CU Money On Both Sides

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In one of the greater ironies of the current campaign finance system, no matter which side they were on in last week's special elections for California's 50th District, the credit union lobby was bound to finance both sides. That's because millions of dollars were contributed to the campaigns for both ex-Congressman Brian Bilbray and his Democratic opponent, Francine Busby, from so-called leadership PACs, political action committees created and operated by congressional leaders.

So, even though the credit union lobby put its money on Bilbray, dozens of leadership PACs that were funded by CUNA and other CU interests were indirectly contributing to the Busby coffers.

For example, PAC To The Future (House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi); AmeriPAC (House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer); Our Common Values PAC (Rep. Rahm Emmanuel); National Leadership PAC (Rep. Charles Rangel); Solidarity PAC (Rep. George Miller); and Mill to the Hill PAC (Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald) all gave $5,000 to the Busby campaign, money they had raised from CUNA and other donors.

And separate PACs operated for the personal campaigns of Pelosi, as well as Reps. Anna Eshoo, Rahm Emmanuel, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Loretta Sanchez, Henry Waxman, and dozens of other members of Congress, which CUNA and other credit union interests helped fund, re-contributed those funds to Busby's campaign coffers.

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