FAQ

What is PrintPAC?

The PRINTING United Alliance Political Action Committee, PrintPAC, is the only political action committee dedicated solely to representing the printing and graphic communications industry. PrintPAC is a nonpartisan, federally-registered political action committee that directly promotes the election of candidates who share PRINTING United Alliance's views on issues that affect our industry every day.

PrintPAC is registered with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) as a Separate Segregated Fund (SSF, popularly called a PAC). Federal law defines and limits who may be solicited for contributions. For trade associations, this restricted class includes dues-paying individual or employees of dues-paying corporate members of the association, among others. Contributions to PrintPAC are voluntary; PRINTING United Alliance will not favor or disadvantage anyone by reason of the amount contributed or the decision not to contribute. For more detailed information on federal election law governing SSFs and trade association PACs, such as PrintPAC, please see the FEC Campaign Guide for Corporations and Labor Organizations.

PrintPAC supports federal candidates who are chosen based solely on the candidates' viewpoints regarding pro-print, pro-business legislation, regardless of political affiliation. One hundred percent of PrintPAC funds collected from donors goes directly to funding campaigns of federal candidates who meet this criteria.

Why is PrintPAC Important?

There are only two ways to contribute to federal candidates: through individual contributions and through PAC contributions. By pooling resources with those of other PRINTING United Alliance members, we have the ability to create more of an impact than an individual acting alone.

Every aspect of our industry is affected daily by public policy. PrintPAC allows us to positively influence issues related to the printing and graphic communications industry.

Your support of PrintPAC allows us to have a growing, well-financed political action committee with which we can continue supporting the right candidates for our industry. This is especially critical now given the importance of two-year election cycles and current and future legislation that will be decided based on these elections.

One hundred percent of the funds raised by PrintPAC goes directly to candidates who share our industry's views on issues that affect you, your business, your employees and your bottom line on a daily basis.

Who May Legally Contribute to PrintPAC?

Under federal election law, contributions to trade association PACs, such as PrintPAC, is limited to U.S. citizens or permanent green card holders who meet the FEC’s definition of the association’s membership (aka restricted class). For trade associations, this includes dues-paying individuals or employees of dues-paying corporate members of the association, among others. Spouses or family members of the restricted class may also make a PrintPAC contribution. Additional individuals connected to dues-paying individuals or corporations may be eligible to contribute; please see the FEC’s explanation of solicitable class for additional examples.

The FEC also mandates that corporate trade associations receive permission to solicit in the form of prior approval forms (aka enrollment forms). This form must be submitted before PrintPAC can provide politically-related communication, invitations or solicitations to potential donors. A corporation may select a five-year prior approval to eliminate the hassle of signing a new form each calendar year. Contributions to PrintPAC are voluntary. PRINTING United Alliance will not favor or disadvantage anyone by reason of the amount contributed or the decision not to contribute.

Who Is Legally Prohibited from Contributing to PrintPAC?

Non-U.S. citizens or non-permanent green card holders, corporations (corporate money is prohibited under federal election law), and federal government contractors are prohibited by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) from contributing to PrintPAC. Additionally, any individual not defined by the FEC as an individual or corporate member of PRINTING United Alliance is legally prohibited from contributing. Contributions from ineligible donors will be returned.

How Much May I Contribute to PrintPAC?

$5,000 is the annual limit any eligible individual is allowed to contribute to PrintPAC, as the PAC is legally registered as a Separate Segregated Fund (SSF). $5,000 donors to PrintPAC are considered “max out” donors and recognized as such for their generosity. While any amount up to the legal limit is welcomed and participation is strictly voluntary, a minimum annual contribution of $1,000 by company owners, CEOs/Presidents and C-suite executives is customary and appropriate. Contributions may be made on an annual, quarterly or monthly basis, or by participation in PrintPAC’s payroll deduction program.

Excess contributions for a calendar year will be returned to the donor. Any amount over $100 must be paid by credit card or personal check. Cash is only accepted for contributions less than $100. Contributions to PrintPAC are voluntary; PRINTING United Alliance will not favor or disadvantage anyone by reason of the amount contributed or the decision not to contribute. For more information on campaign contribution limits, please see the Federal Election Commission’s contributions limits chart.

How Are PrintPAC Funds Used?

One hundred percent of funds contributed to PrintPAC are used to elect pro-print, pro-business candidates to federal office. Candidates in turn used these funds for campaign expenditures, such as advertising, direct mail, promotional items and more. State and local candidates are not legally eligible to receive PrintPAC support. For more information regarding use of a trade association’s PAC funds, please see the Federal Election Commission’s Campaign Guide for Corporations and Labor Organizations.

How Does PrintPAC Decide Which Candidates to Support?

PrintPAC uses multiple criteria to determine which candidates merit PrintPAC support. This criteria includes, but is not limited to, a candidate’s campaign platform or voting record related to business/economic policy affecting the printing industry, leadership positions in Congress and/or on assignments to relevant committees of jurisdiction, past bill sponsorship and co-sponsorship, and/or demonstration of publicly championing the print industry. By law, PrintPAC is only allowed to support candidates for federal office (Congress). PrintPAC is non-partisan and supports Democrats, Independents, and Republican and other party candidates. Current PrintPAC donors are welcome to suggest a federal candidate for consideration of PrintPAC support.

Can I Use Corporate Funds to Contribute to PrintPAC?

No, federal law expressly prohibits corporate contributions to trade association PACs. All PrintPAC contributions must be made with personal funds. Corporate contributions made to PrintPAC in error will be returned to the donor.

Is My PrintPAC Contribution Tax Deductible?

No, federal tax law does not permit election/political contributions to be tax deductible. Please view this article for a detailed explanation of this tax rule.

How Much Money Does PrintPAC Contribute to a Candidate?

Federal election law limits PrintPAC to contributing a maximum of $5,000 per federal candidate per election (e.g., primary election, general election). There is no limit to how many candidates PrintPAC can support. The more funds PrintPAC aggregates from eligible industry donors, the more pro-print, pro-business candidates PrintPAC can support. For more information on campaign contributions from multicandidate committees like PrintPAC, please see the Federal Election Commission’s contributions limit chart.

Who Governs PrintPAC? Are there Bylaws?

As a registered Separate Segregated Fund (SSF), the Federal Election Commission (FEC) allows the connected organization, i.e., trade association (PRINTING United Alliance), to govern and administer PrintPAC. The FEC also requires PrintPAC to list a Treasurer and best practice compliances urges listing of an Assistance Treasurer. Governance information is publicly available via FEC’s Form 1 and disclosed on required filings, all of which are available at www.fec.gov. Bylaws are not required by law, but PrintPAC does maintain voluntary bylaws in an effort to comply with best practices and a commitment to transparency. (NOTE: PrintPAC’s bylaws are currently under review and will be posted here at a future date.)

Where Can I See PrintPAC’s Financial Information?

PrintPAC submits monthly and quarterly reports to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) as required by law. All receipts (individuals contributing $200 per year or more) and disbursements (list of which candidates have received PrintPAC support) are available for the public to view at www.fec.gov. Following our commitment to transparency and donor recognition, PrintPAC also publishes a year-end summary and an Annual Report following every two-year election cycle.

I’ve Heard Negative Things About PACs. What’s Fact and What’s Fiction?

Campaign finance is a complex area of political law. The media often portrays PACs in a negative light, which undermines the ability of an industry or trade association to flex its political muscle as allowable under the law. Even some candidates have announced they refuse to accept PAC funds. For fact-based information about PACs and political contributions, you may find this video and fact sheet by the National Association of Business PACs useful. Of course, please don’t hesitate to reach out to PRINTING United Alliance for any questions or concerns relating to PrintPAC.

Political Action Committee from PRINTING United Alliance