The National Thoroughbred Racing Association NTRA announced March 29 the board members for the NTRA Political Action Committee (PAC). Board members include Lucy Young Boutin, Bill Casner, Don Dizney, Steve Duncker, William S. Farish Jr., Thomas Gaines, John Harris, Robert T. Manfuso, Robert S. Strauss, and ex-officio members Tim Smith, NTRA commissioner, and D.G. Van Clief Jr., NTRA vice chairman and president of Breeders' Cup Ltd.
The board held its first meeting on March 26 via teleconference. In addition to receiving a report on the NTRA's current legislative initiatives, the board reviewed fund-raising strategies for 2003 and approved the first disbursement of PAC funds. The next Board meeting will be in Washington, D.C., May 13-14. The meeting will include private briefings and hosted events, which major PAC contributors and Congressional leaders will be invited to attend.
The NTRA PAC was formed to make "hard money" contributions to national political parties on behalf of the Thoroughbred industry. PAC funds are raised from individuals affiliated with an industry or group (with a limit of $5,000 per person) and are contributed by the PAC to candidates or political parties at the federal level.
The NTRA PAC complements the Legislative Action Campaign, the renamed continuation of the "1/4%" program through which buyers, sellers, consignors and sales companies voluntarily contribute one-quarter of 1% of the price of Thoroughbreds sold at public auction to the NTRA's legislative fund.
The Legislative Action Campaign raises "soft money," which in 2003 will support educational events relating to the Congressional Horse Caucus, contributions at the state level to state political parties, the American Horse Council, horseracing lobbyists and studies on problem gaming in racing as well as the economic impact of the racing and breeding industries.