CULAC Tilts Toward The GOP

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CUNA, which operates the biggest political action committee for credit unions, has been devoting increasing resources towards the Republican Party and its candidates as the GOP has strengthened its control in Washington.

CUNA and its affiliates, which up until a few years ago leaned towards the Democrats, have contributed a total of $897,527 to individual candidates and party organizations through the first 10 months of the year, according to records filed with the Federal Elections Commission. The majority of it, $534,054, or just less than 60%, went to GOP candidates and conduits.

In the last elections, during which control of the House and Senate was split between the parties, 56% of CUNA's campaign contributions went to Republicans, and in the elections before that contributions were split almost evenly between the parties. Now, of course, the GOP controls both the House and Senate.

The records show CUNA has contributed a total of $736,573 to individual candidates this year, with $432,554 (59%) going to GOP candidates, and $56,500 to so-called leadership PACs, of which $41,500 (73%) has gone to GOP leaders. In addition, CULAC has contributed $105,000 to party organizations, $60,000 of it to GOP conduits and $45,000 to Democrats.

CUNA, which has been building one of the most active campaign fundraising organizations in the country the last few years, said it built its campaign warchest at the end of last month to an all-time high of $445,390.

Among the largest contributions last month were donations to Keep Our Majority PAC, the leadership PAC for House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL), $5,000, and to the Bluegrass Committee, a leadership PAC for powerful Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), $4,000.

Other large contributions went to: Sen. Ben Nelson, (R-NE), $4,500; Reps. William Jefferson (D-LA), $5,000; Joe Baca (D-CA), $3,500; Denny Rehberg, (R-MT), $3,000; Thomas Reynolds (R-NY), $3,000; Chris Chocola (R-IN), $2,500; David Vitter (R-LA), $2,000; and Sylvester Rees (D-TX), $2,000.

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