ACEP members play a key role in the work of the National Emergency Medicine Political Action Committee not only through their financial contributions, but also by bringing congressional candidates in important races in their home districts to the attention of the NEMPAC staff and Board of Trustees.
That’s what happened recently in South Carolina. State Representative Jeff Duncan (R), who was already well known to several members of the South Carolina College of Emergency Physicians (SCCEP), announced his 2010 candidacy for the state’s third congressional district.
“Jeff Duncan was taking an active role in asking us to help him define the issues,” explained Dr. Tripp Jennings, SCCEP’s president. “He said, ‘Help me understand what’s happening on Capitol Hill and how it affects emergency medicine.’ ”
After discussing it with other emergency physicians, Dr. Jennings contacted the NEMPAC staff and learned that they already knew a lot about the South Carolina 3rd Congressional District race.
“I was impressed that at first contact, NEMPAC was already interested in this race, was already looking for someone to support, and knew about the campaigns of each candidate,” Dr. Jennings said. “And that allowed for kind of a two-level approach with not just people who know the candidate evaluating him, but also the NEMPAC staff.”
Because this election is for an open seat, NEMPAC had not previously supported any of the candidates. With the additional information from the South Carolina chapter leaders, the NEMPAC Board of Trustees approved funds in March for Rep. Duncan’s primary campaign.
Hosting Fundraisers and Delivering Contributions
When delivering contributions, NEMPAC gives priority to smaller health care–specific meetings and fundraisers. These events allow candidates to focus solely on health care issues and to hear ACEP’s concerns and priorities. NEMPAC also targets events and meetings back home in a candidate’s state or district where ACEP members can personally deliver a NEMPAC check.
Dr. Russ Harris has hosted fundraisers for members of Congress and has delivered checks for NEMPAC. Dr. Harris works in Camden, N.J., but lives across the river in Philadelphia, so he is active on behalf of NEMPAC in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania.