CUNA Canvasses For Embattled Senator

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CUNA stepped into the fray last week to help rescue Democratic Sen. Joseph Lieberman, who is running neck-and-neck in this week's Democratic Primary with local millionaire Ned Lamont.

The credit union group reported that it was spending $29,100 for an independent mailing on behalf of Lieberman, a long-time credit union supporter, who endorsed HR 1151, the CU Membership Access Act, as well as the credit union-backed bankruptcy reform bill. "He's always been there for us and was available whenever we needed to talk to him," said Richard Gose, CUNA's political director.

CUNA has also contributed $5,000 to Lieberman's campaign.

The CU lobby has had a long relationship with the Connecticut senator. During the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, CUNA, CUNA Mutual Group and the California CU League threw a reception for Lieberman, who was then on the Democratic ticket as Al Gore's vice presidential candidate.

Under independent expenditures, an interest group may provide campaign support on behalf of a candidate but the support may not be coordinated with that candidate.

The three-term Senator is under attack in his home state for his support of President Bush's war in Iraq, which his opponent, Lamont, opposes. Last week Lieberman called in the big guns to help his campaign, including former President Bill Clinton, a long-time friend of the senator's. Lieberman has said he may run as an independent in November's election if he loses the Democratic primary.

Ed Roberts can be reached at robertscuj cujournal.com

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