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February 20, 2008

What good is PAC money if you don't spend it?

I'm perplexed by the NAHB's decision to stop making political contributions out of their PAC until Congress comes to aid the new homes market. From - Homebuilders’ pledge confounds K Street:

"Lobbyists are shaking their heads over an apparent ploy by the homebuilders’ lobby to freeze its political action committee (PAC) contributions to lawmakers until they come to the aid of the troubled housing sector.

The move, which the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) announced last week, has prompted dismay on K Street, in part because it buttressed the popular image of lobbyists tying contributions to votes
One thing's for sure, this is a bold move. But something that hasn't been covered is that PAC money doesn't do you any good until you spend it. Maybe this simple logic is lost on those so close to the situation, who view the entire dilemma as extraordinarily complex.


EO said...

I agree Ben, this is the time to spend that money.
Will members feel their association is doing nothing, by witholding?

Scott Brunner, CAE said...

Trouble is, what the Home Builder's are doing is perpetuating the notion that PAC contributions are a direct quid pro quo, a buying of votes. While I'm not so naive as to think that doesn't happen, I know most organizations are simply trying to elect officials who will at least listen when the organization has perspective on an issue.

I think what NAHB has done in this case was ill-considered, not a little petulant, and damages the credibility of all associations.

Vinay said...

It's like saying if you don't play by my rules and give me what I want, then I am packing up and leaving. Agree with Scott, this sends a very wrong message indeed.

Ben Martin, CAE said...

I have to believe the NAHB staff buckled under pressure.

Vinay said...

Must be the case Ben. Just imagining the impact of this, in the long run. For those who in the future accept money from NAHB Pac, they risk appearing to have been bought. With this possible perception associated with NAHB's Pac money, I can't imagine who will want to accept it. In the short-term they may have gotten their desired message across but in the long run they have hurt themselves.