Former top NCUA aide John McKechnie, now with a Washington consulting firm, is enhancing his lobbying profile.
The ex-director of the agency’s congressional and public affairs who left his post in February to enter the private arena has signed up the Missouri Credit Union Association as a client to do advocacy work on behalf of Total Spectrum, the Beltway lobbying firm.
McKechnie, a Total Spectrum senior vice president, said the Missouri trade group is one of several financial firms he now represents. He declined to identify the others.
Leaders of MCUA said the hiring of McKechnie represents a key step in ramping up the trade group’s political advocacy.
"John’s experience on Capitol Hill and his high level of political savvy will serve the credit unions of Missouri well," said Amy McClard, league vice president of federal legislative affairs.
McKechnie "will advise MCUA in developing educational programs that motivate credit union professionals and volunteers to increase their involvement in the political process," she said.
Since leaving NCUA, McKechnie has also been active on the speaking circuit, telling the Ohio Credit Union League at its annual convention earlier this month that the current congressional-regulatory environment has a Wizard of Oz-like quality, making it that much more challenging for CUs to get out a positive message.
He said the D.C. scene "had been changed by the financial market upheaval, and I try to remind people that the situation is like the scene from the Wizard of Oz where the picture changed from black and white to color, only in this case, the picture changed from color to black and white."
In other words, he concluded, "the landscape suddenly became very black and white in terms of how financial institutions are viewed. Everything became a question of safety and soundness and risk mitigation."