Relax Mike, you’re were not alone! It was such a relief to see Mike Welch’s March 3 column on the GAC (“GAC Again Setting for [Mostly] Highlights”) and related article on the Blaine/Fergeson debate. For a while I thought we were alone out there. I was waiting for the edition of Credit Union Times to see if I truly was. My directors and I who were in attendance at the GAC debate/disaster/spectacle were equally as embarrassed/appalled/disgusted (I could go on and on). The “debate” did our industry a serious disservice and showed that we have individuals capable of sinking to the lowest level without even explaining the credit union difference. Apparently, Jim Blaine never read Welch’s previous column in the Feb. 25th issue Credit Union Times of questions that should have been asked. The glib approach just didn’t cut it and made us look like the inexperienced unsophisticated boobs the bankers think we are. I’m by no means a prude but the brothel comment was way over the top. Welch’s comments about Ensweiler were on track, but I wondered at the time, (and still do) why wasn’t our representative at the debate? Since he is the chair of our trade association, it would have been more appropriate. Peer to peer so to speak. That approach may have worked better as Ensweiler and Fergeson could have debated issues rather than the “competitive size” – big vs. small – discussion that ensued. Fergeson is to be commended for getting through the ordeal with his dignity. I wish our industry could say the same. Don’t you find it interesting that CUNA hasn’t officially weighed in on the debate? Maybe I missed something, but so far the only official coverage I’ve seen is a picture of the stage with the group at the time of the debate which ran in Newswatch in the official post GAC edition. I think that says it all! Leslie Ellis President/CEO Credit Union One Anchorage, Alaska

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