What is a PAC?
A political action committee (PAC) is the legally sanctioned vehicle through which organizations, such as New York Occupational Therapy Association (NYSOTA), can engage in otherwise prohibited political action and work to influence the outcome of State elections.
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) Act of 1971, recognized that corporations and professional and trade associations have a vital and legitimate interest in the operation of government. A PAC is the only legal and ethical way a profession can unite behind the candidates of its choice.
What is NYSOT PAC?
The New York Occupational Therapy Political Action Committee (NYSOTPAC) is a voluntary, non-profit, unincorporated committee of members of NYSOTA. The purpose of NYSOTPAC is to further the legislative aims of the Association by influencing or attempting to influence the selection, nomination, election, or appointment of any individual to any State public office, and of any occupational therapist, registered, certified occupational therapy assistant, or occupational therapy student member of NYSOTA seeking election to public office at any level. The committee is not affiliated with any political party.
Why does NYSOTA need a PAC?
NYSOTA standing alone cannot contribute even a token amount to a candidate. Through a PAC, NYSOTA can solicit and direct the flow of contributions from its members and provide important assistance to individual candidates for election to State Federal office.
Who controls NYSOTPAC'S money?
All funds which are raised by NYSOTPAC are used to their fullest potential as campaign contributions. This money, "hard" dollars, must be placed in a separate segregated fund and is provided by individual contributions.
Is NYSOTPAC ethical?
Yes. A campaign contribution through NYSOTPAC is not a means of buying votes. It is a "no strings attached" way of ensuring that responsible and dedicated legislators who understand and support the occupational therapy profession remain in, or are elected, to office.
To ensure the money is well protected and properly spent, many detailed reports are required by the Federal Election Commission from both NYSOTPAC and the candidates it supports. Both must account for the sources of their funds and the purposes for which these funds are spent.
Many professions, including physicians, dentists, nurses, medical laboratory technologists, optometrists, and physical therapists have made the concept of a PAC part of their government affairs efforts, all working within the system to their better advantage.
What criteria determines which candidates are supported?
Among the factors relied upon by the NYSOTPAC on reaching decisions regarding which candidates will receive NYSOTPAC support are the recommendations of Association members and officers, the leadership of Association districts, and the advice of the NYSOTA Legislative Liaison.
Among the criteria used to determine which candidates to support, NYSOTPAC considers the following factors:
NYSOTPAC makes financial contributions to candidates for State or Federal office regardless of party affiliation.