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BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – This year’s crop of Minnesota legislators can now be part of a straight flush, or even a good game of solitaire. As part of a fun awareness campaign, the Minnesota Credit Union Network has designed four decks of unique playing cards showcasing the names and pictures of every legislator. The cards were then distributed to each legislator just before a planned Credit Union Day on Capitol Hill. MCUN President/CEO Kevin Chandler says he got the idea for the cards over a year ago from an article in the New York Times about a company making playing cards out of the Bush administration. “It was too late in the year to act on it then so we waited and kept quiet hoping no one else would get the same idea,” said Chandler. “We thought this would be fun for our legislators and their families to have. Our elected officials work hard throughout session and the year-we’re glad to be able to give something back.” In a state that has a restrictive gift ban, which effectively limits most legislators’ ability to get together at functions outside the Capitol, Chandler says the cards have also helped the legislators get to know one another better. “It has really created a lot of buzz at the capitol,” said Chandler, “and the response has been overwhelmingly positive from both the legislators and credit union executives who have told us that the cards are worth any expense.” The cards came at a price tag of $3.99 per deck and MCUN ordered some 500 decks of cards. It took about three months to produce the cards, and Chandler says the most time consuming part for MCUN was proofing the cards. One decision made early on was that MCUN would not decide which legislators would go on which suits. With the exception of Governor Tim Pawlenty, who is in every deck as the “Ace of spades”, all other legislators were placed randomly on the remaining cards throughout the decks. With a total of 134 legislators to display, each deck was then divided by district. While legislators can buy all four decks at cost most have been ordering additional decks of their own district. “We couldn’t be happier with the results,” said Chandler. “‘We’ve been inundated with calls from credit unions saying that they hope we do this after every election.” [email protected]

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