CUNA launches first round of IEs for 2018 midterms

October 17, 2018

Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC), the federal PAC of CUNA, is launching its first round of independent expenditures (IEs) for the 2018 midterm election cycle. The IEs are being launched in various stages throughout the week.

CULAC and CUNA have served as the political backbone for credit unions for over 40 years, engaging in strategic partisan communications and IEs for nine elections cycles. 

“Our strategic approach involves supporting credit union champions, regardless of their political affiliation, who understand issues affecting the industry and support policies that help credit unions serve their members.” said Trey Hawkins, CUNA Deputy Chief Advocacy Officer for Political Action.

The five candidates are supported through IEs directed at the general public but conducted independently of the candidate, his campaign, or the parties. Supported candidates and their districts include:  

  • In the Indiana Senate, CULAC is spending $525,000 on digital advertising and direct mail supporting Sen. Joe Donnelly (D);
  • In the Montana Senate, CULAC is spending $250,000 on an IE in support of Sen. Jon Tester (D), comprised of direct mail, digital ads on Pandora, and radio ads.
  • In Arizona’s 1st Congressional District, CULAC is spending just over $76,000 on direct mail IEs in support of Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D);
  • In Ohio’s 1st Congressional District, CULAC is spending $200,000 on an IE in support of Rep. Steve Chabot (R), comprised of television, radio and digital ads; and
  • In Texas 32nd Congressional District, CULAC is spending $200,000 on an IE in support of Rep. Pete Sessions (R), including ads on television, radio, digital, and a website,

“Our advertising is entirely positive in nature, which helps us cut through the clutter of negative ads and ultimately helpful to the candidates we are trying to help,” Hawkins added. 

CUNA also began releasing partisan communications in:

  • The West Virginia Senate race supporting Sen. Joe Manchin (D), in partnership with the West Virginia Credit Union League; and
  • North Carolina’s 13th District supporting Rep. Ted Budd (R), in partnership with the Carolinas Credit Union League.

This round of multi-channel campaigns are part of a launch earlier this month in six House races and the Missouri Senate race.  CUNA’s mid-term activities were covered in The Hill Wednesday.

Earlier this fall, CUNA launched Credit Unions Vote, a campaign focused on getting credit union members to vote in the November elections. According to recent data, 1 in 3 Americans are credit union members and 44% of registered voters belong to a credit union.