The Society of American Florists Political Action Committee (SAFPAC) is the power behind the advocacy punch of SAF.
SAFPAC not only helps elect candidates that support the floriculture industry, it is also a means to establish and maintain relationships with key lawmakers in Congress. It is a critical component of SAF’s advocacy efforts when educating members of Congress about the issues affecting the floriculture industry. And importantly, one hundred percent of the contributions made to SAFPAC are used to help elect pro-industry lawmakers.
When assessing a candidate for Congress, many factors are considered and many questions are asked:
First, the 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?
Second, 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?
Third, electability: 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?
A candidate may be great on the issues and be very accessible to SAF 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 opponent of massive minimum wage increases, 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 candidates brings to the table. 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.
Member turnover in Congress was heavy in the 2018 election.
In 2018, 15 members of Congress resigned, 31 retired and 40 seats changed parties. However, SAFPAC contributions helped support friends of the floriculture industry in Congress and the majority of those members were reelected to Congress.
15 of the 17 (87.5 percent) House members that SAFPAC supported who ran for reelection won their races. SAFPAC saw the same winning percentage in the Senate with only one loss, Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN).
If you are interested in becoming more involved in supporting the efforts to promote the floriculture industry politically, contact Shawn McBurney at firstname.lastname@example.org.