CUNA Campaign Spending Falls

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WASHINGTON – CUNA, which has been steadily increased its campaign spending the past 20 years to establish its political action committee as one of the most active in Washington,  reported yesterday that its campaign spending and fundraising actually declined markedly for the just-completed mid-term elections.

The credit unions’ leading political action committee raised $3.6 million for the two-year elections, a 15% drop-off from the $4.33 million raised during the Presidential elections of 2007-2008, and it spent $3.8 million, down 8% from the last elections.

Campaign contributions to both individual candidates and so-called leadership PACs both declined for 2009-2010, even as independent expenditures and coordinated activities rose, according to a report filed yesterday with the Federal Elections Commission.

CUNA said it made 58 campaign contributions for a total of $147,000 in the days leading up to November’s mid-term elections.  

The biggest contributions of $5,000 went to: Mike Lee, the Republican who won the Utah Senate seat; Reps. Rob Bishop, R-Utah and Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D.; and Jim DeMint, the powerful Republican senator from South Carolina who helped lead many of the Tea Party candidates.

Also getting $5,000 contributions right before election day were: incumbent Reps. John Larson, D-Conn., Gary Miller, D-Calif., John Boozmen, R-Ark., and open seat challengers John Mulvaney, R-S.C., Frank Giunta, R-N.H., Robert Hurt, R-Va., Ann Kuster, D-N.H., Rick Nugent, R-Fla. and David Cicilline, D-R.I.

Also receiving CUNA campaign contributions in the final days were: long-time credit union ally Joe Baca, D-Calif. ($4,500); Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y. ($4,000); Mike Crapo, the senior Idaho senator on the Senate Banking Committee ($3,500); Chris Coons, the Democrat who won the Delaware Senate seat ($2,500); Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. ($2,500); and Sen. David Vitter, R-La. ($2,500).

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