U.S. Central PAC Gave Money to Sen. Dodd While in Conservatorship
The contributions of $1,500 apiece were the last campaign donations given by the troubled Lenexa, Kan.-based corporate credit union. The NCUA shuttered the PAC in April as part of its conservatorship.
The NCUA placed U.S. Central into conservatorship on March 21 (along with Western Corporate Federal Credit Union) and the contributions to Dodd and Whitehouse were made on March 31.
Several weeks later Congress passed a measure that created the Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund to pay for the NCUA's rescue of the corporate credit union system.
As chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Dodd shepherded the corporate credit union stabilization plan through Congress, but he has received far fewer contributions from credit union PACs than he has from PACs tied to commercial banks.
Since 2005, Dodd has received $16,500 from credit union political action committees and $89,000 from PACs affiliated with commercial banks.
NCUA Director of Public and Congressional Affairs John McKechnie said the U.S. Central PAC made the contributions to Dodd and Whitehouse on March 31 to fulfill an obligation made before the credit union was placed into conservatorship.
During the 2008 cycle, U.S. Central's PAC gave $39,310 to federal candidates, including donations to Dodd and the ranking Republican on his panel, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). On the House side, recipients of U.S. Central's largesse included Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.), a key supporter of credit unions, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) a major player on the House Financial Services Committee and then-Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) who is now President Obama's chief of staff.
U.S. Central's contributions were a small part of the industry's political giving so far this year. During the first six months of 2009, seven credit union-related political action committees gave $253,200 to federal candidates-68% to Democrats and 34% to Republicans-according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In the same period, PACs affiliated with commercial banks contributed $999,750 to federal candidates.
The largest credit union donor has been CUNA's PAC, the Credit Union Legislative Action Council, which has given $195,400, 64% to Democrats and 36% to Republicans. It has raised $881,547 this year and had $561,053 cash on hand and no debts as of June 30.
By contrast, during the first six months of 2007-the same time period for the last election cycle-CULAC gave $835,450 to federal candidates. As of June 30, 2007, it had $241,941.28 cash on hand and had no debts. It raised $685,364 during the first six months of 2007.
Among the recent recipients of contributions from CULAC are House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, a Republican who is seeking an open U.S. Senate seat and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) who is running for the seat after being appointed by New York Gov. David Paterson. She is likely to be challenged by U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who CUNA has strongly supported in her House races.
NAFCU's PAC, the National Association of Federal Credit Unions Political Action Committee, has given $42,200 to federal candidates this year, 72% to Democrats and 28% to Republicans. It had $127,115 cash on hand as of June 30 and had raised $62,102 this year.
During the first six months of 2007, it raised $134,970 and gave $173,543 to federal candidates. It had $73,819 cash on hand as of June 30, 2007.
Among recent recipients of the PAC's money are Crist, Kanjorski and Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), a key supporter of credit unions.
The other credit union PACs that have given money in 2009 are First Future Credit Union in San Diego, $5,800; Kinecta Federal Credit Union in Manhattan Beach, Calif., $3,300; North Island Credit Union in San Diego, $500; and Schools First Federal Credit Union in Santa Ana, Calif., $3,000.