WASHINGTON -- Despite pleas that they reconsider, leaders of import-brand car dealers have gone ahead with their plan for a new political action committee.
Don Hicks, chairman of the American International Automobile Dealers Association, says paperwork creating the PAC was filed with the Federal Election Commission Jan. 6.
"We're up and running," he told Automotive News in a brief telephone interview.
Nevertheless, he says the organization will move slowly to get its fund-raising off the ground so that it can be sure it is meeting all legal requirements.
Leaders of the National Automobile Dealers Association had asked AIADA to reconsider the plan. NADA warned that the new PAC will divide dealers and expose them to possible inadvertent violation of federal campaign finance law.
AIADAs own vice chairman, Bradley Hoffman, had asked that creation of the PAC be delayed for further consideration.
Dealers may contribute to as many PACs as they wish but can designate only one "connected" PAC to solicit them.
Many dealers already have designated NADA's connected PAC, the Dealers Election Action Committee.
Import-brand dealers also have supported since 1991 an independent committee, the Automotive Free International Trade PAC.
But Hicks and others at AIADA say their association needs its own committee to raise and distribute money for candidates for office to complement the dealers lobbying efforts.