Following considerable research by staff and careful deliberation by the board and officers, the BlueRibbon Coalition announced at its 14th annual meeting the formation of the group’s first political action committee, dubbed BRC PAC.
The BlueRibbon Coalition is a nonprofit organization tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The 501(c)(3) status means contributions to the Coalition are tax-deductible . . . but 501(c)(3) organizations are severely limited in the lobbying they can undertake, and strictly prohibited from endorsing or contributing to political candidates.
Contributions to the newly formed BRC PAC are not tax-deductible, and they will be kept strictly segregated from tax-deductible contributions made to the 501(c)(3) Coalition. As permitted by the Federal Election Commission, the Coalition will pay all administrative and fundraising costs for the PAC–meaning 100 percent of contributions made to the PAC will be dedicated to political action.
Importance of political action
The BlueRibbon Coalition was established in 1987 to increase the effectiveness of various recreation interests through teamwork. Working separately, off-highway motorcyclists, snowmobilers, boaters, ATVers, 4×4 enthusiasts, equestrians, and mountain bikers are a much less effective grassroots force for change than a coalition of these groups working together.
We all realize that our recreation access is heavily influenced by Federal, state, and local elected officials. It is important that we work to elect recreation user-friendly candidates to these offices.
Until now, the BlueRibbon Coalition has been prohibited from attempting to directly influence the outcome of important elections. Our members, officers, and staff have always been able to personally support the candidates of their choice. Now, their efforts can have even greater impact through the BRC PAC, which as an organization will be able to endorse, and contribute to, candidates who support our recreation access agenda.
Through the BRC PAC, your political contributions can be pooled with those of other members to help raise awareness of recreation access concerns in the eyes of candidates for office. We are hopeful that other recreation group PACs might consider combining financial support for friendly candidates to enhance our influence.
BRC western representative Don Amador has been named president of the PAC, and office manager Teresa Combe will serve as its treasurer.
Clark L. Collins is executive director of the BlueRibbon Coalition.
For more information . . .
about the BRC PAC contact the BRC office by phone 208/237-1008, fax 208/237-9424, or email [email protected].