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SAN DIMAS, Calif. – WesCorp played host to Congressman Brad Sherman recently (D-Calif.). Sherman is an important figure for credit unions because of his interest in giving credit unions secondary capital options. Sherman addressed the hot button topic. “I know there are a lot of credit unions that don’t need secondary capital, and yet I think it’s an important step for the entire movement. It will allow credit unions to expand to serve all those who could benefit from their services,” said Sherman. He also noted that more capital gives credit unions the ability to deal with financial problems themselves, rather than filing a claim against the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. “You don’t want to claim against the insurance fund; that raises premiums. And if you’re into gaming doomsday scenarios, you certainly don’t want a circumstance where the insurance fund has to make an extraordinary call on the capital of credit unions around the country.” Sherman said one of the problems right now with secondary capital is there doesn’t seem to be a strong consensus that it’s needed. He said once that is established, the characteristics have to be agreed on. Voting rights is something that needs to stay pure to the credit union philosophy. “First, that the one member, one vote continues; and that those who provide secondary capital don’t get a vote. Some would say `OK one vote’, but under no circumstances do they have a leading role in shaping the institutions,” said Sherman. Marketing to members also needs strict scrutiny, he said. “Don’t market to your members at all or if you do, only under the most extreme cautious disclosure, so that somebody fully understands this is not another kind of CD,” said Sherman. Sherman spent about two hours at the corporate. Sherman is considered a friend of credit unions and often credits them for helping average Americans have affordable financial services. Sherman wasn’t the only lawmaker visiting a corporate last week. On Thursday, Corporate One Congresswoman Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio) was scheduled to visit the Ohio-based corporate. Pryce is one of the highest ranking Republicans. Credit Union Times will provide coverage of her visit in the Sept. 1 issue. Association of Corporate Credit Unions’ Executive Director Mike Canning said these visits are all part of ACCU’s pilot program to encourage members of Congress to visit their home state corporate. Canning said the ACCU Executive Committee is considering expanding this program next year. The ACCU has become more politically active under Canning, having for the first time decided to participate in the political conventions. Canning said the ACCU is gearing up for the Republican National Convention to be held in New York next month. The ACCU, through funding from U.S. Central, is co-sponsoring a lunch for speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and a reception for Bush-Cheney campaign manager Ken Melman. [email protected]

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