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FEDERAL WAY, Wash. – Reflecting the Washington Credit Union League’s “working relationship” with the Bush Administration, League President/CEO John Annaloro received a personal letter from Secretary of Treasury John Snow that reaffirmed the Administration’s support of credit unions’ tax exemption. The letter was highlighted to attendees on the last day of the league’s annual convention Sept. 14-17. In his letter, Snow wrote that, “Credit unions enjoy a special place in the financial institution marketplace by offering low-cost financial services to millions of Americans. As a result of strong local ties, credit unions are uniquely situated to meet the financial services needs of our Nation’s communities and encourage economic growth, job creation, and savings. The 150 members of the Washington Credit Union League strengthen and grow local economies by performing these important functions for residents of Washington.” The Secretary of Treasury added that: “I appreciate that credit unions are in business to do good, as well as to do business. Your group and credit unions in general are grounded in the principle of people helping people. I value the fact you are enriching the lives of those in your communities. That is the fundamental reason why talk of the taxation of your industry, and what you do, is something the Administration opposes. We know that you always get less of anything you tax – and we don’t want to get less of what you do.” Annaloro said the letter demonstrated that “the Administration appreciates the importance of credit unions in our sovereign national financial system. Snow’s letter reaffirms that understanding, as well as his advocacy and commitment to the Administration’s promises after the election.” Annaloro said it’s not usual for the Washington League to be in contact with the White House. “We’ve had a working relationship with the Bush Administration since the earliest days of transition into the President’s first term,” said Annaloro who cited, by example, that he took a delegation of credit union people to meet with Treasury officials in support of the president’s tax free savings account plan. The WCUL also worked with various folks on committees in drafting plans for the service. Explaining how Snow’s letter wound up in Annaloro’s hands, the League president said executive assistant Allison Mattich spoke on the phone with one of President Bush’s assistants about the League’s upcoming meeting “as a courtesy to see what greeting they wanted to convey.” A few days later, Annaloro received Snow’s letter. “The Washington League has always prided itself among associations of all types in shaping public policy, educating lawmakers, introducing and running legislation, and consistently having a well-funded PAC,” said Annaloro. On Oct. 1, Dan Iannicola Jr., deputy assistant secretary of Treasury will meet with Annaloro on matters relating to financial literacy. Annaloro said this is being done “in part” because the Washington League was instrumental in legislation being passed in the state requiring the teaching of financial education in schools in the state. More than 10 state representatives and senators attended the annual convention. In addition to reading Snow’s letter, the League also read letters in support of credit unions by both of the state’s gubernatorial candidates – State Attorney General Christine Gregoire (D) and State Sen. Dino Rossi (R). -

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