The presidential nomination race has been intriguing to follow over the past few months, but an element that has added spice to the race is watching how my own children are reacting to it.

Two of them will be old enough to vote for the first time in a presidential general election! The younger one, who turns 18 in September, is much more interested in politics than the older one, who is almost 20 years old. He is a hundred times more interested in “What’s for dinner?” than he is in who’s getting tagged as a Pinocchio and what effect it may have on the race. In fact, to my dismay, he has admitted that he may not even vote!

It’s challenging to try to explain the importance of voter representation, because many people feel that their opinions don’t have weight when mixed in among the opinions of the general populace.

But when it comes to legislation that could either help or hurt your business, those issues somehow seem easier to stand up for, because collectively you can be heard as an industry. Some legislators have been staunch supporters of the electronic security industry, and the security industry, in turn, has helped support them.

Now that we’re in an election year, the security industry must look to candidates who are running for both House and Senate seats; to identify and support those who will have the most positive effect on the security industry once they get to Washington.

Close to press time, the National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association announced that it formed a political action committee (PAC) for the express purpose of supporting U.S. Congressional candidates who are advocates of issues and legislation for the electronic life safety and security industry.

NBFAA president, George Gunning, explained: “PACs allow for organizations to find candidates that have a real interest in seeing companies and industries succeed. The NBFAA PAC will enhance our federal government relations goals and assist us supporting our Congressional friends.”

John Chwat is NBFAA’s government relations director and lobbyist. He explained that PACs are tremendous resources for association members because they make it so much easier to provide such support. “The legal minefield one must navigate to give directly to a candidate is confusing at best, and PACs avoid the possible problems inherent in companies trying to manage individual contributions,” Chwat said.

What does this mean to you? It means that your industry association is doing most of the work for you. It means that, should you — like my son — care more about what’s for dinner than who’s getting elected, you can still be assured that your industry association is working on your behalf to help elect those senators and representatives who will be likely to vote on bills favorable to your business. When NBFAA begins soliciting PAC contributions later this year from its members, please remember that!

For those of you who do like to get involved, you may choose to attend the 2008 NBFAA Day on Capitol Hill, scheduled for April 29 and 30. “One of the ways that we can work together as an association is through a collective voice on important industry issues at the national level. By coordinating our efforts and speaking out on the issues, we can make a difference,” the association describes about this mission. NBFAA Day on Capitol Hill  offers an opportunity to meet lawmakers and their staffs, and relate how their efforts can help your business succeed. There are social events and tours planned, as well.

Editor’s note: For more information about contributing to a PAC, or about NBFAA’s Day on Capitol Hill, contact John Chwat at (703) 684-7703 or e-mail