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As much as credit union officials try to get credit unions more involved in local and federal politics, FiSCA officials may have spent more time at the group’s 14th annual conference trying to get check cashers involved with theirs. Bill Sellery, president of Sellery and Associates, the group’s governmental relations firm set the conference’s political tone by highlighting what he termed the “political stakes” for check cashers in the coming November elections. He asked the group to imagine the difference between having Representative Michael Oxley (R-Ohio) versus Barney Frank (D-Mass.) as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee should the Democrats win control of the House. To try to improve check cashers political clout the association officials in particular pressed meeting attendees to commit to the organization’s political action committee, which Sellery said had been influential in a number of close primary races so far and which the group wanted to use further in general elections. The group has also mounted an effort to get check cashers and payday lender customers to speak up in favor of the payday loan product in particular with an effort called the FiSCA Testimonial Program. “It’s time for Congress and state legislators to hear from consumers themselves-and in their very own words, just how they feel about the product we provide,” explained a flyer about the program. “We’re confident that our customers will deliver a good message. We intend to share these comments with our public officials.”

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