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WASHINGTON- As last week’s story entitled “Congress is out, but there is still legislative work to be done” (CU Times, Aug. 28) highlighted, throughout the August congressional recess, credit unions and their leagues continue to push hard for credit union issues with lawmakers in their home districts. Due to overwhelming response to Credit Union Time’s inquiry as to what credit unions were doing politically during the election year August recess, here is a continuation of how state credit union leagues and credit unions are working to ensure strong ties with Capitol Hill. Idaho Credit Union League The Idaho Credit Union League could not quite wait until August to begin their grassroots work. Just prior to the recess, the league set up a tour of five Boise-area credit unions for Congressman Mike Simpson (R), Idaho CU League Regulatory and Governmental Affairs Specialist Val Brooks said. Credit union staff, board members, and credit union members were able to discuss critical issues with their representative at that time. More recently, a staffer from Senator Larry Craig’s (R) office, aware of credit unions’ vast grassroots capabilities, contacted the league to help inform local credit unions about the Special Committee on Aging Field Hearings in Idaho to take place during the August recess. Congressman C.L. “Butch” Otter’s (R) campaign also called Brooks in August to volunteer on the registration desk at a breakfast for Otter where Craig, Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne (R), and Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) were guest speakers. Kentucky Credit Union League On Friday, August 23rd, the Kentucky CU League sponsored the Greater Louisville Inc, Chamber luncheon in which Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) was the guest speaker. Representatives from eight different credit unions were expected at the event. Just in the knick of time, on August 30, the league arranged for Congressman Ken Lucas (D) to visit Members Choice Credit Union and Ashland Inc. Credit Union. Representatives from select employee groups, volunteers, members and employees will be on hand. California Credit Union League The California CU League emphasized that fundraising events are not simply for putting funds in the league’s coffers, but also a time for networking with their representatives from Washington and discussing concerns of the credit union community, according to California League Public Relations Specialist Mark Lowe. For example, about two-thirds of Representative Ellen Tauscher’s (D) district will be new to the long-time credit union ally. Tauscher has asked for the league’s assistance in getting to know her new, potential constituents following redistricting. Additionally, the district of Congressman David Dreier (R) has shifted to include a number of homes of the league staff. League Executive Vice President Matthew Davidson is hosting an event in his home for Dreier. Nevada Credit Union League Credit unions will also be particularly busy in Nevada, where redistricting has created a new congressional seat with the potential to influence the balance of power in the House. Nevada credit unions are hosting an event for Nevada State Senator Jon Porter, a candidate for the third district, in September. Montana Credit Union Network Montana Credit Union Network President and CEO Tracie Kenyon Karls attended a small group luncheon fundraiser (about 25 people) on August 8 with Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and Congressman Denny Rehberg (R). Both congressmen predicted passage of the bankruptcy abuse reform bill this year. Additional league staffers and volunteers also attended a larger reception following the luncheon to meet with the lawmakers. League officials also had lunch with an aid for Congressman Rehberg on August 14. Among the topics for discussion were bankruptcy reform and the regulatory relief legislation (H.R. 3951) and the aid confirmed the congressman’s strong support for credit union issues. On Saturday, August 24 league officials also attended a fundraiser for Senator Max Baucus (D), chairman of the Finance Committee, at his family ranch in the Helena area. During the first week of September, the league will also be represented at fundraisers for both Rehberg and Senator Conrad Burns (R), who is not up for reelection until 2006. Ohio Credit Union League Ten Ohio credit union officials, including CEOs, senior staff, a board member, and league staffers, hosted a lunch in support of State Senator Tim Ryan (D), who is running for the redrawn 17th congressional district, formerly represented by Jim Traficant. The league is backing 29-year-old Ryan because of his history as a credit union supporter North Carolina Credit Union League North Carolina currently has four highly-competitive races going on. The League Governmental Affairs Committee has decided to endorse candidates in each of these races before the September 10 primary. The league chose to support Brad Miller in the state’s new 13th district and Frank Ballance in the first. The two candidates attended meetings at local credit union branches. North Carolina credit unions are also endorsing the reelection of credit union supporter Representative Robin Hayes (R). Truliant Federal Credit Union, Coastal Federal Credit Union, and the league were also organizing a fundraiser at press time for Senate candidate Elizabeth Dole (R). The fundraiser is expected to draw more than 40 credit union representatives from across the state and is just one of several ways that credit unions plan to support Dole this fall. Florida Credit Union League While CUNA has supported Florida Congressman Clay Shaw (R) through its Credit Union Champions program, there are others in the delegation in need of support, so the Florida Credit Union League has initiated a similar program on the state level. The league is sending an “All Call” to state credit union leaders requesting financial support of Representatives John Mica (R), brother of CUNA President and CEO Dan Mica, and Karen Thurman (D), both of whom have been greatly affected by redistricting. The league has sponsored Meet & Greet luncheons, including ones most recently in Jacksonville, Orlando, Broward County, and in the Miami-Dade area. Local credit union leaders also attend various area fundraisers for congressional members. Also, Tropical Financial Credit Union President and CEO Greg Blount is volunteering in the campaign of Congressman Shaw. Indiana Credit Union League On August 21, the Indiana Credit Union League sponsored a brown bag luncheon for 30 credit union leaders with Congressman Baron Hill (D). Also attending the meeting were State Senator Vi Simpson, League President John McKenzie, and other league senior officials. Hot topics discussed included bankruptcy abuse reform, regulatory relief and IDAs. During his tenure in the state legislature, Hill cosponsored a key credit union bill and continues to be a credit union ally. Indiana University Employees Federal Credit Union CEO Roger Sepanski, chair of the League Government Affairs Committee, presented Hill with a $5,000 check from CULAC, after already contributing (between CULAC and the League PAC) $5,000 for his primary. State Senator Simpson (D) is an Indiana University Employees Federal Credit Union member and credit union advocate. Indiana credit union leaders have attended golfing fundraisers during August for Congressmen Dan Burton (R), Steve Buyer (R), and Mike Pence (R), and plan to attend one for Congressman Mark Souder (R), Millie Cox, league vice president for government affairs, explained. West Virginia Credit Union League In West Virginia, Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (R), who introduced the Financial Services Regulatory Relief Act (H.R. 3951), is facing a tight race. While the West Virginia CU League does not have a state PAC, credit union and league officials have met with the lawmaker in her district office during the August recess. Obviously, regulatory relief and bankruptcy reform were high priority topics of discussion, League Vice President of Marketing and Communications Rick Shaffer said. He explained that the league’s grassroots work compliments their work on the Hill. The West Virginia CU League is scheduled to `Hike the Hill’ September 12. [email protected]

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