Published Apr 29, 2004
why and how ana endorses presidents
download full printable ana presidential endorsement fact sheet.doc
why should ana be involved in the presidential process?
presidential endorsements are typically seen as a high profile avenue to political access at the highest level of politics. presidential endorsements open up the door not only to the candidate and their committee (which in and of itself is quite an extensive network) and can lead to lasting relationships with the media, national political parties, and other like-minded individuals and organizations. the primary purpose behind an endorsement is to help elect a particular candidate with the understanding that -- should he or she win -- the candidate will advocate on behalf of the key legislative missions of the ana. the second advantage is the shear increase in political activism in the presidential cycle is a time when a greater percentage of ana's membership is interested in politics. in essence, presidential endorsements provide the greatest opportunity for member education about the political process and to encourage members to stay politically active while demonstrating an organization's political power to accomplish legislative and regulatory goals.
how long has ana done presidential endorsements?
since the 1984 presidential elections, ana has worked to demonstrate the nursing profession is a leader in presidential politics to individual nurses, the general public, members of congress, and presidential candidates by: (1) providing presidential election process education; (2) organizing nurses in election activities; (3) encouraging nurses to get out the vote; (4) motivating the nursing community into action; and (5) highlighting the nursing profession as a major political force nationwide.
what will ana board members receive to help ensure that a fair process has been conducted?
ana-pac provides the board with information on the candidates regarding:
ü candidate questionnaire response
ü review of interest in health care & friend rating
ü history as advocate and rn legislative leader
ü whether the candidate connects to nursing profession
ü campaign accessibility & receptiveness to ana
ü ana virtual voting booth results
ü candidate interview rating
ü polling results
ü fundraising levels; and
ü discretionary notes of interest
will money be spent on a presidential endorsement?
the ana board approved a humble amount of money for a membership grassroots effort and visibility at both national political party conventions. under federal law, monies publicly advocating a candidate are allocated by ana-pac and monitored by the ana-pac board of trustees.
is there a downside to making presidential endorsement?
naturally there are risks in endorsing. but when looking at the example of ana's last endorsement of presidential candidate al gore in 2000, president bush still invited ana to participate in white house ceremonies and activities. it is a possibility ana could back a candidate who does not win. ana members may not agree with the organization's choice for endorsement.
what is ana's presidential endorsement process timeline?
the ana-pac board has established a timetable to fast-track (in comparison to past election cycles) a recommendation to the ana board on presidential endorsement. the ana-pac has set a goal to prepare information and materials for the ana board to make its decision before early march.
endorsement process timeline*
may 2003 - august 2004
analysis of the political climate/cma
approval of process (ana-pac board), approval of candidate questionnaire
may 2003 - january 2004
candidate interviews (ana president, ana-pac chair, and ana-pac presidential endorsement taskforce chair)
august 2004 - january 2004
analysis of presidential candidate positions papers, voting records, and leadership on the nursing legislative agenda
educate the membership about the endorsement process through ana's webpage and publications, educate members through a blast member call, conduct an electronic survey
of the ana membership
february 18, 2004
ana-pac recommends endorsement of presidential candidate sen. john kerry
february 20, 2004
full ana board votes in favor of approving the ana-pac board recommendation to endorse sen. john kerry for president
*note: the ana-pac board of trustees has acknowledged the need for fast-tracking this timeline before the march 3rd primary, when a high proportion of primaries and caucuses will point to the lead democratic and republican nominees.
what are some internal political implications for consideration?
while not endorsing a presidential candidate may be an option, especially as an opportunity to not alienate members or "ruffle feathers" under the new ana membership structure, it does give rise to two concerns - legal and public relations. under ana's federated structure, it is a real possibility that a non-endorsement could lead cma's - who do not have federal pacs or hard dollars -- to endorse and spend association dollars on behalf of a specific candidate breaking compliance laws of the federal election commission (fec). since fec laws require any public communications costs associated with a federal candidate be paid with federal hard dollars, cma's - in addition to can and uan -- could be held legally liable for their endorsement efforts. in addition to legal ramifications, the disparity of various messages only underscores the need for one unified message to represent ana. as in any political scenario, the key to success is political power. we need to be unified as one voice, one contribution, one plan, and one message. the strength that ana has cultivated over the years will be undoubtedly diminished if our message is splintered by multiple messages under the ana umbrella. by endorsing a candidate, the control and oversight of the endorsement remains with ana-pac, ana-pac board of trustees which is legally responsible for how ana spends money to support federal candidates.
the ana presidential endorsement process
in 1985, the ana house of delegates approved a resolution that stated:
the ana house of delegates supports the belief that ana should be involved in the endorsement of a candidate for president of the united states.
specifically, the ana house of delegates charged the ana-pac board of trustees with:
♦ conducting an analysis of the political climate, considering the cost/benefit ratio to the nursing profession of a presidential endorsement;
♦ conducting an analysis of the voting records of all identified presidential candidates in relation to the ana legislative agenda;
♦ publication of the voting records and questionnaire approved by the ana-pac board of trustees with a clip-out coupon provided to individual cma member through the american nurse to indicate a preference for a presidential candidate;
♦ polling of each cma to determine outcome of the preferred candidate balloting (replaced by virtual voting booth and direct member voting);
♦ interviewing of viable presidential candidates by the ana-pac chair and the ana president to include questions regarding the policy positions based on ana's legislative agenda, examination of the campaign finances and organizations, support groups, and the candidate's political viability;
♦ voting on one of the following positions:
-no endorsement or support of a candidate
-support of one or more candidates in the primaries
-support of candidate after the party conventions,
♦ oversight of ana's participation in campaign activities, after the endorsement.
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