Arizona Congressional Primaries Attract CU Money

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PHOENIX – In an unusual foray into congressional primaries, CUNA provided $50,000 last month to the Arizona CU League to communicate with the state’s credit union members to help push state Sen. Jim Warring over the top in the ten-candidate field in tomorrow’s Republican primary for the state’s third congressional district.

Warring, a strong credit union supporter in the legislature, is co-sponsor of the controversial state law aimed at deterring illegal immigration. He is vying with the nine other candidates to succeed John Shadegg, the eight-term House member who is retiring.

The foray is unusual for CUNA and its state leagues, which traditionally support candidates through direct political action committee contributions up to $10,000 or through independent expenditures.

CUNA and the league are also supporting Sen. John McCain, who is seeking a fifth six-year term, in his toughest primary in years, against J.D. Hayworth, the former Republican congressman and current radio talk show host.

CUNA has also weighed in on several other primary contests on Tuesday, including a $5,000 primary contribution to State Sen. James Warring, who is among ten candidates running for the House seat held by Republican John Shadegg, who is retiring this year after eight terms in Congress.

CUNA has also made contributions in several other states holding primaries Tuesday, including Louisiana, Georgia, Alaska, Florida and Vermont.

The Arizona funding pushed CUNA’s July campaign spending over $203,000, one of its highest during the two-year election cycle. CUNA has contributed more than $2 million to campaign in 2009-2010.

July’s spending included contributions to several leadership PACs, including Pennsylvania Congressman’s Citizens For Action ($5,000); House Minority Leader John Boehner’s Freedom Project ($5,000); Goal PAC, run by Michigan Rep. Sander Levin, the new chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee ($5,000); Rep. Chaka Fattah’s Leadership For American opportunity PAC ($1,000) and Peak PAC, the leadership PAC for Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, who sponsored the amendment to raise the member business lending cap for credit unions ($5,000).

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