Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/425123
24 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | December 2014 Election Analysis ImPACTful Investments How did AED PAC-supported candidates do on Election Day 2014? Extremely well. Of the 73 candidates who received AED PAC contributions this cycle, only 11 lost (either in contested primaries or on Election Day). Of the eight candidates who lost on Nov. 4, six were pro-business Democrats (most of whom had strong ties to AED members in their home states), one was a Republican House incumbent, and the other was a strong GOP candidate in a Democrat- controlled open seat. Our PAC money this cycle was split between 64 House and nine Senate candidates from 29 states. In addition to supporting individual candidates, AED also contributed this cycle to the Republican Main Street Partnership and the New Democratic Coalition, which respectively work to elect centrist Republicans and Democrats to Congress. While most of the AED PAC contributions were in the $1,000 to $2,500 range, some candidates received more than others. The top AED PAC support recipient was Rep. Cory Garder (R), who successfully challenged and beat an incumbent Democrat for one of Colorado's U.S. Senate seats in one of the most watched races of the cycle. A former congressional staffer and two-term congressman, Rep. Gardner is perceived as one of the brightest rising stars in the Republican Party. He is a champion for responsible energy development and has close ties to AED members in his home state. He also grew up work- ing at his family's equipment dealership. Between his general election and primary, Gardner received $7,000 from AED PAC (the maximum allowable to a candidate per election cycle is $10,000 - $5,000 for the general and $5,000 for the primary). AED's longstanding philosophy is that whenever possible, PAC contri- butions should be presented by AED members directly to candidates "back home" in their state or district. These ImPACt meetings help strengthen the ties between elected officials and equipment industry leaders. Put another way, the ImPACt program is the glue that cements relationships between the dealers and their lawmakers. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), McConnell may be a more successful and effective leader. Say goodbye to moderate Democrats. The big losers in this year's elections were moderate Democrats. Ironically, this year's election outcomes will strengthen the Democratic Party's liberal wing on Capitol Hill. Several House and Senate Demo- crats with good voting records on business issues were defeated, while others read the electorate's mood early and decided to retire. For evidence of the waning strength of centrist Democrats, look no further than the House Blue Dog Democrat coalition. A decade ago it was an important politi- cal force that could make or break legislation. But eight of the 113th Congress' 19 Blue Dogs won't be returning next year, leaving the once-influential group on life support. Handed the car keys, GOP must now prove it can drive. The last Congress was the least productive in U.S. history and punted a number of issues to next year. With presidential elections on the horizon, the GOP has a short window in which to act in a number of key policy areas, including fixing the federal highway program and improving the tax code. Last year's government shutdown undermined confidence in the GOP's ability to govern. Now it is up to the party's leaders on Capitol Hill to show they can. Changes on House And Senate Transpo Committees Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) will be the next Senate Environment & Public Works (EPW) chairman. Inhofe formerly held the EPW gavel and has strong conservative credentials, a good working relationship with Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif., and the committee's top Democrat) and experience shepherding a highway bill to enactment. That should allow him to hit the ground running both to build support for a Highway Trust Fund revenue fix and to pass new multiyear road, bridge, and transit legislation. Although Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) will keep the House Transportation & Infrastructure (T&I) Committee gavel, there will be important changes on the Democratic side of the committee. Rep. Nick Joe Rahall (D-W.Va.), currently T&I's ranking Democrat, lost his re-election bid in a stunning upset. Rahall has served on T&I for close to 40 years and has good working relationships on both sides of the aisle. He has an independent streak and has been willing to fight back against the Obama administration's regulatory excess. AED PAC 2013-2014 Election Cycle Results Total number of candidates receiving AED PAC support 73 Total contributed by AED PAC to candidates and partisan committees $148,000 Number of Republican vs. Democrat candidates receiving AED PAC support 59 Republicans 14 Democrats Dollars contributed to Republican vs. Democratic candidates and committees $123,000 to Republicans $25,000 to Democrats Number of House vs. Senate candidates supported by AED PAC 64 House/nine Senate Dollars contributed to House vs. Senate candidates $112,000 House $21,000 Senate Number of winning vs. losing candidates supported 59 won/11 lost Number of candidates who received support at ImPACt 2014 PAC check delivery meetings with AED members 49 Number of AED members and staff who supported AED PAC this cycle 68 Total contributed by AED members and staff to AED PAC this cycle $151,000 Dollars rounded to the nearest $1,000 ("Congressional Makeover Positions Distributors for Success" continued from page 22) Rep. Cory Garder (R-Col.o) was the top recipient of AED PAC support this cycle.