For CUNA, No Delay In Supporting DeLay

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CUNA keeps pitching in to help the embattled House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas with financial support.

The credit union lobby group, which has developed close ties with the Republican leader over the past three Congresses, contributed $5,000 to DeLay's leadership PAC, known as Americans for a Republican Majority, or ARMPAC, last month, as DeLay's legal expenses keep mounting in connection with his investigations by the House Ethics Committee and Texas authorities probing DeLay's involvement in a scandal involving the redistricting of House districts in Texas.

Since 2000, when he was House Majority Whip, DeLay has become one of CUNA's favored lawmakers, with CUNA contributing the maximum $10,000 to DeLay's personal campaign each of the last three elections, as well as almost $20,000 to ARMPAC, and as much as $20,000 to DeLay's annual charity golf outing. CUNA has already contributed the maximum allowable $5,000 to both Delay's primary campaign and $5,000 to his general election campaign this year, more than 12 months before the primary.

During that time, DeLay has become a firm credit union supporter, helping to push the credit union-backed bankruptcy reform bill to a final vote and lending support on other issues. One of the major reasons, according to credit union lobbyists, is the House Majority Leader recognizes the numbers of voters who could be mobilized by the credit union movement.

CUNA also continued to target other leading lawmakers for financial contributions last month, with campaign contributions to six different leadership PACs. Beside donations to DeLay's ARMPAC, contributions went to: the Growth and Prosperity PAC operated by House Financial Services Financial Institutions Subcommittee Chairman Spencer Bachus, R-Ala. ($2,000); as well as Heartland Values PAC, run by Sen. John Thune (R-SD), $1,000); Our Common Values PAC, run by Democratic Congressional Campaign Chairman Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), $1,000; Committee for the Preservation of Capitalism, for Rep. Jim McCrery (R-LA), $5,000; the New Democrat Coalition PAC, $5,000, and PHIL PAC, $2,500. CUNA also gave to: Financial Services Chairman Michael Oxley (R-OH), $5,000); Bachus, $1,000; Ed Royce, the California Republican sponsoring CURIA, $5,000; and Jim Gerlach, the Pennsylvania Republican who sponsored the bill to let credit unions serve non-members within their fields of membership, $3,100.

Freshman members of both the House and Senate were assisted, to, with contributions going to new Sens. John Salazar (D-CO), $1,000 and David Vitter (R-LA), $2,500; and first-time House members John Kuhl (R-NY), $1,000; Charles Melancon (D-LA), $1,000; Melissa Bean (D-IL), $1,000; Virginia Foxx (R-NC), $2,000; Thelma Drake (R-VA), $1,000; Stephanie Herseth (D-ND), $2,500, and Tom Price (R-GA), $2,000.

For the month of May, CUNA raised $142,000 in campaign funds and spent $173,000, most of it in contributions to individual lawmakers, leaving it with $314,000 in cash at the end of the month.

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