A government watchdog group is blasting the Credit Union National Association for continuing to support members of Congress who voted against certifying the Electoral College votes in the 2020 presidential election.
In a new report, Accountable.US said that during the first 11 months of 2021, CUNA contributed $188,500 to147 members of Congress who opposed certifying the election.
“A year has passed since the deadly insurrection on the U.S. Capitol that spurred a flurry of corporate promises to defend democracy,” the group said in the report, which catalogs companies and trade groups that continued to contribute to the 147 Republicans it calls the “Sedition Caucus.”
“For many of the biggest companies and trade groups in the country, those promises were broken when they funneled millions of dollars to election objectors in Congress,” the group continued.
The watchdog group said that many corporate and trade group PACs, including CUNA’s committee, known as CULAC, paused their political contributions following Jan. 6, but that many had resumed their giving since then.
CUNA operates one of the largest trade group PACs. Among companies and trade groups, CUNA ranks behind the American Bankers Association and the Boeing Corp. in its contributions to the 147 members of Congress. The ABA contributed the most–$203,000, followed by Boeing at $190,000.
CUNA’s largest contributions among the 147 members went to Republican Reps. Lisa McClain of Michigan, Warren Davidson of Ohio and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California. They each received $10,000.
As of the end of November, CUNA had contributed $1.430 million to congressional candidates.
Accountable.US noted that CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle “fiercely” denounced the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6 and renounced his membership in the Republican Party following the vote counting debacle and the attack.
“The Credit Union National Association’s support for election deniers is in tension with its stated values on democracy, economic equality, and access to the ballot box,” Accountable.US said.
In a statement, CUNA defended its campaign contribution strategy. “CULAC is committed to supporting candidates on both sides of the aisle who understand the credit union mission and are working with us to support financial well-being for all,” CUNA said. “Our electoral efforts are directed by our members, and we are proud to rank among the most bipartisan donors in Washington.”
The National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions operates a much smaller PAC and was not included in the Accountable.US analysis.