Savings and Loan
I'm not a big contributor to PACs, but I'm a supporter of some. I've sat on some boards of some PACs.
The concept of PACs is not all bad. It helps us get our names in front of people. It's easier in this day and age to work as a group than as an individual. That's just the way things seem to work.
Special-interest groups get things done more readily. They do things for the person in the political office; then the next time you call, they know who you are.
As a matter of fact, the people that our little PAC contributes to, they don't ever hear from us. But they know who we are.
I don't like the system, but there's no way I can change the system. And the only way to get anything done is through political contributions.
I'd like to get rid of the guys who have tons and tons of money and can't wait to spend mine.
LOUISE M. POLICELLO
President and chief executive, Bank North
If donations are given, it's done on a personal basis by the officers and directors.
Our bank has been participating in the Wisconsin Bankers Association PAC.
The reason that we feel that's important is because it gives our industry a voice in Washington, far more than we could do with modest contributions.
By channeling that to a PAC that's run by people whose philosophies are expressed the way we believe, we feel we can reach our objectives.
It's not large amounts, let's say $300 to $500 annually. That's why we feel it's important that we run it through a group such as a PAC where the management represents the industry.
We've been quite satisfied that the people who are managing it are using the funds in a very responsible way, in a way that we agree with.
J. GILBERT SOUCIE
Glastonbury Bank and Trust Co.
The Connecticut PAC is bipartisan and spreads the money very evenly, so it's really just participating in the system that's in place now.
I do participate in the PAC, but I don't participate in contributions to individual candidates.
Probably my belief in the need for PACs is reflected in my level of contribution, which is very low. I don't think it has any material effect once the candidate is in office.
It's a standoff. For example, bankers contribute to candidates who might favor expanding bank powers with regard to insurance products. Meanwhile, the insurance industry may have its own PACs, supporting candidates who are opposed to that. It's a bit like spinning wheels. The process we have now does not always put the best and brightest in the office, but the one with the biggest war chest.
If there weren't any PACs, perhaps that would force reform.