CUNA Bids To Save Endangered Oregon Democrat

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SALEM, Ore. – CUNA reported yesterday it is launching an independent campaign to help save Congressman Kurt Schrader, a freshman Democrat who currently is trailing in the polls.

CUNA is spending $34,380 to produce glossy, full-color mailings on behalf of Schrader, whom the trade group helped elect in 2008 to the seat held by a longtime credit union ally, retiring Darlene Hooley, with a $10,000 PAC contribution. The so-called independent expenditure must be conducted separately from Schrader’s campaign under federal election laws. CUNA also has contributed the maximum $10,000 directly to Schrader’s campaign.

The unusual campaign effort comes as a Sept. 28 poll shows Schrader, described by CUNA as a strong credit union supporter, trailing his Republican opponent, state Sen. Scott Bruun, by 45% to 44%.

CUNA has had a mixed record with such independent expenditures. A $66,000 radio ad buy on behalf of New Hampshire Republican Ovide Lamontagne narrowly failed to push the director of St. Mary’s Bank [credit union] over the top in last month’s Senate primary.

CUNA, which had a $1.1 million campaign war chest as of the end of September, is expected to engage in additional independent expenditures before the congressional elections are over.


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