New Friends, Old Allies Triumph
Senator-Elect Warren Lauds CUs in Victory Speech
In her victory speech on Nov. 6, Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) thanked a list of campaign supporters that included credit unions. She defeated incumbent Republican Senator Scott Brown, receiving 54% of votes cast.
“Credit unions … yes … love my credit unions,” Warren said.
After naming a couple additional supportive groups, Warren said, “All of you have my back and I promise you, I’ll have your back.”
Dan Egan, President of the Massachusetts Credit Union League, said Warren was “extremely gracious” in mentioning credit union support, and said the league is looking forward to the opportunity to work with her. The league endorsed Warren, drawing criticism from some in the industry thanks to her association with the CFPB.
National GOP Target Kissell Loses to Seasoned Congressional Staffer
Credit unions can’t win them all, and such was the case for Rep. Larry Kissell, a Democrat who was a co-sponsor of three credit union bills while representing North Carolina’s 8th District. He was defeated by Republican Richard Hudson, who snagged 54% of the vote to Kissell’s 46%. The losing congressman was national GOP target, identified by national Republican leaders as one who could be defeated to increase the party’s majority in the House.
Kissell was endorsed by the North Carolina Credit Union League and was the recipient of CUNA bipartisan campaign communications for the second consecutive election cycle. He was an original co-sponsor of supplemental capital bill H.R. 3993 and co-sponsor of H.R. 1418 and H.R. 3461.
Dan Schline, league senior vice president of association services said during Kissell’s two terms in Congress he had “been supportive on essentially all issues across the board”, including interchange, member business lending and supplemental capital.
Maffei Wins a Second Chance in Congress
Former Representative Dan Maffei (D-N.Y.), a known credit union supporter who was vocal in his advocacy of small institutions during the debate of the Dodd-Frank Act, will return to Congress having defeated the woman who knocked him out of office in 2010, Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R). Maffei won with 48% of the vote to Buerkle’s 44%. As of press time Nov. 8, Buerkle had yet to concede the race, trailing by 14,601 votes with 21,500 absentee ballots yet to be counted. However, Maffei declared victory in the race, saying “I am looking forward to working to fix our economy, create jobs, and rebuild our middle class.”
Katie Marisic, NAFCU director of political affairs, said she thinks one of the first bills Maffei will co-sponsor when he takes office is member business lending, provided the current bill doesn’t move during the lame duck session.
“In our discussions with him, he said he would support it,” she said. “And, we’d love to see him on (the House Financial Services Committee) again.”
Perlmutter Taps Out Coors
Democratic Congressman Ed Perlmutter, who due to conservative-friendly redistricting faced a tough race in Colorado’s 7th District, defeated Republican beverage heir Joe Coors to win a fourth term in the House with 53% of the vote.
“It’s not right, it’s not left,” Perlmutter said of his district during his victory speech in Denver Tuesday night. “It is still right down the middle and I think it reflected that in this election.”
Perlmutter is a co-sponsor of member business lending bill H.R. 1418 and H.R. 3461, the Exam Reform Act.NAFCU Director of Political Affairs Katie Marisic called Perlmutter “one of those who is right there with credit unions” and noted his experience on the House Financial Services Committee has been beneficial to credit unions.
Sherman Bests Berman to Return to Congress
Long-time credit union friend Brad Sherman survived a nasty race against fellow Democratic Rep. Howard Berman in California’s 30th district. The two were forced to run against each other due to redistricting and the state’s top two primary system that advances to the general election the two candidates that receive the most primary votes, regardless of party.
The two incumbents spent more than $13 million on the race, which NAFCU Director of Political Affairs Katie Marisic called “a lot of money for a House race.”
Marisic said Sherman’s victory was well deserved, as the eight-term congressmen attended more than 170 town hall meetings in his district this election cycle. “That’s a lot of constituent outreach, and it was reflected in the voting,” she said.
Sherman is an original co-sponsor of supplemental capital bill H.R. 3993, and is co-sponsor of H.R. 3461, the Exam Reform Act and MBL bill H.R. 1418. Berman is also a co-sponsor of H.R. 1418.Bob Arnould, senior vice president of advocacy at the California Credit Union League, said, “Brad is a great champion for credit unions and we congratulate him on his victory. We look forward to continuing our efforts with him in the 113th Congress.”
Tester Ekes Out a Close One in Montana
With 86% of the votes in, CNN declared Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) the winner mid-day on Nov. 7 with just an 18,000 vote lead over challenger Denny Rehberg, a Republican congressman. The Washington-based publication Politico also declared Tester victorious as of press time Nov. 8. Tester, who along with Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) attempted to delay the Federal Reserve’s ability to cap interchange rates, was supported by partisan communications from credit unions to their members in Big Sky Country. Tracie Kenyon, president/CEO of the Montana Credit Union Network, said she’s hopeful credit unions helped put Tester over the top.
“We mailed in areas where there were population centers, areas with good support for Jon, so I feel good that we did make a difference in this race,” she said.