A line in Mike Welch’s Nov. 27, 2002 column (“Bankruptcy bill dies despite CU priority effort”) really caught my eye: “To me he has become the latest in a long line of poster children for a system of lawmaking that cares more about partisanship, special interests, and favorite causes than trying to craft laws that really do help and protect American citizens.” This seems to have intensified during and since the Newt Gingrich era, and I don’t think we can truly make progress as a nation until we start electing statesmen instead of politicians. The trouble is, with the scrutiny that a candidate undergoes from the press and from his opponents in the election, no really fine statesmen seem to be running for elected office. Oklahoma recently elected a young Democratic governor who has espoused a similar line about setting aside political differences and trying to make Oklahoma a better place to live. The outgoing Governor seemed to be more interested in becoming nationally known as a result of the 1995 bombing than in being an effective governor. We’re sitting here with insufficient funds to run our schools, bad roads, dangerous bridges, woefully under-funded health programs for our children, and the main topic of conversation in the news is about outlawing cock fighting in the state. You’re probably going to think-why doesn’t this guy get involved in state government if he’s so upset by the current state of affairs? I don’t have any skeletons in my closet, but I don’t think my personality would allow me to work closely with people whom I don’t respect. I am very carefully picking candidates that I do respect and am doing what I can to help them get into office and stay there. I’ve also noticed a tendency locally for the credit union PACs to not question the candidate’s overall abilities but rather just to make certain they’re pro-credit union. I think this makes the credit union just another special interest and thus part of the problem. Welch’s columns are always well written and thought provoking. Thanks for being for credit unions. Floyd Atha President Oklahoma Educators CU Oklahoma City, Okla.

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