Election Year Political Support Prompts Industry Discord
Credit union consultant, blogger and Capitol Hill veteran Marvin Umholtz said the nation’s growing political divide is apparent among credit union leaders and fuels comments he receives from his readers and colleagues. Umholtz, who said he isn’t affiliated with either major party, blames Democrats and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for turning credit union leaders against progressive candidates. Umholtz said the Massachusetts Credit Union League’s July 26 endorsement of Democrat Elizabeth Warren for U.S. Senate was particularly distasteful to credit unions, given her history with the CFPB.
“In my mind, Elizabeth Warren fits the category of a candidate who did damage to credit unions even worse than Durbin,” Umholtz said. The Olympia, Wash.-based consultant admitted his dislike of the CFPB and the Dodd-Frank Act may be extreme, but the bureau’s new rules that were mandated by Dodd-Frank have done so much damage to the credit union business model, Umholtz said, that nobody who supported or voted for the bill should receive any credit union support this election season.
Pillow said the Virginia league has been receiving a little more feedback than usual from members who disapprove of supporting a candidate on the basis of political party. But, he said, the league encourages credit union leaders to become involved with any candidate’s campaign regardless of party to ensure both sides understand industry issues.
CUNA has also been receiving feedback regarding league endorsements and PAC donations that reflect the political divide, said President/CEO Bill Cheney. Feedback has been both positive and negative, and has included criticism and endorsements of both parties.