MINNEAPOLIS (9/4/08)--As Credit Union National Association (CUNA), league and credit union representatives cement relationships with lawmakers and politicos during this week’s Republican National Convention (RNC) in the Twin Cities, one Wisconsin credit union staffer is providing his hometown with an up-close view of the event.
Robin Marohn is vice president of marketing and business development for Heartland CU in Madison, Wis. The self described political junkie provides daily phone interviews with Madison radio stations WTDY-AM and WMMM-FM, posts frequent blog updates and uses Twitter. “I’ve never been to a national party convention, so I am burning a few vacation days and bunking in Minneapolis with an old college roommate,” said Marohn. Marohn, however, is more than a political junkie. He was chairman of the Wisconsin Credit Union League Government Affairs Committee (GAC) from 2005-2007 and served on the league’s board of directors for nine years. “The Wisconsin league and CUNA really deserve kudos for strengthening Wisconsin credit unions’ political action effort,” he said. “During my four years as GAC chairman, we grew the program from a handful of political activists to more than 400.” Before driving to the Twin Cities on Monday, Marohn said he cleared his freelance RNC reporting duties with his employer and the league. The daily radio interviews--conducted via cell phone--were a result of contacts he made during a previous career as a deejay. Marohn was once known on the Madison airwaves as “Robin Bannks.” “That’s ‘Bannks’ with two Ns,” he says. “Who would’ve thought with an air name like that I’d eventually work for credit unions.” At the RNC this week, Marohn has followed closely the Wisconsin Republican delegation during meetings with U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), former Bush advisor Karl Rove, and former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson (R). “Credit unions worked very closely with Gov. Thompson--he actually recognized me during the meeting yesterday,” said Marohn. “This is the best three-day vacation I’ve had in years,” he said. “There’s no better place to be if you’re a political junkie--I just wish I would have gone to Denver for the Democratic convention.”