Business Industry Political Action Committee
The Business Industry Political Action Committee (BIPAC) is a political action committee (PAC) that aims to help companies influence their employees' votes. According to a 2014 report by Slate, BIPAC does engage in the traditional activities of a PAC by donating directly to political campaigns, but its main aim "is to turn as many private employers as possible into “employee political education” machines for business interests." BIPAC's slogan is "When Business Votes, Business Wins."
According to its website, BIPAC has two components:
- The BIPAC corporation, referred to as the Business Institute for Political Analysis or Institute is the primary core of BIPAC operations and is totally supported by corporate donations of its business and association members. The Institute provides business with political research and analysis through publications, conferences and consulting. Contributions to the Institute are not tax deductible as charitable contributions but may be deductible as an ordinary business expense to the extent the law allows. ...
- BIPAC also maintains a separate federal political action committee referred to as the Action Fund. Action Fund revenues are derived solely from the voluntary contributions of individuals and other corporate and association political action committees from around the Nation.
Although BIPAC president Greg Casey said his organization only tells business employees "how the issues impact them," and not who to vote for, he has been quoted as saying that 2004 Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's choice of John Edwards as his running mate "is a statement to the business community that 'you don't count'," and calling Kerry "not a business candidate. He hasn't even pretend (sic) to be."
BIPAC was formed in August 1963 as "the first business PAC." Its initial funding and staff came from the National Association of Manufacturers. In the 1980s, BIPAC began producing "a monthly report on politics and political races, known today as Elections Insight, and a now-popular series of Washington Briefings" in addition to holding "formal briefings across the country." In the 1990s, BIPAC created the "PAC Council - providing companies with a rich set of resources with which to invigorate corporate PACs and integrate them more firmly at all levels of political decision-making" and started awarding Adam Smith Awards, to recognize "individuals in business and politics whose actions exemplify Adam Smith's concept of the link between free enterprise and a democratic society." BIPAC formed Project 2000 (now known as the Prosperity Project) "to lead the business community out of the era of huge 'soft money' donations and into a new way of doing political business - working at the grass roots to marshal the vast army of American workers in support of the people and policies that advance their jobs, their investments, and their industries."
In July 2004, Advertising Age reported:
- Exxon Mobil, PPG Industries, Caterpillar, Household International and half the Fortune 100 corporations have signed on with a program that pushes their companies' views of political candidates to employees via Web sites and interoffice e-mails.
- The Business Industry Political Action Committee's "Prosperity Project" program targets 20 million employees in battleground states. The committee is especially concerned about confirmation of pro-business judges and has focused most of its attention on congressional races.
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Email: info AT bipac.org
- John K. Waters, "Intel, Oracle boost Liberty Alliance," ADTmag.com, July 27, 2004.
- Ira Teinowitz, "Office E-mail Used To Market Political Views To Employees," Advertising Age, July 26, 2004.
- "Liberty Alliance Expands Membership Base with Ten New Sponsor Members," press release from The Liberty Alliance, July 19, 2004.
- Thomas B. Edsall, "Edwards Brings Lawyer Support: Millions Were Raised From Firms," Washington Post, July 8, 2004.
- Spencer Woodman, "Office Politics: Inside the PAC teaching corporate America how to make its employees vote for the right candidates and causes," Slate, October 15, 2014. Accessed October 29, 2014.
- BIPAC, Homepage, organizational website, accessed October 29, 2014.