CUNA enlists grassroots support for candidates in Ill., Iowa

October 6, 2014

WASHINGTON (10/7/14)--With November's election four weeks from today, the Credit Union National Association has announced its next round of support for credit union-friendly candidates. CUNA and state leagues will fund three partisan communications this week for candidates in Iowa and Illinois.

Eight direct mailers in support of current Rep. Bruce Braley (D), will be sent to approximately 60,000 credit union voters across Iowa. Braley is seeking the U.S. Senate seat vacated by retiring Sen. Tom Harkin (D).

Braley was first elected to Congress in 2006 and has been a "champion for credit unions" ever since, said Patrick Jury, president/CEO of the Iowa Credit Union League, who added that Braley has supported raising the member business lending cap for credit unions. He will face off against Republican candidate and state Sen. Joni Ernst.

Seven mailers with an audience of roughly 25,000 credit union voters in northwestern Illinois will be sent in support of Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.). Bustos, who was first elected in 2012, has been a credit union member for 21 years and supported keeping credit unions' tax status.

"A tax hike on credit unions could result in higher loan rates, lower dividend rates and perhaps a reduction in the basic services credit unions offer their members," she said in September 2013 (News Now 9/13/13). "Taxing credit unions would do more harm than good to consumers who voluntarily join not-for-profit credit unions."

According to the Illinois Credit Union League, there are more than 218,000 credit union members in the district.

Bustos is facing off against Republican Bobby Schilling, whom she defeated in 2012.

Elsewhere in Illinois, CUNA will reach out to more than 16,000 credit union voters with four mailers in support of Rep. Rodney Davis (R) for the state's 13th Congressional District seat. Davis will face Democratic candidate Ann Callis.

Trey Hawkins, CUNA vice president of political affairs, called Davis a strong advocate for regulatory relief and maintaining credit unions' tax status.

Previously, the Credit Union Legislative Action Council, CUNA's political action committee, has made independent expenditures to the campaigns of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Democratic House candidate Pete Aguilar in California, who is a former credit union vice president.

Hawkins said additional support for candidates will be announced in the coming days and weeks.