MAKING YOUR COTTON CONTRIBUTIONS COUNT
SUPPORT THE COMMITTEE FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF COTTON
HERE'S HOW and WHY
Eligible NCC members can now contribute to CAC by credit card!
Make your cotton support count by mailing your contribution today to:
Committee for the Advancement of Cotton
Every Vote Counts
In the most recent presidential election, only about half of those registered to vote went to the polls. A lot of people didn't vote because they thought their vote wouldn't make a difference. History and the recent past tell a different story.
For example, the switch of only a single vote would have kept three presidents - Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams and Rutherford B. Hayes - out of the White House. The 2000 election was an eye-opening lesson on how important every vote is. As a result of the 2002 election, the margin of control of the House expanded slightly and the Senate control rested on a handfull of races and remains virtually evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats. The cotton industry must be able to count on key congressional leaders from both parties in order to get the bipartisan support necessary to favorably impact cotton legislation.
Participation in Campaigns Is Vital
Voting and volunteering in campaigns are two ways you can participate in the political process. Another effective way to make a difference is by making financial contributions.
While individual contributions directly help your candidate, sometimes your resources can be more effective when pooled through a political action committee. The Committee for the Advancement of Cotton (CAC) is the political action committee for the U.S. cotton industry.
PACs Fill Need
Election costs have skyrocketed. For the last election, the winner of a House of Representatives seat spent an average of $700,000 in campaign costs. For a Senate seat, the cost averaged $5.2 million. The continued rise in campaign costs has forced candidates to broaden their financial bases. PACs allow individuals to combine their resources behind candidates who support their interests. Federal law requires full and timely disclosure of a PAC's donors and the political contributions it makes and limits those donations to $5,000 per candidate each election.
Funding has been a necessary part of political campaigns throughout our history. It still is. And the PAC law assures an honest and open way of raising money. The approach to fundraising used by PAC's - soliciting small contributions and combining them into larger amounts - allows far more voices to be heard in determining who will become our nation's elected officials. Today, there are over 4,000 PACs. As their number increases, so will the multiplicity of interests involved in our political process.
Cotton Sponsors PAC
Cotton leaders were among those who formed their own PAC in 1975. Through CAC, industry members voluntarily pool their resources and support candidates whose views and voting records are in step with cotton's needs.
In recent years, CAC membership contributions have totaled between $80,000 and $100,000 annually. Even at this level, CAC is not in the top 10 of all agriculture PACs. Approximately 500 cotton producers, ginners, seed crushers, warehousemen, merchants and textile manufacturers contribute to the funds. In a typical election cycle, CAC contributes to several hundred House and Senate campaigns.
Cotton Contributions Make a Difference
Such contributions don't guarantee an automatic vote for cotton on every issue, but they do help assure that the industry will have an opportunity to state its case. On a close vote, that could mean the difference between success and failure.
Good or bad, congressional actions play an important role in the cotton economy. We worked closely with our supporters to enact a new farm bill that provides support in times of low prices. However, even as the bill is being implemented, we continue to face serious challenges from those who wish to divert funds to other uses by attacking benefit eligibility. Cotton's legislative agenda remains full as we face significant trade and environmental legislation in addition to defending farm bill programs.
Speak Up For Cotton
With government decisions having more and more impact on the economic health of our industry, becoming more involved in politics is the only way we can have a say in what goes on in Washington. It is essential to our industry's survival.
Politics is a personal matter and if we don't rise to the challenge, we have only ourselves to blame. Make your cotton support count by mailing your contribution today to:
Committee for the Advancement of Cotton
PO Box 2995
Cordova TN 38088-2995
CAC is sponsored by the National Cotton Council. It was established to encourage participation in government by individuals in every segment of the industry. CAC contributes its resources to the election of candidates for federal office who support the majority of views of the cotton industry as reflected in the National Cotton Council's policies and positions. Requests for support from individual candidates for federal office are reviewed by a steering committee, which represents each segment of the cotton industry, along with the executive staff of the National Cotton Council.
While federal regulations prohibit corporations from contributing funds to a political action committee, individuals and partnerships can make contributions. Before CAC may accept a contribution from a partnership, the names of the partners and their percentage of participation in the partnership must be provided.
CAC is also required to maintain records showing the name and address of each contributor. If an individual's contribution exceeds $200 during the calendar year, the records must also include the person's occupation and principal place of business. That information must be filed periodically with the Federal Election Commission.
By law, contributions by individuals and partnerships to a political action committee such as CAC may not exceed $5,000 during the calendar year. There is a $25,000 calendar year limit on total contributions to political committees, candidates for federal office and national party committees by an individual.
Contributions or gifts to the Committee for the Advancement of Cotton are not tax deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. A copy of our report is filed with and available for purchase from the Federal Election Commission, Washington, DC.
This communication is intended for members of the NCC's "restricted class" only, please do not forward. Contributions to CAC are strictly voluntary, and the contribution guidelines given are only suggestions. You are free to contribute more or less than the guidelines stated; NCC will not favor or disadvantage anyone by reason of the amount of their contribution or their decision not to contribute. The purpose of CAC is political; you have a right to refuse to contribute without reprisal. Federal law requires the PAC to use best efforts to collect and report the name, mailing address, occupation, and employer name of each individual whose contributions exceed $200 in a calendar year.