Action Committee for Rural Electrification (ACRE)
ACRE is a political action committee for electric cooperative member-consumers who support safe, reliable, affordable energy. Together, we advocate for responsible energy policies in Washington, D.C. and Lansing.
Frequently Asked Questions
A PAC is a group of people with common goals who pool their money in order to financially support candidates running for elected office. A PAC supports political candidates who represent the interests and views of its members.
ACRE stands for the Action Committee for Rural Electrificaiton. It is the federal PAC of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). M-ACRE is the Michigan Action Committee for Rural Electrificaiton, representing the interests of electric co-ops here in Michigan.
Rural electric system employees and consumers need representatives in Congress who understand the important issues affecting rural electric cooperatives and who will fight for rural electric cooperative consumers. ACRE supports only the political candidates who will speak for, and protect the interests of electric cooperative systems nationwide.
When individuals join ACRE, they demonstrate their commitment to their cooperative and local community. Each individual ACRE contribution promotes the legislative objectives of the electric cooperative program and promotes a strong local consumer-owned electric cooperative focus.
Any of the following individuals are eligible to contribute to ACRE:
- Any cooperative consumer-owner (member)
- Salaried co-op employees with policy-making, managerial, professional, or supervisory responsibilities*
- Co-op directors
- Spouses and family of eligible individuals
*Does not include (i) professionals who are represented by a labor organization, or (ii) salaried foremen and other salaried lower level supervisors having direct supervision over hourly employees.
ACRE is a uniquely structured PAC funded with individual contributions ranging from $25 to $500 per year. While any contribution is accepted and appreciated, the official membership recognition levels are:
- Regular Membership: $25
- Century Club: $100
- President’s Club: $500
These suggested contribution levels will help the Michigan co-ops reach their ACRE contribution goals:
- Co-op Directors: $100 – $500
- President/CEO: $500
- Managers, Supervisors: $100 – $500
- Other Eligible Individuals: $25 – $100
The Internal Revenue Service has ruled that political contributions such as those to ACRE are not tax deductible.
The most important benefit that members receive is a voice in helping elect state and federal officials that will support their cooperative and their community. They also receive a distinctive lapel pin and the ACRE Action newsletter.
With the exception of a small federal tax payment of less than 1%, all funds contributed to ACRE go directly to the campaigns of candidates who support electric cooperatives. For every dollar contributed to ACRE in Michigan, 49 cents is returned to the M-ACRE to support candidates for state office.
ACRE follows established contribution procedures. Factors that determine financial support include: the candidate’s position on issues critical to electric cooperatives, their votes and public statements on these issues, the candidate’s committee assignments and leadership positions relative to the cooperatives, a candidate’s financial need, and the strength of his or her opponent. Members of the NRECA Government Relations staff meet weekly to discuss contributions to candidates, fundraising and political party events, grassroots electric cooperative participation in Washington, D.C., and state political events. NRECA’s staff, statewide managers and state ACRE committees then reach an agreement on which candidates should receive contributions.
No. The true power of ACRE is its ability to support candidates from all states. The laws and policies that affect electric cooperatives and the communities they serve often depend on votes by members of Congress from states or cities with few or no electric cooperatives. States with large electric cooperative representation and many contributors to ACRE help support candidates from states that have fewer electric cooperative systems and fewer ACRE contributors.
Yes. ACRE is bipartisan, supporting candidates based solely on their support for electric cooperative issues, regardless of political party affiliation.
The MECA team coordinates and participates in hundreds of outreach efforts with its member co-ops throughout the year. These efforts include everything from supporting local fundraiser events, to hosting elected officials at local co-op offices, to facilitating 6 to 8 outreach visits to Washington, D.C. with its members. All of these efforts are possible because of the close working relationship that the MECA team his buit with our elected officials over the years.
Contributions to ACRE are not tax deductible. All contributions to ACRE are voluntary and will be used for political purposes. Contribution guidelines are suggestions only. You may contribute more or less than the recommended amount. You may refuse to contribute without reprisal. Contributions may be stopped at any time upon notification to the cooperative. The Action Committee for Rural Electrification (ACRE) of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association qualifies as a multi-candidate committee and has been registered with the Federal Election Commission. A copy of our monthly report is filed with the Federal Election Commission and is available to the public at fec.gov.