In August of 2006, the Michigan Association of Fire Chiefs created a Political Action Committee or PAC for short. Every industry, association, or political cause has a PAC. The leadership of the MAFC has taken the approach that we want to increase our legislative influence in Lansing. Every member of the MAFC Executive Board has contributed. These contributions must be made with a personal check or personal credit card, and are not tax-deductible.
With the advent of term limits, lobbyists and Political Action Committees have played a large part in getting things done in Lansing. In 2006, the Michigan Legislature passed a series of bills that created the Bureau of Fire Services. The creation of the Bureau of Fire Services would not be possible without the consensus and cooperation of the entire Michigan fire service. PAC’s did play a part in the process. The Michigan State Firefighters Union PAC contributed funds to senators and representatives that helped our cause. Without their help, we couldn’t have moved these bills forward. If the firefighters union in Michigan understands that they can influence politics with a PAC, why can’t we?
Some of you may be asking yourself that all we are doing is buying votes. Unfortunately, this is how business gets done in Lansing. Whoever influences our elected officials the most, will get their cause passed. PAC contributions help in this process. Wouldn’t it be great if the first phone call that any legislator makes on a fire service issue would be to the MAFC?
The MAFC Board also created a PAC Committee. This Committee has a representative from each regional chief’s organization and the treasurer and non-voting committee record keeper. This Committee will decide as a group on the distribution of PAC Funds.
PAC Fund Contribution