The American Bankers Association had one of its best political fundraising months ever, raising $555,752 for its political action committee, enabling it to build up its campaign warchest to a new high of $804,314, just as the congressional campaign season beckons. The bankers are running neck and neck with CUNA as the top campaign PACs among financial trade groups, with the ABA having contributed a total of $588,707 to candidates through the first seven months of the two-year election cycle, and CUNA having contributed $589,000. CUNA has about $310,000 in its campaign warchest.
The bankers got a boost in their fundraising prospects last week when the Federal Election Commission issued a ruling that executives of ABA-member banks can collect and forward contributions from bank employees to the ABA PAC.
Because of the 2001 ban on large soft money donations, individual contributions from PACs such as the ABA's and CUNA's have taken on a more critical role in congressional campaigns.