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Any regular Sports Illustrated reader knows what’s going to happen after the annual swimsuit edition is published – the letters to the editor come pouring in condemning the tasteless exploitation of women along with demands to cancel subscriptions. I felt that same anticipation following Credit Union Times’ comments on the GAC debate between Jim Blaine and Ken Ferguson. I wasn’t disappointed when your March 24th edition appeared with a number of outraged readers condemning Jim Blaine for being “embarrassing”, “crass”, and even “harmful to credit unions”. Now I can’t argue with those attendees who were embarrassed by the off-color humor. No doubt Mr. Blaine, with his legendary wit, could have used less inflammatory analogies with that audience. And he certainly could have used more industry facts and statistics in responding to Mr. Ferguson’s misguided statements as opposed to his anecdotal comments. Let’s face it, most of the audience did not appreciate Jim’s performance. As he likes to say “that dog didn’t hunt”. But I have to question those individuals who felt sorry for Mr. Ferguson, even to the point of sending him an apology and suggesting CUNA do likewise. We should all understand that Mr. Ferguson was putting on his own performance. The humble, aw shucks, small town banker image may have been effective (he probably flew in on a private jet), but it doesn’t change what he’s after – eliminating credit unions as competition. As he was being warm and fuzzy in D.C., the ABA was announcing Operation Credit Union, a major effort to discredit credit unions nationwide. In fact, there is overwhelming evidence that bankers and their trade associations are engaged in a well coordinated campaign to attack us on numerous fronts. I suspect that Mr. Ferguson’s performance was only part of that campaign. Now that’s what I would call crass and harmful to credit unions. But then I’ve always enjoyed the swimsuit editions – I like the articles! Tom Dorety President/CEO Suncoast Schools FCU Tampa, Fla.

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