Will Kelda Roys return the contribution she received from ALEC-affiliated CULAC?

Another day, another attack on Democratic Congressional candidate Mark Pocan by his primary opponent, Kelda Roys.

This time Roys is attacking Pocan for having accepted corporate PAC contributions to his campaign. In a press release attacking Pocan, Roys campaign manager Rick Coelho said, “We deserve a representative Congress who will stand up to wealthy, powerful corporations every day – not sit down with them to get more campaign cash,” as if Kelda Roys is that person.

But here’s where things get a little sticky for the Roys for Congress campaign. Among the myriad of contributions to Roys’ campaign over the past year was a contribution made sometime around December 30, 2011 in the amount of $2,500 from CULAC, which is the federal PAC for the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). On face value, that certainly seems like a benign contribution – after all, credit unions are supposed to be the “good guys” of the banking sector.

However, CUNA has very clear ties to ALEC, having not only attended ALEC’s 2011 conference in New Orleans, but also having attended the first meeting of ALEC’s new financial services subcommittee (emphasis added).

ALEC created a new financial services subcommittee and CUNA attended the first meeting,” Pat Sowick, CUNA vice president of league relations, told News Now. “It’s important to have a credit union presence in these forums where financial services issues are discussed. A highlight this year at ALEC was the attendance by more than 600 state legislators–many of whom were freshman members.”

What’s more, CUNA’s affiliation with ALEC isn’t anything new. According to a 2003 press release issued by CUNA, “CUNA sits on ALEC’s Commerce and Economic Development Task Force.” An attempt was made to contact CUNA to obtain clarification on that group’s affiliation with ALEC, but as of this report I have not received any response. Reached by phone for comment on this report, Roys campaign manager Rick Coelho said his official policy is not to comment to myself or Blogging Blue, as I’m “clearly a Mark Pocan activist.”

So now that CULAC (through its parent organization, CUNA) has been found to have clear and unambiguous ties to ALEC, will Kelda Roys return the $2,500 her campaign received from that group? After all, if she wants to attack Mark Pocan for having taken contributions from companies with ties to ALEC, the least she could do is make sure she hasn’t accepted thousands of dollars from a group with ties to ALEC.


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