Iowa Credit Unions and the Caucus
Like many of their fellow Iowans taking part in Tuesday’s Republican presidential caucus, credit union leaders in the Hawkeye State said they appreciated the important role they played in the election process but they agreed the onslaught of TV advertising and robotic phone calls at home residences had been wearisome, to say the least.
“I do look forward to Wednesday” when the blaring commercials stop, said Justin Hupfer, vice president-government affairs for the Iowa Credit Union League.
Iowans have become used to the high-powered national attention devoted to the caucuses, a four year ritual though “maybe it got hyped a little more this year,” observed Hupfer.
Hupfer, a registered Republican, said he did plan to join a caucus at a middle school in Johnston, a Des Moines suburb.
Tim Chapman, president/CEO of the $45 million Members Community CU of Muscatine and vice chairman of the league, said he remains serious about engaging his civic duty in participating in the caucuses but this year “my daughter’s basketball game is the same night” so family comes first.
“Do you know we had four of the candidates in our town over the last week alone,” said Chapman who hails from a Quad Cities area community on the Mississippi River.
And he counted that same week “about a dozen and half phone calls” at home, said Chapman, also a registered Republican who at one point agreed to take part in what he thought was a media poll.
When he give the caller his choice for candidate, “I soon started getting negative calls” about that candidate.
The Muscatine CEO said he had not attended any of the candidate rallies “because it takes me a while before I really get engaged. You know we have 11 months to think about this.”
Only two of the candidates, Gov. Rick Perry and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, attended any CU-type events with Perry a featured speaker at the league’s annual convention in Des Moines.