Author Topic: A Political Action Committee (PAC) for NASA?  (Read 3461 times)

Offline NiteDriver

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A Political Action Committee (PAC) for NASA?
« on: 08/24/2012 04:11 AM »
Hi folks, recently in responding to a NASA survey I had what I thought was a pretty good idea and one that will not work without sharing.


A Political Action Committee to champion the causes of NASA and it's objectives in both the government and legislative arenas. Think about this for a moment. A lobbying organization similar to the ones for political groups. Or the "pro or anti" PACs for the many public arguments about personal weaponry, abortion and religion, industries and the environment. Only this one will push NASA's interest!

Yes, I realize that other space advocacy groups already exist. The Planetary and The Mars Societies being among the most recognizable of them. PACs are niche entities. On the TV ads they promote only one specific cause or politician. The PAC I envision is a NASA specific PAC. Specific to lobbying government in favor of NASA's goals.

Among some of the things it could pull off:

1) Lobby for an amendment to place NASA beyond the political-vagaries of each election-cycle by fixing NASA's funding to a level pegged to the national-budget or the GDP, hopefully voiding further-use of NASA as a political-football. More importantly, this gives NASA credibility, confidence, and the ability to design and execute real (and not just notional) long-range and even multi-decadal plans and missions which are a necessity in aeronautical-research and space-exploration.

2) Lobby for relaxing any prohibitions that prevent NASA from self-promotion. This could help set the record straight in so many ways and in so many places. Helping debunk the many urban legends and myths that surround NASA and it's accomplishments. And besides, as we can see from all the 'disavowed' political ads this time of year, the PAC itself could promote NASA's accomplishments, no law against that!

3) Sponsor legislators that are pro NASA and/or pro Science.

4) Dispel untruths or half truths about NASA used in the political arena by politicians against each other.

5) Lobby the public and the government for an increase to NASA's Budget.

NASA itself, of course, cannot have anything to do with a PAC and will in fact have to keep it's distance from any such entity.

PACs are pretty much self sustaining. Operating cash comes (popular causes generates a lot [mountains] of money!) from the folks that are like-minded. But political-connectedness and deep pockets are required to get the ball rolling.

I am, admittedly, not a well-connected political-operator type that can organize or run or admin a PAC. I'm more the t-shirt wearing activist type, I'll volunteer!  So I'm putting it out there for people to consider and maybe someone more creditable will think it's a good idea as well and run with i.

As for me, I am out and about seeding the idea in as many places as possible so that maybe, just maybe,  one day it will germinate in the mind or minds of the folks who can follow it thru.

If you wish, read my submissions to NASA's 'solicitation for public comment' for more ideas regarding NASA at If you "don't disagree" with the concepts in my submissions (or even if you do  ;D, I'd appreciate if you re-post or share the blog. We could use more vocality on this side of the argument!

Please, let me know if this is just blowing smoke, or if the readers of NSF thinks this is a valid idea that I should continue to seed.

     ... imagine, one day we might even see TV ads like: "Do you want to see us continue to spend more money funding the same old tired wars? Or do you want us to explore the Solar System‽. Call and tell your congress-person NOW!"... ... and at the bottom of the screen, the names and telephone numbers of the local congressional reps slowly crawls by*...
« Last Edit: 08/24/2012 04:13 AM by NiteDriver »

Offline majormajor42

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Re: A Political Action Committee (PAC) for NASA?
« Reply #1 on: 08/24/2012 05:22 AM »
I like the idea. Not sure I agree with all your points but as you may already know it is hard to find much that everyone here agrees upon. Some people here aren't even sure if #5 would be a good thing.

When it comes to politics, I for one would like a website that one could go to to find out what a candidate's stance is on space. How did they vote on certain space related bills. Maybe even a score or rating system like other groups do such as the NRA. This could be a general pro-space score or some sort of breakdown as to pro-commercial/private/NewSpace, and such...  It would at least give people a place to go to help them vote if space is a priority for them, perhaps after watching a PAC commercial. I think many politicians enjoy some ambiguity when it comes to this stuff. A website like this might remind them that we are paying attention. And that is who these efforts should be geared toward. Not so much on people like KBH, just as an example since she isn't in the running. She has a very clear stance on space, very pro-space although many would disagree with her positions. Or Obama for that matter. No, this is geared toward the Senators and Congressmen, many of whom may not have space companies or NASA centers in their districts. What are their positions? We want to know.

But hopefully someone may direct us to sites that are already doing this, whether it is a PAC that is trying to raise funds for commercials, or rating/scoring office holders and candidates. I have looked...
...water is life and it is out there, where we intend to go. I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man or machine on a body such as the Moon and harvest a cup of water for a human to drink or process into fuel for their craft.

Offline Danderman

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Re: A Political Action Committee (PAC) for NASA?
« Reply #2 on: 08/24/2012 06:55 PM »
Yeah, you could call it "SpacePAC".

Wait, that already exists.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: A Political Action Committee (PAC) for NASA?
« Reply #3 on: 08/25/2012 03:03 PM »
4) Dispel untruths or half truths about NASA used in the political arena by politicians against each other.

Heavens above.  There's a lot of that going on around the forum the last couple of days.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.