ARLINGTON, Va.-NAFCU's emphasis on increasing its political action committee is working like a charm to fatten the lobby group's coffers. As of the end of last week, NAFCU/PAC had raised more than $75,000 for 2003, according to NAFCU Director of Legislative and Political Affairs Brad Thaler. These funds are off the charts for NAFCU in comparison to all of 2002, an election year, when the PAC raised just over $101,000, Federal Election Commission records indicate. The amount surpassing funds raised by NAFCU even during the H.R. 1151 battle. Because of the size of the PAC, NAFCU files reports with the FEC semi-annually in an off year and quarterly during an election year. Thaler said that NAFCU President and CEO Fred Becker and the NAFCU Board have made the PAC a priority, especially emphasizing with members the role that it plays in the political process. NAFCU has also doubled the size of the organization's PAC Committee from eight members to 16, in direct response to increased interest from NAFCU members, Thaler explained. He added that the size of NAFCU's legislative committee has also increased. To cultivate this interest, NAFCU began different fundraising campaigns last year including PAC Pals-beanie bears in exchange for a contribution-or the Washington, D.C.-scenes calendar with listings for prize drawings, as well as giving the programs more prominence at conferences. Some of the key contributions NAFCU has made so far this year include $5,000 to Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.); $2,000 to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.); and $1,000 each to Senate Finance Committee Chair and Judiciary Committee Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Senate Banking Committee Member John Sununu (R-N.H.), and House Financial Services Committee Member and strong credit union supporter Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio). -


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