[This is a very good update by Bruce Hulme, the investigations industries’ undisputed top politico, as to what has just occurred in D.C. and the political climate from an industry point of view. It also reiterates our immediate need for a PAC and answers some very common questions about PAC’s. Working with everyone in D.C. is the way to go, if regulatory authority changes hands the bottom line is still the same, we must work with the government on issues impacting our profession no matter who they are. We are very fortunate to have ISPLA working on ALL of our behalf but like any working organization, they rely upon your contributions to pay the bills. Please help the ISPLA help you and be involved. Every contribution helps! -Editor’s Note]
The special election of Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown has cost the Democrats their important 60th vote. The potential climate change blowing from the election to fill the vacancy of the late Senator Ted Kennedy bodes well for investigative and security professionals in Washington on a number of bills which are of concern to ISPLA.
Contract security companies and large corporate clients of professional investigators are concerned with HR 1409/S560, the Employee Free Choice Act of 2009. Republicans, who are opposed to this bill, now have the 41st vote which allows them to filibuster bills in the Senate. Passage of EFCA would allow labor unions to organize via the use of “card check”, thus denying employees the right to a secret ballot. The bill also mandates an arbitration scheme thought to be more favorable to unions.
Another national trade association has recently expressed concern with provisions of HR 4173, the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009, calling for the creation of a Consumer Financial Services Protection Agency. This provision is being challenged by the financial services industry and the election of Senator Brown will impact the chances of creating such an agency in the Senate Banking Committee’s bill. The proposed Senate bill, if passed, will be a yet another “legacy bill” of Committee Chairman Senator Chris Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut who has opted not to run for re-election this fall. ISPLA does not share the same concern as the “other” trade association claiming to possess the sole keys to unlock certain doors on Capitol Hill. ISPLA’s leadership will continue to maintain its fine rapport developed over years of meeting with the Federal Trade Commission which has jurisdiction over specific aspects regulating segments of the investigative profession, and at the same time will continue to develop its rapport with the Department of Justice, Treasury Department, Homeland Security and other agencies which might be tasked with regulating aspects of the investigative and security industry.
Supreme Court Decision on Political Campaign Finance
In a 5-4 vote (and 176 pages of total opinions), the Supreme Court threw out the 1907 Tillman Act designed to restrain the influence of big business and unions on elections, ruling that corporations may spend as freely as they like to support or oppose federal candidates for office. The decision will significantly change who donates and receives hundreds of millions of dollars in this fall’s crucial midterm Congressional elections.
The Washington Post reported: “The court overturned two of its own decisions as well as the decades-old law that said companies and labor unions can be prohibited from using money from their general treasuries to produce and run their own campaign ads. The decision threatens similar limits imposed by 24 states.”
Corporations, their industry associations, and labor unions are permitted to assist candidates from their own funds, although the spending may not be coordinated with the candidates. The immediate effect of this Supreme Court ruling is to allow corporate and union-sponsored political ads to run right up to the moment of an election, and to permit them to call for the election or defeat of a candidate. Remaining in place is the prohibition on direct contributions to candidates from corporations and unions. The case does not affect political action committees, which sprang up overnight after post-Watergate laws set the first limits on contributions by individuals to candidates. Corporations, unions and others may create PACs to contribute directly to candidates, but they must be funded with voluntary contributions from employees, members and other individuals, not by corporate or union treasuries. ISPLA-PAC serves this purpose for the investigative and security professions and information on becoming a member of ISPLA may be obtained by going to http://www.ispla.org/
Unlike any other national association representing the Private Investigation and Contract Security professions, INVESTIGATIVE AND SECURITY PROFESSIONALS FOR LEGISLATIVE ACTION (ISPLA) administers a voluntary non-partisan political action committee (PAC). ISPLA-PAC is committed to improving and protecting the private investigative and security profession in the United States. Banding together as an industry, we make a united effort to obtain better government through education and political action.
THE PURPOSES OF ISPLA-PAC ARE:
- To promote and strive for the improvement of government by encouraging and stimulating members of the industry, and others, to take a more active and effective part in state and federal governmental affairs.
- To encourage members of the investigative and security community, and others, to understand the nature and actions of their government.
- To assist members of the industry, and others, to organize themselves for more effective political action.
- To finance political efforts supporting state and federal legislative and constitutional officeholders, and candidates that benefit the public by improving and protecting our industry.
WHY SUPPORT ISPLA-PAC?
There is an urgent need to establish and maintain our industry as a strong, concerned and active political force. When you support ISPLA-PAC, you help assure your industry’s involvement in the decision-making process. The quality and nature of laws, rules and regulations affecting your business and your pocketbook are determined by elected officials. Your voluntary PAC contributions through ISPLA membership, when combined with many others, can affect who is elected – who will write the laws and enforce regulations.
ISPLA-PAC’S CANDIDATES, who demonstrate a realistic approach to solving the problems of our industry and its related businesses, will receive our financial support.
THERE IS STRENGTH IN NUMBERS! A contribution from ISPLA-PAC speaks for our industry. Elected officials seldom overlook a large, well-informed constituency.
WHO ADMINISTERS ISPLA-PAC? An Executive Committee, consisting of industry representatives, has supervision of and control over the activities and funds of the PAC.
WHEN SELECTING CANDIDATES FOR ENDORSEMENT AND/OR FINANCIAL SUPPORT, WHAT CRITERIA IS TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION? ISPLA-PAC may consider:
- Candidate profile and background
- Dynamics of political race
- Leadership position in political party
- Political potential
- Leadership position in the Legislature
- Committee assignments/chairmanships
- Sponsorship or co-sponsorship of key bills
- Voting records on issues of concern to Investigative and Security Professionals
- Working relationships with Investigative and Security constituents
- Lobbyist and other governmental affairs recommendations
WHO MAY CONTRIBUTE TO OUR PAC? ISPLA-PAC can only receive Individual contributions. Corporate contributions are prohibited.
ARE CONTRIBUTIONS DEDUCTIBLE? Contributions to the ISPLA-PAC are not tax deductible.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS? Investigative and Security professionals access personal information on a daily basis. Limiting access to social security numbers, outsourcing personal information, preventing caller ID spoofing are only the tip of the iceberg. It has become clear that legislation can make or break a situation. When Investigative and Security professionals contribute to ISPLA-PAC, they are supporting candidates who have been endorsed by the PAC because of their stand on issues important to the profession. The support is given regardless of political affiliation, and instead focuses on improving our industry.
TO CONTRIBUTE TO ISPLA-PAC: Send your PERSONAL check made out to ISPLA-PAC to the following address:
235 N. Pine Street
Lansing MI 48933