Assoc. Of Talent Agents Forms a PAC (Exclusive)

6:15 PM PST 11/13/2012 by Jonathan Handel

The ATA takes its cue from Plato – “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors” – and is funding a California state PAC.

The elections are over but the Association of Talent Agents is jumping into the money race, forming a California state political action committee to be funded by a portion of member agencies’ dues.

The revelation of the new organization – called ATA PAC – came Tuesday in an email to member agencies from ATA executive director Karen Stuart.

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“Extending and advancing ATA’s goals without demonstrable financial resources and well-established relationships with legislators is an uphill battle,” said the email. “Our lobbyists have been excellent, but as Plato said, ‘One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.’”

“Taking our cue from Plato,” the email continues, the ATA has engaged the Kaufman Legal Group to provide PAC-related legal services.

The mission and goals of the PAC are described as “support ATA members and their economic well-being . . . provide campaign support for ATA’s legislative champion(s) . . . (and) raise funds to support candidates for state and local elective office who advance, promote and protect the interests of ATA’s members.”

The ATA board of directors authorized the opening of the California PAC and the allocation of a portion of each members’ dues, not to exceed 20%, for 2013. The email says that dues will not increase, and that members agencies can opt out.

The email describes the PAC as part of an evolution, from hiring a Sacramento lobbyist in 1996, a New York City lobbyist in 2006, and a lobbyist in the New York State capital, Albany, in 2010. 

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