2010 News

How does the Mass Nurses Political Action Committee work?

02.15.2010

Political Action Committees, or PACs, raise and spend money to help elect or defeat political candidates. Many years ago, the MNA formed the Mass Nurses PAC as its political action committee. This is a state PAC that supports local, state legislative and statewide candidates like state representative, state senator or governor.

How does the PAC decide who gets endorsed?

Political endorsements are often controversial, so the Mass Nurses PAC uses a thorough and rigorous evaluation process to decide who gets endorsed and who doesn’t.

The PAC closely reviews the voting records of incumbent legislators seeking re-election.

For candidates without a voting record to review, the PAC sends a detailed questionnaire. Candidates who want the endorsement are required to complete the questionnaire in its entirety.

The PAC reviews the questionnaire, and then conducts a rigorous interview with promising candidates. The PAC doesn’t endorse in every race—sometimes they elect to stay neutral.

The PAC is always interested in the views of local nurses when making an endorsement, so if you have an opinion about your elected officials, you should let us know.

For federal offices, like Congress or President of the United States, and for statewide offices like governor or attorney general, the PAC is not the final decision maker. In those races, the PAC makes recommendations to the MNA Board of Directors, which makes the final decision.

Who is on the Mass Nurses PAC?

There are 21 seats on the PAC board. Each seat serves for a two-year term. This includes:

  • Four elected officers
  • 10 at-large elected members
  • Seven appointed seats

How are the elected seats filled?

Any voting MNA member in good standing can run for a seat on the PAC.

Every year at convention, the PAC conducts its own business meeting and election. All members of the MNA in good standing are automatically members of the PAC and can vote in PAC elections.

How are the appointed seats filled?

  • MNA President
  • Chair of Congress on Health Policy and Legislation
  • Each of the five Regional Councils appoint one representative

What happens once a candidate gets an endorsement?

We do all that we can to help the candidate win. This may include:

  • Organize RNs in the district
  • Send direct mail to RNs in the district
  • Send direct mail to the general public
  • Make phone calls to RNs
  • Make phone calls to the general public
  • Make a financial contribution from the PAC
  • Place ads in the local paper
  • Turn out volunteers to work on the campaign

How can you get involved and help make the Mass Nurses PAC powerful?

  • Contribute to the PAC financially! By pooling lots of small donations from our members, we can make a big difference in who gets elected.
  • By law, PAC money is separate from your dues.
  • Run for a seat on the PAC and help decide which candidates get endorsed.
  • Once an endorsement is made, participate in helping to elect a candidate.

Having a strong and vibrant PAC helps the MNA gain political strength and helps us grow into even more powerful organization. To get more involved please contact Maryanne McHugh, associate director of legislation and government affairs at the MNA at 781. 830.5713.

FPO