CUNA political strategists say that the U.S. Supreme Court's recent lifting of many limitations on corporate political advertising will not affect credit union political action committee activities.
Richard Gose, CUNA senior vice president of political affairs, argued the court's decision has everything to do with communications by corporations, but little or nothing to do with contributions made to PACs such as the Credit Union Legislative Action Council, CUNA's PAC.
Gose added that even those considering launching their own corporate political communications efforts should take heed: There is much to learn. For example, he noted that it remains unclear whether federal credit unions can spend money on independent political advertising.
CUNA Vice President of Political Affairs Trey Hawkins pointed out that "partisan communications" remains the most effective tool for credit unions in supporting candidates of their choice.
"Because of the unique relationship that credit unions have with their members, and the distinct advantage of being able to coordinate with the candidate in these efforts, CUNA will continue to emphasize this approach as the most cost-effective and valuable tool for supporting candidates of a credit union's choice," he said.
Hawkins noted that credit unions have been successful in the past by pooling and focusing their resources, rather than acting alone and out of concert with one another. "CULAC, for example, has been very successful in using donations from CU members to finance independent expenditures in key races, something we plan to continue to do, at least through this election cycle."