SEMA News—August 2012

By Doug Evans

Protecting Your Industry, Your Voice and Your Future

An Election-Year Call to Action



I feel that I have not just the right, but the obligation to call on SEMA members to take an active role in protecting our industry, our voice and our future.”—Doug Evans, SEMA PAC chairman








Let’s be honest. Politics is something we all love to hate. However, over time and based on experiences with government on the local, state and federal levels, I have become educated to the fact that relationships built with government officials are vital to our industry’s continued existence.

I feel that I have not just the right, but the obligation to call on SEMA members to take an active role in protecting our industry, our voice and our future. As chairman of the SEMA Political Action Committee (SEMA PAC), I am committed to leading and making sure that our entire industry is heard and that the millions of lives it impacts are considered on Capitol Hill and in state houses around the country. I need your help to do it.

What is SEMA PAC, and why does SEMA maintain it? Simply put, laws change. Lawmakers change. However, the public’s need to be vigilant about how the laws and lawmakers change is a constant. One way to maintain awareness and to help ensure that the changes are positive is through a PAC.

A PAC is a private group organized to help support or oppose government officials in order to promote legislation that is favorable to that group’s interests. SEMA has such a PAC, which allows us to pool our resources and gives us a larger cumulative voice on Capitol Hill. PACs are funded by personal contributions, because associations such as SEMA are prohibited from using company or association funds to make political contributions. However, SEMA is allowed to fund all administrative costs of running the PAC. Therefore, 100% of individual contributions made to the SEMA PAC are used to help elect industry-friendly legislators.

During this critical election year, the stakes for small businesses and our industry are higher than ever. In the last year, we secured the introduction of H.R. 3274, a bill to establish a common-sense system for regulating kit car and specialty vehicle manufacturers; worked to stop the introduction to the marketplace of 15% ethanol gasoline that could damage millions of older vehicles; requested U.S. Senate Resolution 452, designating July 13, 2012, as Collector Car Appreciation Day; and led the fight to save the Bonneville Salt Flats and off-highway vehicle access to Johnson Valley, California. SEMA PAC has been our most crucial component for success in pursuing these and many other issues.

As with all trade associations, SEMA must receive written permission from employees of our member companies before we can provide information regarding our efforts in Washington. We call this becoming “PAC Approved.” Completing a PAC Approval Form does not obligate anyone to contribute. It simply helps SEMA PAC to conform to the law, do a better job of furthering the impact of the PAC and allows us to contact you with updates on what’s happening in Washington and which members of Congress are friends of our industry.

I encourage you to complete the one-page form available at It takes just two seconds. You can also contact Dan Sadowski, SEMA PAC administrator and director of congressional affairs at

As we pave the way for our young people to lead and as we take advantage of the emerging technologies that they will have a hand in innovating, let’s make sure first that we leave them a thriving and healthy industry.

I wish all of you many glorious triumphs now and in the future.

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