WASHINGTON -- CUNA contributed political action committee funds to challengers in three races where incumbents were in the running, which is extremely rare for the credit union trade.
CUNA had been going up against John Hostettler (R-Ind.) over the last two election cycles, finally succeeding in 2006. "Hostettler was one of the few people left in Congress who voted against 1151 and never really had a relationship with credit unions at all," CUNA Senior Vice President of Political Affairs Richard Gose said. His opponent, Brad Ellsworth, is a credit union member and indicated that he would be supportive of credit union issues.
CULAC also supported Jeff Lamberti (R) for Iowa's 3rd over incumbent Leonard Boswell (D) and lost. The state league and local credit unions felt Lamberti had been very helpful with critical legislation at a key time in the state and decided to support him; this instance was pro-Lamberti and not anti-Boswell, Gose said.
Finally, Max Burns (R-Ga.), who lost to current incumbent John Barrow (D-Ga.) in 2004, had CUNA's backing. "We just never stopped being with him," according to Gose. The 2006 election was still too close to call at deadline.