The Public Affairs Council’s 2019 National PAC Conference just wrapped up in Miami with a record turnout of nearly 450 professionals in attendance who came to learn the latest approaches for successful PAC engagement and share ideas with the profession’s strongest peer community.
New this year was an awards gala to honor the top campaigns and programs in the field. The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons won in the Outstanding Association PAC category and International Paper won in the Outstanding Corporate PAC category. Read more about the winning campaigns here. The latest class of graduates in the Council’s certificate program were also honored.
Session highlights include a panel on the state of campaign finance and the future of PACs as more and more candidates take a “no PAC money” pledge. Panelists Kate Ackley Zeller (CQ Roll Call), Rick Hasen (University of California Irvine) and Steve Roberts (Holtzman Vogel Josefiak) and moderator Doug Pinkham (Public Affairs Council) noted that corporate PACs are a target by politicians because it has the optics of something tangible for candidates. The panelists agreed that the small-dollar donor trend will continue.
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Inside Election’s Nathan Gonzales @nathanlgonzales shared insights on early trends shaping the 2020 elections, noting that while the presidential election will suck up all the oxygen, the House and Senate are both very much in play as both parties struggle to define and solidify their identity. A big announcement during the conference was that the Public Affairs Council is partnering with Gonzales to deliver content to Council members as a senior political analyst, including authoring a column in their monthly newsletter Impact.