Leadership Funding Helps Push CUNA NearThe Top Of Capitol Hill
WASHINGTON - (02/02/06) CUNA continued its trek towardsthe head of the list of political givers last year by making $1.4million in campaign contributions--setting a new high for campaigncontributions through its political action committee. That puts thecredit union PAC among the top four contributors to candidates,exceeded only by the National Association of Realtors, NationalBeer Wholesalers Association and the International Brotherhood ofElectrical Workers, and ahead of the American Bankers Association.CUNA begins the 2006 election year with a campaign warchest of$561,000, topped only by the PACs cash horde of $717,000going into the election year of 2004. Among CUNAscontributions last year, were more than $150,000 to so-calledleadership PACs. Leadership PACs have become kind of like the softmoney banned under the 2004 campaign finance reform law by allowinginterests to make a $10,000 contribution to an individualcandidates campaign fund, then another $10,000 to his or herleadership PAC. Leadership PACs can use the funds for almostunlimited purposes, including contributions to other candidates oreven personal travel by the candidate. Among the 30 leradershipPACs CUNA contributed to last year were: Senate Majority LeaderBill Frists Volunteer PAC; Speaker of the House DennisHasterts Keep Our Majority PAC; House Minority Whip RoyBlunts Rely On Your Beliefs (ROYB) PAC, as well as SenateMinority Leader Harry Reids Searchlight Leadership FUND;House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosis PAC To The Future, andHouse Minority Whip Steny Hoyers AMERIPAC.