FREEPORT, Maine (11/8/13)--President Ronald Reagan's eldest son exhorted the value of member-controlled organizations at the Maine Credit Union League's 19th Annual Legislative Forum on Wednesday.
Michael Reagan, center, President Ronald Reagan's oldest son and heir to his legacy and vision, was keynote speaker at the Maine Credit Union League's Annual Legislative Forum Wednesday. From left are: Roger Sirois, chair of the league's Governmental Affairs Committee; Tucker Cole, chair of the League's Political Involvement Committee; Reagan; John Murphy, league president; Quincy Hentzel, league director of governmental affairs; and Jon Paradise, league assistant vice president of governmental and public affairs. (Photo provided by the Maine Credit Union League)
Michael Reagan, an author and former talk show host, told the 125 credit union representatives gathered at the meeting, that the defining features of the industry's model are often borrowed by savvy politicians.
"Credit unions are about grassroots and successful politics is, too," he said. "You don't focus on the interests of a few; you focus on the interests of all of your members. That is how it should be and was one of the reasons why my father was successful.
"I applaud what credit unions have done to serve your members," he commented, "especially in light of the how poorly big banks have treated their customers in recent years."
Reagan added that he believes his father would not win the presidential nomination in today's Republican Party.
"My father believed and I believe that politics requires compromise and working with people of all political beliefs," he said. "That is not only not being done today; in fact, it is frowned upon and that is a sad commentary on politics today,"
League President John Murphy said that he appreciated Reagan's insight.
"Michael Reagan really connected with the audience, and gave a wonderful presentation by sharing some intimate stories from his father's presidency, which the audience appreciated," he said. "Though President Reagan was discussed at length, Michael did a masterful job of bringing it all together to make it relevant in today's political environment."
The gathering also featured a foreclosure panel with three state legislators--Sen. Linda Valentino, Rep. Sharon Treat, and Rep. Jarod Crockett. The trio discussed foreclosure in the state and asked for feedback. League representatives said they believe foreclosure will be a hot-button issue throughout the next legislative session, and anticipate having a significant role throughout the legislative process.