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The Advocates: A Look into the World of Political Action Committees (PAC)

In an effort to be more transparent with our members and help you understand our direction around local policy, we wanted to discuss what a political action committee typically is, what our Chamber PAC specifically works on and how you can learn more about these efforts. Over the next couple of months, the Advocates PAC series will address the importance of endorsements, how to get involved and the critical role member contributions play in our PAC’s success.

What is a Political Action Committee?

A political action committee (PAC) raises and donates money to support or oppose candidates. PACs can also support ballot initiatives and legislation and can represent businesses and organizations, labor unions or ideological interests like school choice or immigration reform.

The Chamber’s PAC

Founded on September 15, 2000, the Chamber’s PAC was originally named “Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce Business Advocating Change PAC,” before the name was amended in 2019. The Chamber’s PAC is a separate organization governed by the PAC board. Chamber members sit on the PAC board, but their decisions are independent of the Chamber board.

Why does the Chamber have a PAC?

Every year is an election year in our region and the business community deserves to have access and influence on crucial decisions that impact our region for years to come. The Chamber’s PAC is an essential tool to support candidates that contribute to a positive business climate for the Charleston region’s business community.

The PAC interview process allows the PAC board to vet the candidates and determine their alignment with the Chamber’s key policy priorities. The interview process includes written questionnaire responses and an interview with one of the PAC interview teams. All filed candidates are invited to participate. In each case, the endorsed candidates seek the PAC endorsement and participate in the selection process. Endorsed candidates have strong alignment with the Chamber’s local and state policy priorities and a strong vision for the future of the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester region.

If you have any questions about political action committees or about our Chamber’s PAC specifically, please email me at bvincett@charlestonchamber.org and I’d be happy to help.

Bailey Vincett, Government Relations Coordinator
Posted on
April 8th 2022
Written by
Madison Beard