The American Physical Therapy Association's Physical Therapy Political Action Committee, PTPAC, was formed to empower physical therapists and physical therapist assistants to be more involved in the determination of federal laws and policies. PTPAC provides a mechanism for association members and staff to voice their support or opposition to federal legislation through the election process by helping to elect candidates to Congress who are responsive to the physical therapy profession's goals and viewpoints.
A few things to note about PTPAC contributions:
- Only APTA members and staff are permitted to contribute to PTPAC.
- It is illegal for APTA to use association dues for PTPAC donations to candidates, so all PAC contributions from APTA members must be voluntary and separate from dues payments. That’s why on your APTA renewal form there is a separate line item to make a voluntary donation to PTPAC.
- Political contributions are not tax deductible for federal income tax purposes.
- A contribution cannot be earmarked for a specific candidate. All personal contributions are put in a single bank account for consideration for disbursement for federal candidates based on certain criteria. APTA members can recommend supporting a specific candidate, but APTA staff determine who will receive PTPAC contributions.
- Contributions of $100 or more during a calendar year will be made public on PTPAC's website. The PAC will honor request for anonymous contributions.
- There is no contribution minimum. All contributions are welcomed and appreciated. The Century Club, at $100, is the lowest publicly recognized level. Student members have their own club, Student Stars, to which they can join for $20.
Personal vs. Corporate Donations
PTPAC can accept either personal (called hard money) or corporate (called soft money) contributions from APTA members and staff. However, PTPAC cannot use the contributions in the same way. In fact, hard money and soft money contributions must be separated and deposited into different banking accounts.
Contributions that come from a personal checking account or credit card can be used for campaign contributions to congressional candidates running for Congress or to political parties. Every dollar — 100% of personal contributions received from APTA members — goes directly to candidates running for Congress who support the physical therapy profession.
Corporate contributions that come from a business checking account or credit card can be used only to pay the administrative costs of PTPAC; it is illegal to disburse corporate contributions to federal political campaigns. Administrative costs include telemarketing expenses, staff expenses, incentive gifts to higher club levels, and other expenses; and donations to help defray those costs are accepted and welcomed. Corporate donations must be made by an APTA member.