What is TUPAC?
Tennessee Utilities Political Action Committee (TUPAC) is a multi-candidate political action committee organized to raise funds and make contributions to candidates running for public office. Funds donated to TUPAC serve as contributions to the campaign funds of candidates who support the legislative initiatives and agendas of Tennessee’s water, sewer, and natural gas utilities.
How are Contributions Used?
TUPAC makes campaign contributions to persons who are candidates for seats in the House of Representatives and Senate of the Tennessee General Assembly who have been or will be supportive of TAUD positions on legislation of interest to TAUD members. Among other considerations, TUPAC makes contributions to legislators who serve on committees which handle legislation of importance to TAUD and makes contributions based upon the recommendations of TAUD lobbyists. While TUPAC can make a contribution to any candidate running for an elected position in Tennessee, TUPAC usually limits its contributions to candidates for state legislative offices. Contributions are used to cover any expenses incurred in TUPAC’s fundraising activities.
Why should I contribute to TUPAC?
Almost every year TAUD introduces one or more bills to further the interests of TAUD members. Over 3,000 bills are introduced during each two-year legislative session. Several of these bills can affect utilities, their board members, and employees. TAUD closely follows each bill of interest and works side-by-side with legislators to get bills passed, amended or withdrawn. TAUD’s efforts are greatly enhanced with the support of key legislators to whom it provides financial support. Through the funding provided by TUPAC and the efforts of TAUD members, the General Assembly sees TAUD as an important stakeholder in any proposed legislation affecting Tennessee’s utilities.
Who is eligible to make contributions?
All utility board members, managers, and employees are eligible to make contributions to TUPAC from personal funds. No utility funds from governmental utilities are used to make contributions. Associate members who are corporations or limited liability companies may make contributions to TUPAC with company funds. TUPAC is required by law to periodically report contributions received to the Registry of Election Finance. TUPAC must disclose certain information about contributors donating more than $100 during a reporting period. For the purpose of reporting, all contributions made during a reporting period are cumulative.
When and how can I contribute to TUPAC?
Contributions can be made at any time, but TUPAC encourages contributions be made in the early fall to give it sufficient funds to make contributions to candidates before the beginning of the legislative session each January. TUPAC raises funds by sponsoring TUPAC Golf Tournaments, Trap Shoots and Silent Actions. The net proceeds from these events benefit TUPAC. A utility may encourage its employees to make contributions to TUPAC by deducting small contributions from each paycheck which the utility will forward to TUPAC. Contributions can be made on the TUPAC webpage.