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What is SurPAC?
SurPAC is the political fundraising arm of TSPS that works in conjunction with the Governmental Affairs Committee and TSPS legal counsel.
Why do we need SurPAC?
SurPAC provides TSPS the means to create and maintain a presence in the legislative process by providing financial contributions to those legislators who have helped us in the past and those we feel will be needed for future assistance.
How do we decide how & how much?
The TSPS leadership and legislative counsel determine the legislators in the positions that are deemed necessary for support of our legislative initiatives. This could be an influential committee chair or member, an individual legislator with a special interest in an area in which we are involved, a legislator we feel could carry a particular bill effectively, or a legislator we feel might oppose us without our support.
The "industry standard" for worthwhile or effective political donations is a minimum of $1000 for Senators and $500 for Representatives.
Where does the money go?
Typically, contributions to legislators are used for campaign/election expenses and officeholder expenses. Where political contributions come from, and what they may be used for, is strictly governed by law.
What does TSPS get for making contributions?
We get recognition and access. Recognition as a serious association when an individual legislator sees our name associated with a legislative initiative, and access to individual legislators when we need assistance or the opportunity to get our message across at the appropriate time. We get put on the friends to help list when items come up that affect our profession. That is why we must have a broad-based approach in our contribution efforts.
Are we buying votes?
No, we aren't. This is simply the way the political process works; we can choose to be an active participant, or we can opt out, but either way our profession is going to be impacted by whatever happens during the Session. Remember, there are many people and organizations with interests contrary to ours spending large amounts of money to either pass legislation detrimental to the surveying profession or to defeat our initiatives.
What is the most effective way to make contributions?
To be effective, TSPS members need to contribute not only to SurPAC, but also directly to their local legislators. By attending the fundraisers of local legislators, our members make themselves more visible and give TSPS a stronger presence in the legislative arena.
We must cover "both sides of the fence." Contributing to only one individual or group of legislators will soon wear out our welcome.
How can we contribute to SurPAC?
Donations by personal check are the best way to contribute both to SurPAC and local legislators. Corporate donations can only be used for administrative expenses of SurPAC; to be most effective, we must make contributions, directly to legislators, and these contributions can only come from personal donations. By law, contributions cannot be made during or within the 30 days prior to the Session.
Send your check, in any amount, to the TSPS office today - simply put, the future of your profession is at stake!
For more information, contact Travis Tabor, SurPAC Committee Chair.