.
In fact, the long list of state primaries for the Democratic presidential candidates begins in just a few days. ALPA, through the ALPA Political Action Committee, or ALPA-PAC, plans to play an active role in this year’s elections across the United States because the Association wants to make sure that the best pro-pilot candidates are nominated and elected on November 2.
ALPA-PAC is already involved, conducting interviews with nonincumbent candidates who want to come to Washington, D.C., as members of Congress. Some are running in open seats that have no incumbent; others are running against senators or representatives who have never supported ALPA’s legislative agenda. But all these candidates have one thing in common: they want ALPA-PAC’s support and financial assistance for their campaigns, and they want it now. ALPA-PAC interviews will help determine which ones warrant the Committee’s aid.
In addition, ALPA-PAC must also be ready to help ALPA’s many long-time congressional allies. The cost of financing congressional campaigns continues to rise, and fundraising has become a never-ending activity for most incumbents. Providing ALPA-PAC with financial resources is one way ALPA members can show support for those who work to promote and defend pilot issues on Capitol Hill. ALPA’s allies are counting on ALPA-PAC to be there for them once again this year.
Finally, while President George W. Bush does not face any opposition for his party’s nomination, the Democrats have more candidates vying for their presidential nomination than at any time in recent memory. The multiple upcoming state primaries and caucuses will decide which of these candidates will be nominated at the Democratic Convention in July.
ALPA members can be important players in these primaries, volunteering time to work for a candidate with fellow pilots, with state and local AFL-CIO affiliates, or through other allied groups. One thing is for certain: If ALPA wants to have any influence on who is the next occupant of the White House, ALPA members must be prepared to be foot soldiers in the presidential campaign.
Watch this space in the coming months for more information about ALPA-PAC’s involvement in the 2004 elections—and how you can help. To make a voluntary contribution to ALPA-PAC, ALPA members may go to the Government Affairs/ALPA-PAC page under "ALPA Departments" on ALPA’s website, www.alpa.org, or send an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.