Answers to MAPE PAC questions
Q: Why is MAPE involved in politics at all?
A: MAPE is involved with politics because our employment salaries, benefits and working conditions are determined by legislative action. Although the governor appoints agency commissioners and negotiates with us during negotiations, it is the legislature that must ratify our contract. Based upon that authority, they can directly impact our pensions, outsourcing of our positions, and alter our collective bargaining rights. The legislature also funds individual agency budgets, which impacts our ability to provide quality services to the state of Minnesota. To protect the rights of our employees to join together and have a collective voice in the process, we must be active at both the Capitol and the ballot box.
Q: Why should I give money to the PAC? Don’t my membership dues go to candidates already?
A: Minnesota law prohibits membership dues from being used to contribute to candidates. All PAC donations are voluntary paycheck deductions spent in support of MAPE-endorsed candidates running for state-level positions. Because there is no federal PAC, MAPE cannot contribute to federal races and generally does not get involved in any races beyond state-level, unless there is a special circumstance.
Q: What is the process for endorsing candidates?
A: The MAPE PAC screens candidates at their request; the PAC does not seek out candidates to endorse. Once a candidate has requested a screening, an invite to all other pro-labor candidates involved in that particular race is sent out. The PAC asks candidates questions regarding MAPE priorities specific to that office, as well as questions regarding their campaign. The PAC Board may vote to endorse, not endorse, or defer endorsement until a later time. The PAC also has an automatic endorsement process for incumbent legislators who have a lifetime voting record of 90 percent or higher. The voting record is calculated from the legislative session vote scores, which are informed by the MAPE legislative priorities. In extraordinary circumstances, the PAC may vote to withhold an incumbent's automatic endorsement.
Q: How can I join the PAC Board?
A: Whenever a position opens up on the 9 member board, MAPE will post the vacancy on the webpage, social media, and in the newsletter. The staff liaison keeps a running list of inquiries in the interim. In the odd-numbered years, the expectations are relatively small; the PAC meets as needed, which tends to be once every other month or so. During election years, however, the PAC Board meets at least every month to hold endorsement screenings and conduct other business. The PAC Board is also expected to participate in door knocks and phone banks to help get the MAPE-endorsed candidates elected. This can result in 2-8 hour weekly commitments.
If you have any questions not answered above, please contact Devin Bruce at firstname.lastname@example.org.