X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

RENO, Nev. – Those banker attacks look to be a sure thing in 2004 and 10 states are now on the target list, according to CUNA President Dan Mica. To confront the challenge, CUNA has a strategy and political apparatus in place with state Leagues, other trade groups and individual CUs already joining the fight to protect the movement, Mica told the annual Future Forum conference here. Displaying a color-coded U.S. map indicating states currently under attack or those where CUNA is “vigilant,” Mica said details of the battle plan would remain under wraps and “we will not spell out that strategy” to prevent the banking lobby from getting wind of industry tactics. A state colored in red it was under current attack, while other colors varying from green to blue showed “heightened alert,” vigilant or states with no problem.. John J. McKechnie, CUNA senior vice president of governmental affairs, said CUNA didn’t have the slightest intention of comparing the coding to the U.S. Homeland Security Department’s terrorist color striping, but rather it was a simple way of alerting CUs where the biggest threats exist. In speeches given by CUNA leaders and others, five states have topped the list “currently” undergoing a banker assault or have faced one in 2003, but as McKechnie noted, the list “keeps changing” based on current events in legislatures, in the courts or by the actions of state bodies. Among those states prominently mentioned are: Utah, Iowa, Florida, Michigan and New Mexico, but also cited have been Missouri, Nevada, Alabama and California among others. In his formal remarks to the 600 Forum attendees as part of the annual meeting, Mica reiterated CUNA’s recent achievements particularly in winning new esteem and influence in Washington as a powerful lobbying organization. The association now ranks sixth among Washington, D.C. PACs, he said and touching on the same topic in an earlier speech, Barry Jolette, the outgoing CUNA chairman, said the $3 million raised for the PAC this year is a tremendous improvement in fund raising compared to CUNA’s record six years ago when he joined the CUNA Board. The $3 million “is not a lot of money,” admitted Jolette but “it gets us at the table.” Jolette, who also is president/CEO of San Mateo Credit Union, Redwood City, Calif., told the CUNA gathering in his farewell remarks that he was especially proud of the heightened political activism of the organization’s grassroots over the two years of his chairman’s term. “We had 45 Hike the Hills,” said Jolette referring to the gatherings of CU executives meeting up all year with House and Senate leaders from their districts in Capitol Hill offices. CUNA’s Credit Union House, he said, served well as “the hub of activity” and a visible symbol for lawmakers who came away from meetings there “impressed” with what the industry represents at the grassroots. Jolette said he did not know where the next assault might emanate whether it be on taxes, field of membership, or regulatory relief, “but we have to fight.” As a lobbying organization, CUNA was never high on “radar screens,” but now it is and the industry must step up to the challenge, the California CU executive declared. In his speech, the departing CUNA chairman appealed to fellow CU executives to make those calls to lawmakers and “to stuff the mailbox” of regulators by responding to NCUA requests for comment. He said “money is not the answer to beating the bankers” because the industry will never have enough of it. But using industry manpower and “political involvement” can help beat back the challenges. He said “some of us are politically involved all the time,” but that will not work since the job cannot be done by a few. -

Credit Union Times

Join Credit Union Times

Don’t miss crucial strategic and tactical information necessary to run your institution and better serve your members. Join Credit Union Times now!

  • Free unlimited access to Credit Union Times' trusted and independent team of experts for extensive industry news, conference coverage, people features, statistical analysis, and regulation and technology updates.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and Credit Union Times events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including TreasuryandRisk.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join Credit Union Times

Copyright © 2019 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.