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MADISON, Wis. – Moving to fire up political action and fund-raising among its members, the Wisconsin Credit Union League used a “get ready for banker attacks” theme at its annual convention and, as one unusual element, handed out blue folders containing many of the harshest anti-CU quotes from the American Bankers Association. “Lots of our people have heard the message before, but we thought it important that we get out the word in a way that says more strongly than ever that we need to be prepared,” declared Chris Rosland, a member of the League’s Government Affairs Committee, which helped coordinate the program. Quoted in the folders, under the mockingly provocative headline, “The Bankers Don’t Want You to Read This” were a dozen public comments from Keith Leggett, the ABA’s senior economist who also is a frequent on-the-road pitchman for that organization’s anti-CU media blitz. The Leggett quotes included comments like “let’s call credit unions what they are-freeloaders” and CUs with their “expansionist desires” are “exacerbating state and local budgetary problems” by taking money from local communities. Another: “The credit union empire builders” are using “publicity gimmicks to portray themselves as good guys while creating `chicken little `sky is falling’ hysteria” associated with CU taxation. The League packets also included political action goals and strategy for 2004 listing fund-raising networks and encouraging participation in CUNA-based Project Zip Code and Project Differentiation. Also included was a slightly humorous government affairs “Pop Quiz” on common misconceptions put forward by the ABA. One question on that Quiz read: “The American Bankers Association recently unveiled a new strategy to convince Congress to tax credit unions. What is the new name of the new campaign?” The multiple choice answers: “a. Lies and Deception Campaign; b. Show Me the Money Project (AKA People Schmeople); c. The `Credit Unions Should be Forced to Use the Same Loopholes We do to Get out of Paying Taxes’ Campaign; or d. Operation Credit Union.” Of course, “d.” was the correct answer with quiz winners winning a $100 gift prize drawing. Apart from the packet, Rosland, of the Government Affairs panel and also president of Cudahy Southshore CU in Cudahy, said a highlight of the conference was a talk – also with a focus on the bank attack – by Dick Ensweiler, CUNA chairman and president of the Texas Credit Union League. Still another event was the annual “Crusader” fund raising luncheon, and on that “I think we had a record turnout,” said Rosland maintaining the Wisconsin CUs are energized to thwart further banker onslaughts which in this state are likely to come in the 2005 session of the legislature. Rosland noted that because state law restricts the amount of PAC dollars accepted by any one candidate for office, the League encourages individual contributions to be made through Crusader, the League’s “conduit” account which has a $25 minimum. A conduit account, noted the League, can receive money from individuals “for political purposes, that is pooled together and then contributed to a candidate or political committee designated by the original contributor. Each participant retains the absolute right to decide where and how his/her contribution will be disbursed.” Rosland said he personally likes the Crusader account “because those running for office can see the names of who is supporting him or her” rather than just a lump grouping. The listing is more effective in reminding a candidate where he or she draws financial support. -

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