In the wake of falling poll numbers and a likely difficult race for a sixth term, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) is expected to announce today that he will retire from office at the end of the year, according to several media reports.
Dodd, who has been at the center of the Senate's debates on regulatory restructuring and health care reform, has received money from the political action committees of both CUNA and NAFCU for his re-election campaign. During the current six-year campaign cycle, CUNA's PAC gave Dodd $7,000 and NAFCU's PAC gave him $6,000.
Though Dodd has been generally supportive of credit unions-he has called for consolidating several financial regulators though vowed to keep the NCUA independent-during a 2008 hearing he expressed concern that some credit unions were engaging in "mission creep" and becoming too much like banks.
Dodd, who trailed one potential GOP opponent-World Wrestling Entertainment Founder Linda McMahon-by double digits, was hurt because of a series of missteps. These included mounting a long shot presidential campaign at the height of the financial crisis when some critics thought he should be attending to committee business and accepting special mortgage rates from Countywide Financial President/CEO Angelo Mozilo.
Dodd has served in the Senate since 1981 and was a House member for six years before that.
Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is expected to seat the Democratic nomination to succeed Dodd. McMahon is competing in a four-candidate field for the GOP nomination.