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SALT LAKE CITY – Nearly three years after Utah banks filed complaints, the Federal Elections Commission has finally put to rest accusations the Utah League of Credit Unions and eight of its members acted improperly in supporting the successful campaign of U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop (R. Utah) in defeating a Utah banker. “This all turned out as we anticipated-silly allegations to start with,” declared Scott F. Simpson, president and CEO of the League. In vindicating CUs, the FEC told the League in a formal notice sent to attorneys that it lacked any reason to pursue banker allegations that the League or the eight CUs had violated federal law by financing newsletters, a poll and various member communications to support Bishop in his primary bid. The banks had complained the League and the CUs led by America First FCU had spent $140,000 for distribution of newsletters and other correspondence in an advocacy role. America First had also extended a $40,000 loan to help Bishop finance his campaign. But the FEC held that the CU correspondence with members was legitimate and that there was no requirement for the League to reveal the costs of telephone polling and canvassing of neighborhoods performed for Bishop who defeated Kevin Garn, chairman of the First National Bank of Layton and a cousin of former U.S. Sen. Jake Garn, also a banker. Garn was also Speaker of the Utah House at the time of his defeat. The FEC also held that the America First loan was legal and was not unduly favorable to Bishop, a school teacher, who had received a strong endorsement from the League. -

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