The three criteria for judging on whether a candidate qualifies for SAFPAC funds remain as previously stated: issues, outreach and electability. These are the core principles on which the SAFPAC Board of Trustees bases its decision. Each measure has many questions which the SAFPAC Trustees and the Government Relations staff at look at when assessing a candidate.
- Issues: Does the candidate’s voting record reflect SAF’s legislative goals? Is the candidate likely to support legislation important to the floral industry in the future? Has the candidate co-sponsored legislation to either support or possibly damage the industry? Does the candidate serve on any of SAF’s targeted committees, such as Agriculture or Small Business? Is the candidate serving in a leadership role in Congress?
- Outreach: Does the candidate make time for SAF members in the district? Is the candidate accessible to SAF’s professional staff? Is the candidate supportive of floriculture in press statements or on the campaign trail? Does the candidate support floriculture projects in his or her district? Does the candidate have any ties to the floriculture community and especially to SAF members
- Electablity: What are the chances the candidate can win the race? How does the candidate match up versus the opponent? What is the national electoral climate and how is the candidate going to fare accordingly? What are the demographics of the district and do they play positively or negatively towards the candidate?
But the process is more intricate than simply answering yes, yes, and yes to those three criteria and then parceling out donations. What happens when one requirement is not met, but the other two are strong? A candidate may be great on the issues and be very accessible to our members, yet still have little chance of winning the election, despite their and our best efforts. Does that type of candidate deserve SAFPAC funds? Likewise, very few candidates are “perfect” on the issues. While a candidate may be a strong supporter of estate tax reform, they may also be a staunch advocate of enforcement-only immigration reform. How do we balance these competing factors?
SAFPAC looks at the overall package the candidate brings to the table. That determines SAFPAC involvement. No one is “perfect” on the issues. Pressure from the district extends beyond the floriculture industry. The main question at the heart of SAFPAC’s giving strategy is, will this candidate be a friend of the floriculture industry when elected to Congress? If the answer is yes, then that candidate is most likely eligible to receive SAFPAC funds.
If you would like more information about SAFPAC or how to give to SAFPAC, contact SAF’s Drew Gruenburg at 703-838-5229.
If you are a candidate and would like to receive SAFPAC funding, please contact SAF’s Drew Gruenburg at 703-838-5229.