FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 16, 2020
Credit Unions Flex Campaign Muscle, Set to Spend Record-Setting $7 Million in 2020 Election Cycle
CUNA’s PAC Raises $2.8M in 2019
Credit Union National Association (CUNA) today announced it will spend a record $7 million in the 2020 election cycle to support congressional candidates on both sides of the aisle. Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC), the federal political action committee (PAC) for CUNA, will report a fundraising total in excess of $2.8 million for 2019. This marks a record in the four-decade-plus history of the CUNA federal political action committee.
“This record figure is an active demonstration that credit union members have a vested interest in the political process,” said Trey Hawkins, CUNA Deputy Chief Advocacy Officer for Political Action. “The true measure of success is not in the amount of money we raise, but in the investments we make throughout the cycle to help strengthen the political backbone for credit unions and our 115 million members.”
What differentiates CULAC from others in the industry is both its ranking among the most bipartisan PACs as measured by candidate support and its grassroots nature of fundraising, with donations from more than 33,000 of America’s credit union members. CULAC’s average annual donor contributes just $84 annually, and more than 60% of all receipts are from donors giving less than $200 a year.
Thus far for the 2020 election cycle, over $1.8 million in contributions have been seeded to 355 candidates for the United States House of Representatives and Senate. With a healthy $1.7 million cash on hand heading into the election year, CUNA and CULAC expect to spend a record of $7 million on the 2020 election cycle.
“Credit union members are invested in the financial services marketplace and pride themselves on being involved in the political process,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “We are focused on helping those who support cooperatives and not-for-profit institutions like credit unions who are making significant contributions, backing those candidates that are both understanding of the credit union difference and politically viable in their districts.”
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, CULAC remains among the most bipartisan national PACs, with support going almost equally to credit union-friendly candidates from both Republican and Democratic parties. The political action committee leaders take a politically strategic approach to campaign contributions, supporting those candidates who demonstrate an understanding of the credit union difference.
“The record setting nature of the funds raised underscores the priority that our community places on engaging in the political process. We have an interest in the process and a point of view to share,” Nussle added. “Our contributions support both parties across all aspects of the federal government and we are proud to bring our community’s voice to the table in a meaningful way.”
In the 2018 election cycle, over 380 credit union candidates received CULAC backing and were elected to the 116th Congress. This marked a 91% success rate on midterm election investments. Efforts from the trade group aim to create a voice for credit unions on both sides of the aisle.
According to recent data, 1 in 3 Americans are credit union members and 44% of registered voters belong to a credit union.
Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is the only national association that advocates on behalf of all of America’s credit unions, which are owned by 115 million consumer members. CUNA, along with its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, delivers unwavering advocacy, continuous professional growth and operational confidence to protect the best interests of all credit unions. For more information about CUNA, visit cuna.org. To find your nearest credit union, visit YourMoneyFurther.com.