WASHINGTON – CUNA has joined the campaign funding frenzy over the past six weeks, pouring forth increasing sums of contributions—almost $1.3 million—as the congressional elections grow nearer.
Over the last two weeks alone, CUNA has spent almost $800,000 to support favored candidates for Congress, with contributions going to most of the leaders of the House and Senate, and special independent expenditures targeted to boost a handful of close allies, according to records filed this afternoon with the Federal Elections Commission.
Since the start of September CUNA has made hundreds of thousands of donations to almost 100 campaigns, including those for House Speaker John Boehner, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson.
Almost $100,000 has gone to so-called leadership PACs with innocuous-sounding names like Fund for the Majority (California Sen. Dianne Feinstein); Victory Now PAC (Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen); Eureka PAC (California Rep. Ken Calvert); Wild & Wonderful PAC (West Virginia Rep. Shelley Moore Capito); Motor City PAC (Michigan Rep. Gary Peters); Liberty Project (Texas Rep. Randy Neugebauer), South Dakota First PAC (Sen. Tim Johnson), as well as Upper Hand Fund, Synergy PAC, LANK PAC and California Aggressive Leadership PAC.
October’s report includes $770,000 in Independent Expenditures which funded TV and radio spots and direct mailing for four favored candidates; Democrat Christy Vilsack in Iowa; Republican Tom Latham in Iowa; Republican Christopher Collins in New York and Democrat Dan Maffei in New York.
And the records don’t reflect $200,000 CUNA spent on mailings to boost Montana Sen. Jon Tester and North Carolina Rep. Larry Kissell.
CUNA has now spent almost $4 million on congressional contributions and other activities during the 2011-2012 elections and is poised to near $5 million, a new high, before the end of the two-year cycle.