Co-op Owners for Political Action
ACRE - Action Committee for Rural Electrification
The Action Committee for Rural Electrification® (ACRE)® is the political action committee (PAC) of the nation's electric cooperatives. Founded in 1966 by the approximately 1,000 cooperatives of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), it supports candidates for state and federal office - those in office now and running for office - who will speak for and protect the interests of electric cooperatives and their member-owners.
Electric co-ops are facing many legislative issues that will affect the future operations of the cooperative and the rates paid by co-op members. One way you can help is by joining the ACRE Co-op Owners for Political Action (COPA) program, which provides a convenient way for member-owners to participate in the political affairs of their co-op. The participation of member-owners helps ensure the voice of electric cooperatives remains strong and effective in the political arena.
More than 34,000 employees and boards of directors across the country are helping their electric co-ops as ACRE members. Member-owners can help by joining COPA to participate in a nationwide grassroots community with a strong collective voice working on behalf of electric cooperatives and their members. By joining, members will receive current information on legislative and political issues affecting local electric cooperatives and their members, including the ACRE Newsletter, and receive a membership pin.
Contributions are used to help educate elected representatives about issues affecting your co-op and you, and to explain how proposed legislation could harm or help rural electric consumers and their cooperatives. For more information, please contact Vice President of Consumer Affairs, Robert Behlke, at 877-892-0001 ext. 8553.
COPA is our best tool to get the attention of decision makers in Minnesota and across the country, and to ensure the cooperative business model thrives. Just $25 a year makes you part of this voice for electric cooperatives. There are two easy ways to participate: you may fill out the form online, then print it out and send along with a check to: COPA, Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services, PO Box 611, Albert Lea MN 56007, or you may pay through your monthly electric bill by filling out the form online and clicking "Submit".
Click here to use our online sign-up form.
Together we will continue to fight for a viable environment for electric cooperatives and the quality of life they bring to your community. Visit the Congressional Action Center if you would like to send an email to your representative and senators.
What is a Political Action Committee?
The law allows individuals with common interests to pool their resources using PACs in order to make political contributions to candidates for state and federal office. Candidates who receive a substantial contribution from ACRE get an important message about your interest in your local community's electric cooperative.
Are Contributions Tax-Deductible?
No. The IRS has ruled all political contributions, such as those to COPA, are not tax deductible.
Where Does My Contribution Go?
With the exception of a small federal tax payment of less than 1%, all contributions to COPA go directly to the campaigns of candidates for political office. A portion of your contribution (about half) may be refunded to your state electric cooperative PAC to support candidates for state office. Contributions go legislators who are favorable to co-op initiatives regardless of party affiliation.
Who Determines How These Contributions Are Made?
Factors that determine financial support include the candidate's position on issues critical to electric co-ops, as well as votes and public statements on these issues; the candidate's committee assignments and leadership positions and his or her relative importance to cooperatives; and a candidate's financial need and the strength of his or her opponent. The political affiliation is never taken into account.