WASHINGTON (10/28/10)--With Tuesday’s midterm elections looming, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) leads the top 50 political interest groups as the single most bipartisan spender on independent expenditures (IEs), the Washington Post reported. Independent expenditures are campaign spending -- such as television or radio ads or direct mail -- that are spent by outside groups, independent of a given candidate or campaign. A total of 56% of CUNA’s independent expenditures (IE) went to Democratic candidates, with the remainder going to Republicans. The majority of the top 50 interest groups spent more than 89% of their total expenditures on candidates from one party. The Post report, which is based on Oct. 24 Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings, ranked CUNA 49th out of 212 organizations that made independent expenditures (IE) during this campaign cycle. CUNA ranked 5th among trade associations, trailing only the US Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Realtors, the American Hospital Association, and the National Association of Manufacturers in total spending. CUNA had spent a total of $837,000 in funds as of Oct. 24. CUNA’s Credit Union Legislative Action Committee (CULAC) has backed Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), and Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-Ala.) during this general election. CUNA also backed New Hampshire Senate candiate Ovide Lamontagne (R) in his unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination. CUNA Vice President of Political Affairs Trey Hawkins said that “CUNA’s IE campaigns, like all of our political activities, aren't focused on helping candidates of one party of the other. First and foremost we look to help candidates that understand and support credit unions."