September 15, 2020 | News | No Comments
The political arm of the largest U.S. credit union trade group is spending $1.8 million on ads supporting a bipartisan group of House and Senate incumbents facing close races in the November midterm elections.
The Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) political action committee has purchased digital, radio and mail ads backing vulnerable Democratic Sens. Jon Tester (Mont.) and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyEx-Sen. Joe Donnelly endorses Biden Lobbying world 70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents MORE (Ind.) and GOP House chairmen Reps. Pete SessionsPeter Anderson SessionsTexas kicks off critical battle for House control The Hill’s review of John Solomon’s columns on Ukraine Tenth Congressional Black Caucus member backs Biden MORE (Texas) and Steve ChabotSteven (Steve) Joseph ChabotOhio is suddenly a 2020 battleground House passes bill to grant flexibility for small business aid program Ohio Democrat Kate Schroder wins primary to challenge Steve Chabot MORE (Ohio).
All four have played crucial roles advancing legislation favored by credit unions, but are defending their seats in hostile political conditions in November.
“The common thread through all of these are incumbents that have been strong champions for credit unions on the issues and need the help,” said Trey Hawkins, vice president of political affairs for CUNA.
CUNA’s Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC) will spend $525,000 on digital ads and direct mail supporting Donnelly and $250,000 on radio ads backing Tester, co-authors of a major regulatory rollback for credit unions.
Hawkins said the regulatory rollback was just one of several reasons the group is backing Tester and Donnelly, who are both members of the Senate Banking Committee. He also cited their support for protecting the credit unions’ exemption from corporate income tax.
“It’s part of the equation, but it’s certainly not the only one,” Hawkins said of Tester and Donnelly’s support for Dodd-Frank rollbacks. “They were champions for credit unions on issues we were concerned about, and they have their backs against the wall.”
Tester and Donnelly and are running for reelection in states that overwhelmingly back President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE and are among the most vulnerable Senate Democrats. The CULAC ads don’t mention the senators’ support for looser financial rules, but tout their efforts to protect seniors and health care for veterans.
The ads also aim to distance the moderate duo from national Democrats by touting Donnelly’s “[fight] for Hoosier values” and praising Tester for being “as Montana as Montana gets.”
On the House side, CULAC is backing two top GOP chairmen who face tight races in November. The group will spend a combined $200,000 on TV, radio and digital ads for Sessions and Chabot touting their support for tax cuts and IRS oversight, along with a website supporting Sessions’s reelection.
Sessions leads the powerful House Rules Committee, while Chabot chairs the Small Business Committee.
CULAC will also spend $76,000 on direct mail supporting Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-Ariz.), who’s trailing his Republican opponent in recent polling.
CULAC is also supporting several other endangered incumbents through communications from its member credit unions, including Democratic Sens. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillMissouri county issues travel advisory for Lake of the Ozarks after Memorial Day parties Senate faces protracted floor fight over judges amid pandemic safety concerns Amash on eyeing presidential bid: ‘Millions of Americans’ want someone other than Trump, Biden MORE (Mo.) and Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinTrump administration seeks to use global aid for nuclear projects Shelley Moore Capito wins Senate primary West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice wins GOP gubernatorial primary MORE (W.Va.), and GOP Reps. Bruce PoliquinBruce Lee PoliquinHouse Democrats make initial ad buys in battleground states The 5 most vulnerable senators in 2020 Maine Democrat announces he’ll vote for only one article of impeachment against Trump MORE (Maine) and Ted BuddTheodore (Ted) Paul BuddHouse Republican introduces bill to hold up members’ pay if they vote by proxy House GOP lawmakers urge Senate to confirm Vought The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: Dybul interview; Boris Johnson update MORE (N.C.).
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