CUNA Sets New High For PoliticalFundraising

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WASHINGTON - (02/01/05) -- Heated fundraising through the lastelections helped push CUNA up to the top echelon of politicalinterests in terms of campaign contributions, according to FederalElection Commission reports released Monday. The credit union's toptrade association broke the top 10 in political contributions,moving to number nine. CUNA's $2.6 million in campaigncontributions during the 2003-2004 elections put it behind suchtraditional political stalwarts as the National Auto DealersAssociation, the Trial Lawyers Association and the NationalAssociation of Homebuilders, and ahead of the American BankersAssociation. But more impressive was the $3.5 million CUNA raisedduring the elections, which enabled it to set a new high forcongressional contributions and still end the year with $520,000 incash, giving it a foot up for the next election cycle. The finalmonth of the 2003-2004 elections were slow for CUNA's politicalaction committee, which made just $48,000 in contributions, most ofit to help candidates retire campaign debt. Contributions went to:House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas ($5,000); Rep. Harold Fordof Tennessee ($5,000); and several newcomers elected to the House,Ted Poe of Texas ($1,000); Charles Boustany and Charlie Melancon ofLouisiana ($11,500 each) and Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska($2,000).

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