In another lifetime, when I covered the restaurant industry, I watched as its membership organization - the National Restaurant Association - gradually clawed its way to the upper echelons of the most powerful political groups in the country. But it wasn't always that way.In the mid-1980s, the NRA had far less political firepower than the other trade group that shared its acronym, the National Rifle Association, and was comprised of loosely connected groups, each with obviously different agendas and concerns. But the political climate of the group changed when an outspoken restaurant owner from Boston became its chair for the usual one-year term, and began stirring up a grass-roots effort to get the membership more involved with both local and national issues that affected the industry in general and their businesses in particular. He urged them to contact and get to know their congressmen and state officials, and to speak out on issues that affected the industry. And from there, the momentum never stopped.

I mention this because our previous two issues examined the amount of cash accrued by the accounting profession's various political action committees, while giving a brief overview of some key races this November in the House and Senate, whose outcomes could potentially have an affect on the way CPAs conduct business.

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