CUNA PAC Cultivates Congressional Leadership

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CUNA said it continues to help congressional leaders with political action money with campaign contributions to several key lawmakers in May.

CUNA's campaign fundraising activity, it is important to note, is independent from the trade group's operating finances and is wholly supported by contributions from executives from credit unions and state leagues around the country.

Among the largest contributions made last month by the leading credit union political action committee were donations to so- called leadership PACs run by Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY), TOM PAC, head of the National Republican Congressional Committee ($5,000); Tom DeLay (R-TX), ARMPAC, House Majority Leader ($5,000); and Michael Oxley (R-OH), LeadershipPAC 2004, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee ($5,000).

CUNA also gave $5,000 contributions last month to: Spencer Bachus, chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions, and Barney Frank, ranking Democrat on the Financial Services panel, as well as Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), Reps. Zach Wamp (R-TN), Ed Royce (R-CA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Randy Neugebauer, a Republican vying for the open seat in Texas vacated by the retirement of 10-term Republican Larry Combest.

National Legislative Effort On I.D. Theft Launched

WASHINGTON-Sen. John Corzine, D-N.J., said last week he plans to introduce legislation similar to a new law in California to protect consumers from identity theft and help them restore their credit if they fall victim to the crime.

The legislation would require financial institutions to notify individuals, credit-reporting agencies and law enforcement when the integrity of a customer's financial information is compromised.

The aim is to alert and protect consumers form the theft of their data and the expense and difficulty that entails when they go to correct the problems.

Financial institutions would be required to implement a comprehensive information-security plan, according to the statement.

Under the legislation, credit-reporting agencies would be required to insert fraud alerts in the files of consumers whose identities are stolen.

Victims of identity theft also would be given access to several free credit reports in the year after their information was compromised, and all consumers would gain access to one free credit report each year.

The California law, which goes into effect this week, will require credit unions and other users of confidential consumer information to notify customers if their personal information, including credit details, has been stolen or compromised.

The law will require that credit unions notify any of their members in California by letter or email if their personal data is acquired by an unauthorized person or believed to have been stolen.

If a large volume of customers is affected and the cost would exceed $250,000 to notify all of them, the organization may notify them over its website or in statewide media.

Small Business Administration Grows CU Membership

WASHINGTON-University of Maine CU became the 100th credit union to join the U.S. Small Business Administration's guaranteed loan program, according to the SBA. The number of credit unions joining the SBA program has jumped 28% this year, with most of the growth coming since the SBA expanded eligibility to all federally insured credit unions in February.

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