Leadership PACs Turn Hard Money IntoSoft

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WASHINGTON - (10/26/04) -- The 'Fund for America's Future,'Blue Dog PAC,' 'Growth and Prosperity PAC,' America's LeadershipPAC.' So-called leadership PACs like these are helping creditunions and other interest groups circumnavigate the new law banningunregulated soft money contributions by getting extra campaignfunds to favored candidates for unlimited purposes. This allowscredit unions to not only contribute the maximum allowable $10,000to a congressional leader's personal campaign, but the same amountagain to his or her leadership PAC, which that lawmaker can use forunlimited purposes, like financing personal travel, contributing topartisan political activities, or propping up other candidates. TheMichigan CU League (through CUNA), for example, contributed themaximum $10,000 to the campaign of Rep. Mike Rogers, than another$5,000 to the Republican lawmaker's Majority Initiative to KeepElecting (MIKE) Republicans Fund. NAFCU has contributed $10,000 toRep. Spencer Bachus, and another $5,000 to the financial servicessubcommittee chairman's Growth and Prosperity leadership PAC. Sofar, credit unions have contributed more than $200,000 toleadership PACs, this election--the vast majority, or $190,000worth, by CUNA and its state league affiliates.

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