CUNA Pours More Funds Into Close Congressional Races

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WASHINGTON – CUNA increased its bets this afternoon on two endangered congressional allies and one newcomer, financing $102,000 of independent ads–separate from the candidates’ official campaigns–just two weeks before election day.

The independent expenditures on behalf of Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, the four-term South Dakota Democrat; Kurt Schrader, the freshman Democrat from Oregon; and newcomer Cory Gardner, the Colorado Republican, follows closely almost $365,000 CUNA poured towards the three campaigns over the past two weeks.

CUNA, one of the most active political action committees, has spent more than $810,000 on independent campaign expenditures over the past two months, including unsolicited ads on behalf of endangered Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada; unsuccessful New Hampshire Senate candidate Ovide Lamontagne, and House Minority Whip Roy Blunt in his campaign for Missouri’s Senate seat. CUNA’s PAC will spend more than $4 million on congressional campaign activity this election, most of it straight campaign contributions, making it one of the top PACs on Capitol Hill.

In the latest independent expenditures, CUNA spent $52,260 on direct mailings for Schrader; $30,000 for television commercials touting Herseth Sandlin; and $30,000 on radio ads for Gardner.

Federal election laws bar interest groups like CUNA from coordinating such independent ads with the candidates.

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