Three lobbyists for credit unions made the list of the most influential advocates compiled by The Hill newspaper.CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica was described as “a former member [of the U.S. House from Florida] who has been pushing credit union interests effectively for more than a decade.”NAFCU Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs Dan Berger and Director of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler “keep federal credit unions plugged into all financial matters.”The newspaper compiles the list annually based on interviews with lobbyists and congressional staffers. Those on the list “are good at finding consensus among their members and then communicating their message on Capitol Hill.”CUNA’s and NAFCU’s lobbyists have their work cut out for them, representatives of the American Bankers Association and the Independent Community Bankers of America also made the list of top lobbyists.

Obama Picks SotomayorFor High Court Spot

President Obama last Tuesday nominated Sonia Sotomayor, a federal appeals court judge to the U.S. Supreme Court.At a White House announcement he described her as an “inspiring woman whom I believe will be a great justice” and said she had a “depth of experience and depth of perspective.”In her remarks she called herself “an ordinary person who has been blessed with extraordinary opportunities and experiences.” She also said that when making decisions “I strive never to forget the real world consequences of my decisions on individuals, businesses and governments.”If confirmed by the Senate, Sotomayor, a former prosecutor who was appointed to the federal bench by the first President Bush, would be the first Hispanic and third woman to serve on the high court. She would succeed Justice David Souter, who has announced his retirement.Sotomayor was appointed a federal trial judge by Bush and was elevated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit by President Clinton. Her record on the federal bench has been that of centrist liberal.Two of her notable decisions as a trial judge were issuing an injunction against Major League Baseball forbidding it from using replacement players during the 2004 players’ strike, and issuing an order allowing The Wall Street Journal to publish the suicide note of Vince Foster, the deputy White House counsel under Clinton.She is 54 and graduated from Princeton University and Yale Law School, where she was editor of the Yale Law Review.Sotomayor, who was diagnosed as a diabetic when she was eight and raised by her widowed mother for much of her childhood, would be the sixth Roman Catholic on the current Supreme Court. She grew up in a public housing project in New York City close to Yankee Stadium and Obama joked that he hoped her nomination wouldn’t be hurt among New England lawmakers because she is a lifelong Yankee fan.–[email protected]

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Peter Westerman


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