RADPAC Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I don’t pay too much attention to politics so why should I make a political contribution?

A. A philosopher once said, “not to decide is to decide.”  If you decide to participate in RADPAC, you will be joining your colleagues in promoting our shared political interests.  If you don’t decide anything and leave it to others, then you have also made a decision.  You have decided to let others determine the political fate of our profession.  That’s a risk we can’t afford to take.

Q. I know that political involvement is important, but I care deeply about a lot of issues other than those that affect radiology.  Will RADPAC support any candidates who favor abortion? (or gun control, nuclear freeze, etc.)

A. I can’t guarantee that you will agree with every position on every issue that candidates supported by RADPAC may take.  What I can guarantee you is that every candidate supported will understand the concerns and interests you share with your colleagues.  That is the only reason that RADPAC exists.  We have to recognize that although these highly controversial social issues are important, they are not the reason RADPAC exists.  We are not all Democrats, and we are all not Republicans.  We are not all pro-life, and we are not all pro-choice.  These issues divide us.  The only thing we all are is radiologists.  RADPAC was not created to divide us.  It was created to bring us together – to work on behalf of those issues that we all share as professionals.

Q. Why is RADPAC important to the ACRa and to members like me?

A. RADPAC’s growth in size and presence is very important as Congress will address many issues affecting radiology such as mammography reimbursement; Medicare reform; patient safety; medical liability; and reauthorization of the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA). It is critical for radiology as a profession to have its voice heard on Capitol Hill through a bipartisan political action committee that supports Members of Congress and candidates running for Congress who are helpful to the radiology community.

Q. How does RADPAC spend the money it receives from contributors like myself?

A. All individual contributions made by members of the ACRa to RADPAC are considered “hard dollars”. RADPAC uses these hard dollars only for the purpose of making contributions to candidates running for Federal office, to national political parties and other political action committees.

Q. How does RADPAC pay for administrative expenses and events such as the RADPAC Gala?

A. RADPAC uses a combination of general operating funds budgeted in the ACRa Government Relations department along with funds referred to as “soft money” which comes from contributions made by group practices or corporate sources.

Q. How does RADPAC decide which campaigns to contribute money to?

A. RADPAC looks at several factors before making a decision on which Federal campaigns to contribute to, including: the viability of their candidacy, the candidate’s professional background, their presence on committees of jurisdiction, their votes on various health-related legislation that impact radiology, and their level of leadership within their political party.

Q. Will RADPAC support lawmakers who vote against our interests?  I don’t want my money going to them.

A. This can happen.  Some lawmakers might be opposed to us on one issue, but be our most active proponents on another issue.  And of course, we always hope to be able to change their views or at least have the opportunity to present our positions on the issues before they vote.

Q. I already make contributions to candidates for Federal office, why should I make a contribution to RADPAC?

A. RADPAC encourages members of the ACRa to get involved in campaigns, particularly when a member of the ACRa has a personal relationship with a Member of Congress or candidate for Federal office. The advantage of also contributing to RADPAC is that when RADPAC makes a contribution to a candidate’s campaign, it sends a strong, collective message that the members of the ACRa are an involved and active group who merit the candidate’s attention on issues important to healthcare and more specifically the profession of radiology.

Q. How much money can RADPAC contribute to a campaign and how does this compare to how much I personally can give to a candidate’s campaign?

A. The law allows RADPAC to contribute $5,000 to a candidate per election in an  election cycle – with the primary, runoff and general elections counting as separate elections. This means that RADPAC could give as much as $15,000 per candidate if the candidate participates in a primary, runoff and general election. Individuals can give no more than $2,300 to a candidate per election.    

Q. How much money can I contribute to RADPAC?

A. An individual may contribute up to $5,000 per year to a Political Action Committee (PAC) such as RADPAC. Contributions are voluntary and are not tax-deductible.  

Q. How can I contribute to RADPAC?

A. An individual has several options when deciding to contribute to RADPAC.  An individual could (1) write a personal check, (2) contribute with their Visa, Mastercard, Discover or American Express credit card (3) make an online contribution at www.radpac.org, (4) sign up for a periodic contribution from their credit card on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual basis or (5) use the electronic wire transfer option – this is often worked out with a group or practice’s business manager as a bank to bank transfer of funds. Contribution forms are available online at www.radpac.org or by calling RADPAC at 1-888-295-8843.

Q. Can our group practice make a contribution to RADPAC?

A. RADPAC can accept contributions from a group practice; however such contributions are considered to be from a corporate source and, therefore, cannot be used as contributions from RADPAC to a candidate for Federal office. RADPAC can use these funds – referred to as “soft money” – for administrative expenses only.

Q. Can RADPAC give money to state elected officials?

A. Each state has its own specific laws regarding the permissibility of federal PAC funds for state elected officials. Since RADPAC was formed with the intent to support candidates for Federal office RADPAC does not make contributions to state elected officials. RADPAC has information on its Web site (www.radpac.org) on how chapters can form a State PAC in order to support state or local candidates.

Q. Can I request RADPAC to make a contribution to a candidate for Federal office?

A. RADPAC encourages members of the ACRa to become actively engaged in the political process and welcomes requests from members of the ACRa for RADPAC to support a particular Federal candidate. RADPAC will consider your request based on its candidate contribution guidelines described above. If RADPAC determines that it will make a contribution to a candidate’s campaign at your request, it will likely ask you to personally deliver the check to the candidate on behalf of RADPAC. RADPAC keeps a list of members of the ACRa who have personally delivered RADPAC checks to candidates.

Q. I hear all the time that PACs are trying to buy Congress.  Is this true?

A. Absolutely not.  PACs, like political parties, are simply groups of like-minded individuals who pool their resources to achieve a common goal.  RADPAC supports candidates for political office who share our basic philosophy and values on the issues that affect us.  They know what issues are important to us as radiologists and when critical votes on these issues arise, they vote their convictions.

Q. What is the difference between ACR and ACRa?

A. The ACR is currently incorporated as a 501(c)(3) organization. Called (c)(3)s for short, such organizations are devoted exclusively to charitable, educational or scientific endeavors. The Internal Revenue Service prohibits (c)(3)s from getting involved in political campaigns or fundraising and limits the amount of money they can spend on lobbying.

Therefore, the College has established a nonprofit professional organization under Section 501(c)(6) of the tax code. Such (c)(6) organizations are designed to promote the interests of their members. Most professional medical organizations are (c)(6)s, for example. This (c)(6) organization, the ACR Association (ACRa) will allow radiology to significantly increase its advocacy and lobbying efforts. The ACR will continue to be a (c)(3) organization focused on its educational and quality-enhancement missions.

Q. How will I know what RADPAC is doing?

A. All RADPAC contributors will receive a quarterly newsletter, a monthly email with RADPAC news and figures and can visit the RADPAC website at www.radpac.org to see more information on RADPAC’s political activities, a list of candidates supported, comparison charts, informational pieces and contribution options and forms.

Q. How do I find out more information about RADPAC?

A. You can contact Ted Burnes, director of RADPAC, at 703.648.8949 or via email at: tburnes@acr.org or Laura Henry, Administrator at 703.716-7543, or via email at: lhenry@acr.org.