Trade PACs Play a Waiting Game
Wait till next year.
That’s the motto of fans whose teams have a disappointing season, and it’s also sums up the political strategies of CUNA and NAFCU.
Both are holding back their checkbooks to see how the campaigns evolve, just as they did in the last campaign cycle.
CUNA’s Credit Union Legislative Action Council has raised $1.1 million through August, the same amount as it raised in 2009. CULAC has given $968,875 to federal candidates and committees this year compared to $853,934 in 2009. The data are contained in forms filed with the Federal Election Commission.
CULAC, the fifth-largest donor to federal candidates among political action committees this year according to the Center for Responsive Politics, had $507,994 in its coffers at the end of August, compared to $708,714 at the end of August 2009. According to the center, the American Bankers Association is the sixth largest donor.
CUNA Senior Vice President Richard Gose said the difference in cash amounts is because it spent more money at the end of the last campaign cycle on certain independent expenditures. As a result, they carried over less money into the new cycle.
NAFCU’s National Association of Federal Credit Unions Political Action Committee has raised $114,742 this cycle, compared with $81,794 during the first eight months of 2009. It has given $105,961 to federal candidates and committees, compared with $88,714 during the same period in 2009.
The PAC had $244,310 in its coffers at the end of August, compared with $145,566 at the end of August 2009.
NAFCU Executive Vice President Dan Berger said the fundraising strategy hasn’t changed, although he noted that there is even more awareness among credit union leaders of the importance of being politically active in light of the greater regulatory burden they face.
Several credit union supporters face difficult paths to re-election next year, in part because of redistricting.
Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), who is sponsoring legislation to raise the cap on member business lending, will face fellow Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.) in the GOP primary. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), a strong supporter of credit unions, will face Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) in a primary race next year. The GOP-controlled redistricting process in North Carolina resulted in a map that will force Democratic Rep. Brad Miller to run against fellow Democratic Rep. David Price next year.
Both CUNA‘s and NAFCU’s PACs have already given money to Royce, Sherman and Brad Miller this year.
Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) has received support from credit unions, but his opposition to a measure to delay the implementation of the Federal Reserve’s interchange rule could cause that to change next year. He is ahead in the polls, but Massachusetts is a heavily Democratic state.