Council Launches Initiative to Create Mega PAC

by Don Rodriguez

Anyone who follows the shaping of public policy in Arizona no doubt notices the voice of the Arizona Technology Council continuously grows stronger. An example is its annual Public Policy Guide, which lays out its agenda to state and federal lawmakers in addition to Council members.

To support this massive agenda, the Council is taking the next step. While it has had a state political action committee (PAC) in place for the past six years, the organization is moving toward creating a mega PAC in Arizona.

Besides the Public Policy Guide, the Council also publishes its biennial Vote TechSmart guide, which endorses candidates who support issues critical to the technology industry in each of Arizona’s 30 legislative districts. PACs are used to enable investing in the kind of candidates who support the agenda that the technology industry cares about, says Steven G. Zylstra, the Council’s president and CEO. “It’s about helping those people get elected so the leaders that favor the tech industry are the ones making the decisions at the Legislature,” he says. “And a PAC is an essential component of that.”

To obtain status of mega PAC (formerly known as a super PAC) in Arizona, a PAC needs to receive at least $10 in contributions from each of at least 500 individuals in the four-year period immediately preceding filing an application with the secretary of state. An applicant that demonstrates it meets mega PAC requirements is granted the status, which is valid for four years.

The Council’s PAC contributes to political candidates in alignment with its positions in the policy areas of:

  • Technology commercialization and development
  • Workforce development
  • Supply-chain development
  • Capital formation
  • Research & development and economic sustainability
  • Education
  • Reduced business tax burden and tax credits

Contributors to the Council’s PAC can be members, their staff and their families, as well as Council employees and their families. Funds must be from personal sources, not companies.

To contribute, checks should be made out to the Arizona Technology Council State PAC, then mailed to Arizona Technology Council, 2800 N. Central Ave., Suite 1920, Phoenix, AZ 85004. Or call the Council’s director of finance at 602-343-8324.

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