I always enjoy Editor-in-Chief Sarah Snell Cooke’s comments, and agree fully that better and stronger attendance by credit union members to Capitol Hill and district offices is crucial to legislative successes (CU Times, Sept. 30). On the positive side, I was pleased to note that former Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore., now president/CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters) recently told a former CUNA staffer that, of any group in Washington, it is credit unions that are the “gold standard” of advocacy and grassroots. Meanwhile, House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), noting that credit unions blocked the cram-down bankruptcy legislation from being passed last spring, told The Washington Post that credit unions are “not just powerful because they have money but because they’re in everybody’s district, and they’re responsible and thoughtful citizens.” And Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), in a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee, responding to Sen. Jeff Merkley’s (D-Ore.) assertion that community banks and credit unions are concerned about being rolled into a single regulator, said: “I want to make it clear that this does not relate to credit unions. Before I get calls from around the country, I wanted to make that point. Credit unions, you are OK.” Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said of the exchange, “You have just given evidence to where the real political clout is.” We just need more of the above.

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Peter Westerman


Credit Union Times

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