Regardless Of Outcome, CU Support For Winner

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NAFCU-backed Republican candidate Charles Boustany topped Democratic State Sen. Willie Landry Mount, the CUNA-backed candidate, in last week's run-off election for the state's seventh House District, one of the two final congressional elections in the country. The race represented one of the few times the two credit union lobby groups backed opposing candidates.

Also winning election to Louisiana's House delegation last week was Democrat Charles Melancon, who bested 31-year-old Republican Bill Tauzin III, son of 12-term Rep. Bill Tauzin Jr., who is retiring to become a lobbyist. The two run-off elections were required under state law because no candidate received a majority on Nov. 2.

In a departure from its traditional election-eve strategy, NAFCU backed candidates in six open House races in the final days leading up to the elections-winning all six of them.

Federal Election Commission reports show NAFCU made contributions to Republicans John "Randy" Kuhl of New York; Tom Price and Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia; Thelma Drake of Virginia and Cathy McMorris of Washington; and as well as Boustany of Louisiana in the campaign's final two weeks. All but Boustany were elected for the first time to Congress, and Boustany won the right to participate in a special run-off against Mount, who is being backed by CUNA.

NAFCU set new highs during the elections for funds raised, $326,378, and contributions to candidates and the two major political parties, $294,522.

CUNA was busy in the final two weeks of the congressional elections doling out contributions to favored candidates and their campaigns. Federal Election Commission records show CUNA made $244,858 in contributions in the final two weeks of the elections, including an unprecedented $155,858 in independent expenditures on behalf of two candidates, Pennsylvania Democratic State Sen. Allyson Schwartz, who won her campaign for the House, and Republican Rep. Phil Crane, who lost a bid for a 19th term.

CUNA also made 38 contributions to allied candidates in the final two weeks, including 22 contributions totaling $50,000 on Oct. 14. The biggest checks, all for $5,000, in those final days went to: Greg Walcher (R-CO)., David Reichert (R-WA), Nancy Naples (R-NY), William Clay (D-MO), Steve Chabot (R-OH), Heather Wilson (R-NM), and Virginia Foxx (R-VA). All but Walcher and Naples were victorious. CUNA has also been helping successful candidates replenish their campaign funds after the elections, making a total of 15 contributions for $20,500 since election day.

During the 2003-2004 campaign, CUNA set new highs, for funds raised, and for spending $3.4 million, including $2.6 million in contributions to candidates and the two major political parties.

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