CUNA Continues To Pour Funds Into Various PACs

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With contributions to groups like PHIL PAC, Mill to the Hill PAC and Citizens for Action, CUNA continued its unprecedented efforts last month to cultivate congressional leaders through their so-called leadership PACs. By collecting campaign funding through leadership PACs, congressional leaders such as Phil English (R-PA), Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA), and Paul Kanjorski (D-PA) will be able to turn around and use their credit union-donated funds to help support allied candidates.

CUNA contributions last month included donations to: Citizens for Action, Kanjorski's new leadership PAC ($5,000); PHIL PAC, English's PAC ($2,500); Mill to the Hill PAC, for Millender-McDonald ($1,000); Searchlight Leadership Fund, for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada ($1,000); ERIC PAC, for Eric Cantor, R-Va. ($2,500); and AMERIPAC, for House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland ($1,000).

CUNA has contributed almost $100,000 to leadership PACs in 2005, the first year of the two-year election cycle.

The contributions will allow the credit union association to make double its donations to congressional leaders; first by making the maximum allowable $10,000 contribution to the lawmaker's campaign committee, then by making a similar $10,000 contribution to their separate leadership PAC.

The biggest campaign contributions last month went to: Reps. William Jefferson (D-LA), $5,000; Jim McCrery (R-LA), $5,000; Jeff Flake (R-AZ), $5,000; John Conyers (D-MI), $5,000; Peter Hoesktra (R-MI), $4,000; and Randy Kuhl (R-NY), $4,000.

CUNA also contributed $2,000 to Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, who has asked the GAO to study NCUA's approvals of credit union conversions to banks; $1,000 to credit union champion Steve LaTourette (R-OH); $2,500 to credit union ally Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), and $1,000 to Rep. Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Through the first year of the two-year election cycle CUNA has raised $1.1 million for its PAC and made $1.3 million in contributions. The excess in contributions was funded by cash left over after the last election cycle. The leading credit union PAC has $380,000 in cash on hand as the important second year of the election cycle begins.

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