WASHINGTON -- The Credit Union Legislative Action Council of CUNA and NAFCU/PAC are making down to the wire contributions to the coffers of credit union friendly candidates.
In the pre-general election Federal Election Commission filings, CUNA's CULAC disclosed that it made $168,853.49 in contributions to federal candidates. Among those were Senator Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and Representative Vic Snyder (D-Ark.) at $5,000 each. As things were looking brighter for the Dems in the last couple of weeks, contributions also went to Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rahm Emanuel's (D-Ill.) Our Common Values PAC ($4,000); PAC to the Future ($5,000) run by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), potential speaker of the House; and $3,000 to House Minority Whip, and likely majority leader should the Democrats win control, Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).
NAFCU/PAC also seemed to take note of the Democrats' momentum. The largest contributions, according to the PAC's pre-general filings, went to Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), expected Democratic leader on the Senate Banking Committee; Congressman Ben Cardin (D-Md.) who is running for the retiring Paul Sarbanes seat ($2,000); original CURIA sponsor Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) ($2,000); and likely House Financial Services Committee Chairman--should the Dems take control--Barney Frank (D-Mass.).
However, CUNA Senior Vice President of Political Affairs Richard Gose said he would not put too much emphasis on polling this late in the game. "Right now polls are pretty much useless," he said. "You see a bunch of them keep going back and forth. You've got to ask yourself the question: How are these questions being asked?" And, who is being asked? Voters? Likely voters?
"Some people are...trying to make the poll look as favorable to their candidate as they can. It helps in the fundraising efforts and helps motivate the troops toward the last day," Gose, who has worked on campaigns, explained. Some key indicators for the remaining time in the run up to Election Day will be campaign funding left, the "ground game" in play, and the track record for district, especially in races within the margin of error.
Gose also acknowledged that CUNA had performed some targeted polling, but would not go into detail about it. "Right now it really does all come down to turnout. We've done a lot from the credit union perspective to try and be involved in a number of these races. We've given early in our CULAC giving," he pointed out. CUNA also has a sample Get Out The Vote poster on its homepage (www.cuna.org) that links to where credit unions can download the materials for free. The site also links to early and absentee voting forms from each state. "We will be watching it closely because we do have several friends that are in tight races," Gose said. Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Ohio are the "critical states" to watch, while New Jersey, Georgia, and New York should also be interesting. "You can tell early by looking at those East Coast returns if there's going to be some kind of national sweep," he explained. --firstname.lastname@example.org