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WASHINGTON-CUNA’s Get Out the Vote campaign caught the eye of television personality Andy Rooney, but not in a positive way, or maybe it was. On the Sept. 26 edition of 60 Minutes, the commentator pointed to CUNA’s as well as other GOTV efforts and explained what a waste of time he thought they were. He added, “Of the 200 million eligible voters in this country, only a little more than half of them voted last time. It’s a disgrace, but do you think WFAN, Kenneth Cole Shoes, or the Credit Union really gives a damn whether anyone votes or not?” the transcript of his remarks reads. He even aired some of CUNA’s GOTV materials. Rooney suggested that these groups “associate their effort to get out the vote with whatever their product is. They hope we’ll think more highly of it because they’re in favor of voting.” Despite this seeming negativity, CUNA Vice President of Political Affairs Richard Gose remarked if Rooney said something nice about you, you would think something was wrong. Gose pointed out that the gruff curmudgeon is a character Rooney plays and Gose really saw the whole monologue as an effort in reverse psychology. He added that GOTV efforts have proven successful and the majority of newly registered voters do vote at least their first time out. In fact, Gose said he was happy to see CUNA’s materials were getting out there. No one from the show called to request the materials, he explained, so they must have found them on their own. “The fact that they are out.that they are being used, I think, is a positive thing,” Gose said. Additionally, the materials were viewed by the entire 60 Minutes viewing audience. As far as credit unions not giving “a damn” about people getting out to vote, Gose said that could not be further from the truth. He cited CUNA’s own polling that shows 42% of registered voters are credit union members and about half of them consider credit unions to be their primary financial institutions. Of those, 93% said they would side with credit unions over banks in a legislative battle versus 3% with the banks. “Just looking at that you can understand why we want credit union members to participate in the electoral process,” Gose said. Rooney went on to say, “I’d be willing to bet that it’s the dumbest people among us who are least likely to vote too, and that’s fine with me. I don’t want anyone dumber than I am voting.” Regarding getting people out to vote, Rooney said, “I know I don’t care. As a matter of fact, I have a message for the 100 million Americans who didn’t care enough about our democracy to vote last time. Good! And, please, do us all a favor. Don’t vote next time, either. If you don’t care enough about the issues, I don’t want you canceling out my vote with your vote.” He concluded with: “This message was paid for by the people who watch 60 Minutes – most of whom are smart enough to vote or they wouldn’t be watching 60 Minutes. They’d be home watching wrestling on television.” [email protected]

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