SAN BERNDARDINO, Calif. – Arrowhead Credit Union, one of California’s largest and most politically active credit unions, is looking at the possibility of paying a fine for failing to correctly report more than $104,000 in campaign contributions between January 2000 and December 2003. As of press time, the California Fair Political Practices Commission was expected to vote September 1 to approve a $3,444.41 fine on the institution. Because it gives more than $10,000 a year to political candidates, Arrowhead is required to file semi-annual campaign statements. In January 2005, the $927-million credit union discovered it hadn’t filed the paperwork, so it reported its own error to the commission, said Pete Aguilar, Arrowhead’s Vice President of Governmental Relations. Because this is Arrowhead’s first reporting violation, the commission allowed the credit union to participate in its Streamlined Enforcement Program, meaning it can voluntarily correct the errors and pay a smaller penalty. To eliminate future reporting errors, Arrowhead has created a new compliance manager position to monitor campaign finance laws, and has written an internal operations policy manual that outlines the reporting process. In the 2003-04 election cycle, Arrowhead and its employees gave $21,100 to federal candidates alone, making it the seventh most generous credit union in the nation, according to the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington, D.C. The 150,000-member Arrowhead has a community charter that includes the Southern California counties of San Bernardino and Riverside.

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