December 2012

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Poli ics Politics Politics i AED's fingerprints were evident all over this year's hard-fought election, and the impact of the association's efforts will prove far from futile. In fact, a record-breaking year for AED PAC has further enhanced the equipment industry's political profile, positioning us for both immediate influence – and in 2014. BY CHRISTIAN A. KLEIN By now, almost everything that can be said about the 2012 elections has been. The results maintained the status quo: Obama's still in the White House, Democrats are still running the Senate (with a couple extra seats), and Republicans are still in control of the House of Representatives (with a handful fewer seats). But the story you might not have heard is the role AED's political action committee (AED PAC) played during this election cycle. Thanks to the participation and support from equipment leaders around the country, we broke all prior records for AED's political program. In addition to supporting House candidates from around the country, AED played a more visible role than ever before in several of the most competitive Senate races and, for the first time, was intimately involved in the presidential race. Not every race turned out the way we wanted, but thanks to member engagement and our PAC activities, the industry's political profile grew significantly this year. Because AED was so visible during the elections, candidates have a better understanding of our industry than ever before. That means the association will be well positioned to represent your interests in the next Congress. All told, more than 80 percent of the congressional candidates AED PAC supported in the general election won The Man Who Would Be Chairman: A Snapshot Of Rep. Bill Shuster As planning for the 113th Congress gets underway, Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) has emerged as a top candidate for chairmanship of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. The current chairman of T&I's Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous material, Shuster easily won re-election this year to his sixth term representing Pennsylvania's 9th District. He is a close ally of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and emerged as an important player during the MAP-21 debate. Shuster has said that if he becomes chairman, transportation investment will be a top priority and that he won't be afraid to think outside the box about how to pay for it. Transportation policy is in Shuster's blood. Many of our readers may remember that his father, Rep. Bud Shuster, was chairman of the T&I Committee during the glory days of the 1990s when federal highway investment increased dramatically. The elder Shuster took a no-holds-barred approach to legislating. Though a Republican, he worked well with Democratic members of his committee and rolled his own party's leadership on occasion by building bipartisan coalitions. The current Rep. Shuster is regarded as somewhat more low-key and less willing to ruffle feathers. How he'll conduct himself when/if he becomes chairman remains to be seen. (continued on page 40) 38 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | December 2012

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