While 2020 has been challenging and the future will undoubtedly contain more trials as the pandemic continues, I’m pleased to report that AED has been impacting the political process as well as providing the industry with access to leading lawmakers and candidates so that we can make educated decisions at the ballot box.
AED’s Political Action Committee (PAC) is integral to the association’s ability to impact the election. The AED PAC allows our members to pool personal, voluntary contributions to support candidates seeking federal elective office. It is a tool to increase the effectiveness of the association’s government affairs program by helping to elect federal candidates that support common policy goals.
Despite it being a challenging time to raise contributions, the AED PAC is on the verge of its largest fundraising year in history. Notably, the AED PAC has also distributed campaign support to a bipartisan group of House and Senate candidates from across the country that share AED’s pro-growth policy agenda. Thank you to everyone who has supported the AED PAC in 2020.
A hallmark of AED’s government affairs program is the opportunity to hear directly from elected officials and those seeking office. Of course, COVID-19 made in-person meetings challenging. Despite the obstacles, AED members from across the country have participated in nearly 50 AED-organized virtual and face-to-face (albeit socially distanced) events with lawmakers and candidates. Speakers and Honorable guest have included House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), to name a few.
Although we’d much rather have been in Washington for the annual Fly-In, AED put together two insightful events to educate the industry about the elections and the potential impact on our companies. In September, the Washington Policy Briefing featured panel discussions with government affairs representatives and leading OEMs and lobbyists representing several customer associations. It also included in-depth nonpartisan insights from a leading election analyst, Nathan Gonzalez.
Several days after the polls closed, AED hosted a post-election event with David Wasserman, a nationally recognized election expert, to examine the results and their impact on the industry.
AED provided its members with top-notch resources and information during the 2020 election season, and I’m confident the association will be successful in Washington.