Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Political Action Committee?
Political Action Committees (PACs) are an organized way for like-minded individuals to collectively make political contributions to political candidates.
Why should I contribute to the PAC instead of directly to a candidate?
It's not an either/or. You can contribute to a specific candidate and to a PAC. Your donation to a candidate shows your support for his/her agenda. Your donation to a PAC shows your support for the goals and agenda put forth by the PAC or the constituency it represents. The strength of the ALCPAC demonstrates to candidates the political engagement of the Arab American community, and draws greater attention to our collective interests and concerns.
How much can I contribute?
Individuals may contribute up to $5,000 per year to a PAC. Married couples can contribute $5,000 each to a PAC. The ALCPAC accepts contributions from $10 - $5,000.
How much can my company contribute?
By federal law, PACs cannot accept corporate contributions, or contributions drawn on a corporate account. Only contributions from personal accounts can be accepted.
Can I charge my contribution?
Yes, ALCPAC accepts VISA and MasterCard. Please be sure that the card being used is a personal, not a corporate, card.
When was the ALCPAC established?
Arab American Leadership PAC was formed in 1996 to support candidates for federal office. It was renamed the ALCPAC in 2002.
Does the ALCPAC contribute to Democratic or to Republican candidates?
The ALCPAC is bipartisan. It contributes to the campaigns of qualified candidates who support the Arab American community, work on our issues, and address our concerns—regardless of party affiliation.
How does the ALCPAC determine which candidates receive contributions?
Priority is given to candidates of Arab descent, congressional candidates with strong support in the Arab American community and congressional incumbents who have strong ties to our ethnic constituency or policy concerns.
Does ALCPAC contribute to state and federal campaigns?
Where state laws permits, the ALCPAC can contribute to candidates at the local and state level, but largely contributes to federal campaigns.
Does ALCPAC contribute to Presidential campaigns?
Because of the large pool of congressional candidates and growing number of Arab American campaigns at all levels, the PAC's resources are not geared toward presidential campaigns.
Can I direct my contribution to a particular candidate?
No, all contributions are pooled in a central fund, which is distributed based on the vote of the ALCPAC Board. We do welcome the input of our supporters, and will consider all donor recommendations during deliberation.
How much money does the ALCPAC contribute annually?
Most federal PACs have a 2-year election cycle (e.g., 2009-2010) and the majority of contributions are made in years when federal elections take place. The ALCPAC's total distributions during an election cycle depends on the amount raised, ranging from as little as $2,500 to more than $100,000. On average, 95% of all contributions to the ALCPAC go back out as contributions to campaigns.
Does the ALCPAC have a Board and staff?
The ALCPAC is governed by a Treasurer, who is legally responsible for the activities of the ALCPAC, and a volunteer board made up of those who contribute $5,000 to the ALCPAC per election cycle. Dr. James J. Zogby has served as the Treasurer of the ALCPAC since its inception. The ALCPAC does not employ staff; all work is done by volunteers.
Paid for by the Arab American Leadership Council PAC (www.alcpac.org), and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.