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CULAC sets record collections
WASHINGTON (10/22/08)—With almost two-and-a-half months still to go in the current two-year federal election cycle, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) reports that it has broken the 2005-2006 political fundraising record with $3.77 million raised to date. For the full two-year cycle ending Dec. 31, 2006, that figure was $3.75 million—itself a record at the time. CUNA also reports that it has contributed $2.4 million directly to candidates thus far in the 2007-2008 federal election period. That makes CUNA’s Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC) the 13th largest political action committee (PAC) in terms of direct contributions to candidates and committees, based on the ranking done by the Center for Responsive Politics. CUNA ranks fifth largest among trade associations PACs. “Open-seat races are where CUNA and credit unions can really make a difference,” Trey Hawkins, CUNA political director, said Tuesday. He said that is where CUNA has concentrated its efforts. Hawkins explained that incumbents making a bid for re-election rarely are defeated. Therefore, the best opportunities for credit union support to have an impact are in races in which both candidates are making a new bid for the position. “We always urge credit unions to be active in their support of credit union-friendly candidates,” Hawkins noted, adding, “That message is certainly as important as ever during this time of financial and economic upheaval—when credit unions really need lawmakers who understand us as member-owned financial cooperatives.”


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