CORONADO, CALIF. — Two political action committees in California are accelerating fund-raising efforts en route to backing candidates in the November elections. A mid-June reporting deadline will provide early report cards on their progress.
The long-standing state PAC affiliated with the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. kept busy interacting with legislators in the state capital of Sacramento on April 26 and has retained Curt Pringle & Associates of Irvine, Calif., to advise on which political candidates to back. Pringle, a Republican and former state Assembly leader, left his elected office because of term limits.
"In the past, we used Ralph Heim with the APC, but we lost that resource," said Ed Laird, the SPI PAC chairman and president of Coatings Resource Corp. in Huntington Beach, Calif.
The industry's second PAC in the state, Plastics California, was formed in recent months with support from the American Plastics Council and has gained significant financial backing from the California Film Extruders and Converters Association of Newport Beach and individual CFECA members.
APC is based in Arlington, Va., and has an active regional government relations office in Sacramento. Heim, who lives in Sacramento, advises Plastics California on political strategy.
Washington-based SPI runs its California PAC from the SPI Western Regional Office in Irvine, Calif.
During the regional conference, the SPI PAC held a May 12 breakfast meeting and heard remarks from Darrell Issa, the Republican nominee in the state's open 48th congressional district in parts of San Diego and Orange counties.
Later, Laird reported on SPI PAC activities. Thirty-two people from 27 companies participated in SPI's Sacramento day. They toured the capitol, visited 22 legislators' offices presenting clear- plastic paperweight momentos and attended a reception that attracted 30 legislators.
"It is very tough to raise dollars in this industry," Laird said. "We need the dollars so we can help the business-friendly politicians get elected."
In an interview, Laird indicated that an initial SPI PAC mailing was "disappointing" in results. "People are confused about the rhetoric in our industry," he said.