WASHINGTON-The two national credit union trade associations rarely felt the sting of defeat in the 2004 elections. The Credit Union Legislative Action Council of CUNA contributed money to 332 House candidates, of which 322 won, according to CUNA Vice President of Communications and Media Outreach Pat Keefe. Of these only nine of their candidates lost and one in Louisiana, Willie Mount (D) still faces a run-off. Interestingly, NAFCU/PAC is supporting his opponent, Republican Charles Boustany. There were 39 open seats in the House, Keefe added; CULAC had supported 36 and won 34. Some of the top House recipients of CULAC funds, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, were Representatives Richard Baker (R-La.), chairman of the Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee of Financial Services, who received $15,000; along with Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas), Tom Cole (R-Okla.), and Tim Holden (D-Pa.) also receiving $15,000. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Mike Oxley (R-Ohio) received $12,000. All of these candidates won re-election. “None of the races broke in a way we didn’t expect, so we had a very good run,” CUNA Vice President of Political Affairs Richard Gose said. In a last minute effort, CULAC poured $80,000 into television advertising for long-time credit union friend Congressman Phil Crane (R-Ill.) who eventually lost his seat in Congress after serving for 18 terms. On the other hand, $75,858 went to last-ditch ads in support of Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.), a state senator running for the U.S. Congress, who went on to win her race. Additionally, CULAC was involved in 30 of the 34 Senate races with 28 victories. Senate Appropriations Committee Member Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) received the most from CULAC on the Senate side at $11,500, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Senators Christopher Bond (R-Mo.) and Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) received $10,000 each, as did Congressman Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) who won the Senate seat in his state. NAFCU/PAC was active in 13 Senate races with all but Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) winning election, NAFCU Communications Manager John Zimmerman said. Top contributions here included $5,000 to Senate Banking Committee Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), who is in charge of regulatory relief in the Senate; $5,000 to Daschle; Shelby at $3,000; and Dodd at $3,000. NAFCU/PAC gave to 108 House races involving incumbents with just four losing candidates. Of the open seats NAFCU/PAC participated in eight and won all of them except Boustany, the Republican facing off against Mount, who is backed by CUNA. NAFCU/PAC provided its highest contributions in the House to House Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) at $10,000; Financial Services Committee Members Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) and Steven LaTourette (R.-Ohio) at $10,000 a piece, two of the top sponsors of the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (H.R. 3579); and Financial Services Committee Member Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) with $7,500, who has championed secondary capital for credit unions in Congress. Overall, NAFCU had a 96% win rate with 97% of the funds contributed; $247,925 went to winning candidates and just $8,000 to losing candidates. -email@example.com
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