COLUMBUS, Ohio (9/21/12)--Ohio credit unions were praised at a gathering in the Statehouse, garnered loyal support from a Republican Ohio Statehouse candidate, and pledged to back a congressional candidate who has a history of helping credit unions on critical issues, according to the Ohio Credit Union League.
Joyce Beatty, a Democrat seeking election to the 3rd Congressional District, told Central Ohio credit union leaders at a Statehouse Chapter breakfast that she envisions a commercial where she states: "I'm Joyce Beatty--one of the 2.7 million people in Ohio who belong to a credit union. And I approved this message" (eLumination Newsletter Sept. 19).
Beatty shared the story of joining a credit union in her early 20s so she could buy a new car. "I will bring a new voice to Washington," Beatty said. "And I will be proud to represent you."
Dave Joyce of Ashtabula, a Republican candidate for Ohio's 14th U.S. House seat, said during a meeting in Washington, D.C., last week that he will be a friend of credit unions if elected. Joyce voiced his support for raising the member business lending (MBL) cap and maintaining credit unions' federal tax exemption, while meeting with Rose Bartolomucci, CEO of Towpath CU in Fairlawn, and John Florian, vice president of government and political affairs at the Ohio league.
Joyce explained that his support for credit unions originated while he was in his 20s when, after being turned down by a bank for a mortgage, he was offered the loan by St. Monica's (now Ohio Catholic) FCU in Garfield Heights. "Credit unions will have a friend in me," Joyce said.
Joyce Healy-Abrams, who is running for Ohio's 7th Congressional district, is receiving strong credit union backing because of her public support on crucial issues such as raising the MBL cap. She shared campaign material that highlighted her MBL support as a central plank in her broader job creation strategy with credit union officials at a meeting at CSE FCU in Canton, and has promoted the issue in radio interviews.
She is running against incumbent Bob Gibbs (R-Lakeville). Gibbs, who is not a co-sponsor of current MBL legislation, has said publicly that he supports taxing credit unions, according to the Ohio league.
The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and credit unions are urging Congress to increase credit unions' member business lending (MBL) cap to 27.5% of assets from 12.25% so that more loans could be made to small businesses, considered a staple in the economy. CUNA and credit unions say that increasing credit unions' MBL cap would open up more opportunity to offer MBLs, inject $13 billion in business loans into the economy and create as many as 140,000 new jobs, with no cost to taxpayers.