Preparing for the November mid-terms, CUNA is stepping up its grassroots advocacy this month with what it calls a refined "partisan communication" campaign aimed at getting CU members to have more direct involvement with candidates.
"We've had success before with this thing on Rep. Kanjorski and in a Georgia race with specific credit unions but now we are starting a new series involving more credit unions using direct mail," explained Trey Hawkins, vice president of political affairs.
Hawkins was referring to a 2008 drive to support CU stalwart Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D. Pa.) in a primary race and another successful effort in August to support Republican Rob Woodall in a race for a House seat representing a Congressional district near Atlanta.
In the Woodall race, Gwinnett FCU of Lawrenceville and Georgia Credit Union Affiliates teamed up for an 8,000 member mailing campaign, Hawkins said.
Those kinds of targeted efforts are proving highly successful and so CUNA intends to do more of them between now and the Nov. 2 election, he said. While online solicitation is effective, the direct mail campaign is "more targeted at individual households."
Hawkins said he was "not at liberty" to disclose how many other partisan communication drives there will be.
The CUNA lobbyist last week detailed some of the CUNA campaign strategy before Maine CEOs at the annual Legislative Forum of the Maine Credit Union League.
In his remarks to the Maine group, Hawkins stressed the role that CUs "can and should have in elections."
"When elected officials equate grassroots to strength to votes, numbers matter,"