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Bylaws of Texas Rural Water Political Action Committee
(Last Amended on July 8, 2008)
The name of this organization shall be Texas Rural Water Political Action Committee, hereafter referred to as the "PAC”.
Principal Office and Address
The Principal Office of the PAC shall be located at 1616 Rio Grande Street in Austin, Texas.
The PAC shall be an individual-supported, voluntary, nonprofit, unincorporated committee operating as a separate, segregated fund (SSF) of the Texas Rural Water Association, a nonprofit corporation.
The PAC is not affiliated with any political party, and is to be operated in accordance with the provisions of Title 15 of the Texas Election Code and Title 11 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
Purposes and Powers
The PAC is organized and shall be operated exclusively for the following political purposes:
- To provide the opportunity for individuals interested in the future of the rural water and wastewater utility industry to contribute to the support of candidates for federal or state office who by their activities, personal conduct and record of performance have demonstrated their concern for and interest in promoting the principles to which this industry is dedicated.
- To help elect and keep in office federal and state public officials and candidates, without regard to party affiliation, who support legislative priorities that promote the development of Texas Rural Water.
- To promote political education and participation in the political process among members of the water and wastewater utility profession.
- To solicit, directly and indirectly, and accept, voluntary personal contributions, and to make expenditures and distributions in connection with the election of candidates to federal and state office in accordance with all applicable federal and state laws.
The PAC is authorized to solicit and accept contributions from any individual from whom contributions may be lawfully solicited. Foreign nationals (individuals who are not citizens of the United States, are not lawfully admitted for permanent residence or are foreign principals) are prohibited from contributing to the PAC.
The PAC shall not solicit nor accept any corporate contributions to be used for "direct contributions to state or federal candidates for public office”. However, corporate contributions may be accepted on a limited basis to pay for the administrative expenses and solicitation efforts of the PAC.
All contributions to the PAC are voluntary, and no contribution to the PAC shall be solicited or secured by physical force, job discrimination, or financial reprisal, or threat thereof, or as a condition of employment.
All funds shall be solicited with the intended political purpose of providing direct financial contributions to candidates for federal or state public office.
Federal law requires the PAC to use its best efforts to collect and report the name, mailing address, occupation and name of employer of individuals whose contributions exceed $200 in a calendar year. State law requires the PAC to report the name, mailing address, occupation and name of employer of individuals whose contributions exceed $10 in a calendar year.
Contributors to the PAC have no membership status in the PAC, and will not have any vested interest or property rights to the monies of the PAC, or voting rights as to any distributions made to candidates.
Contributions to the PAC are not deductible as charitable contributions for Federal income tax purposes.
Distributions to Candidates and Political Committees
Distribution of PAC funds will be made directly to individuals (or their campaign committees) who have publicly announced that they are candidates for nomination or election to federal or state elective public offices for use by such individuals to further their candidacies.
Distributions of PAC funds to candidates and other Political Action Committees shall be at the sole discretion of the Board of Trustees of the Committee.
All distributions made by the PAC shall be by check drawn on an account maintained by the PAC. No distribution shall be made if such distribution would in any way violate the provisions of the Federal Election Code, Texas Election Code or other applicable laws.
The Board of Trustees shall adopt operating policies and procedures with respect to the solicitation, collection and distribution of all contributions to the PAC. Such policies and procedures may be amended from time to time.
No distribution shall be made, by or on behalf of the PAC, without approval of a majority vote of the Trustees. However, the PAC Chairman and Treasurer are authorized to make distributions between meetings of the Trustees. A report of such distributions shall be made to the Trustees at the next meeting.
Separate Segregated Fund
All contributions to the PAC shall be maintained by the PAC as a separate segregated fund of the Texas Rural Water Association in one or more designated depositories. All distributions by the PAC in financial support of any candidate or political committee shall be made from the appropriate federal election activity account or state election activity account and no other source.
Board of Trustees
The governing body of the PAC shall be the Board of Trustees, composed of the TRWA Board President, the Executive Director of TRWA and at least three other individuals appointed by the TRWA Board President.
The Trustees shall establish basic guidelines and policies with respect to expenditures to be made by the PAC, and to direct distributions to specific candidates. The Trustees shall determine the procedures for collection and distribution of funds to the candidates and political committees that the PAC shall support and the amount of all expenditures and disbursements.
The officers of the PAC shall be the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Treasurer.
The Chairman and Vice Chairman of the PAC shall be appointed annually by the TRWA Board President.
The Chairman shall preside at all meetings of the Trustees and shall provide leadership, guidance and direction to the political purpose and activities of the PAC.
The Vice-Chairman shall act as Chairman in the absence of the Chairman, and when so acting shall have all the power and authority of the Chairman.
The Treasurer shall be the Executive Director of the TRWA. The Treasurer shall be the chief financial officer of the PAC and shall be responsible for the collection and reporting of all contributions and disbursements in accordance with all applicable requirements of federal and state laws. In addition, the Treasurer shall administer the day to day operations of the PAC, shall keep full and accurate records of all account transactions, shall present financial statements, and shall prepare, sign and file all reports to the governmental authorities as required by law.
An Assistant Treasurer may be appointed by the Trustees to act in the absence of the Treasurer, and when so acting shall have all the power and authority of the Treasurer.
The Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer shall be bonded.
The Trustees shall meet at least three times each year, including an annual meeting to be held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the Texas Rural Water Association.
Special meetings of the Trustees may be called at anytime at the discretion of the Chairman or upon the written request of four (4) Trustees. Special meetings may be held in person or by telephone conference calls.
A majority of the Trustees present at a regular or called meeting shall constitute a quorum for transacting business.
Books, Records and Finances
The PAC shall maintain two primary financial accounts. One account shall be for contributions and distributions related to federal election activity and another account for contributions and distributions for state election activity. The state PAC account may act as a "collecting agent” for contributions to the federal PAC account. Otherwise, the PAC may not transfer funds between the two accounts.
The PAC shall allocate the total amount of contributions received in a solicitation effort by placing 20% of the eligible contributions in the federal PAC account and 80% in the state PAC account unless the donor designates a specific account and/or amount for his/her donation.
The PAC shall keep accurate and timely financial records of all transactions. The Treasurer shall present a quarterly financial report to the Trustees on the balances in the federal and state PAC accounts.
The funds of the PAC shall be deposited to the credit of the PAC in such banks and depositories as the Trustees may select. All PAC checks shall be signed by the Treasurer of the Texas Rural Water Association and the Treasurer of the PAC.
The fiscal year is January 1 – December 31.
Amendments to Bylaws
These bylaws may be amended from time to time by a majority vote of the Trustees.
The PAC may be dissolved at any time by the majority vote of the Trustees. In the event of such dissolution, all funds contained in the PAC’s federal and state accounts shall be distributed in accordance with applicable federal and state law.