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CUNA completes 1st Minn.-based campaign school
WASHINGTON (10/26/09)--Representatives from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) this week completed another successful campaign school event, holding the latest in the series of educational sessions for over a dozen credit union professionals and volunteers in St. Paul, Minn. Attendees of the campaign school, the first held in the state, included local political aspirants such as a current city councilman and a Water and Soil Conservation District Supervisor. CUNA Political Director Trey Hawkins said that “one way credit unions can become more effective is to elect public officials who have a background in the credit union movement.” The need for legislators that understand the challenges faced by credit unions is made all the more important by the number of issues faced by credit unions at this time, including potential changes to interchange fees, the compliance burdens represented by the CARD Act, and potential changes to overdraft fee regulations. CUNA’s Senior Vice President of Political Affairs Richard Gose, who led much of the discussion at the campaign school, praised Minnesota credit unions for their “dedicated involvement in politics.” Attendees also heard behind the scenes stories from the candidacy process from Minnesota State Senator Chris Gerlach and State Representative Steve Simon. The campaign school was co-hosted by the Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN). Successful graduates of previous campaign schools have gone on to win positions in West Virginia, Nevada, and Iowa. CUNA’s campaign schools are part of a continued effort to promote political involvement among credit union professionals and volunteers, and CUNA has currently scheduled a minimum of seven additional campaign schools in states throughout the nation during the 2009-2010 election cycle. CUNA also offers online courses for credit union representatives that are interested in political advocacy. Mara Humphrey, MnCUN Vice President-Governmental Affairs, echoed those sentiments in a press release, saying that “Minnesota credit unions’ increased involvement in politics has demonstrated that credit unions can have a significant impact on politics and can be prominent players in the election process.” “Through this Campaign School and our other political programs and activities, we are raising the political profile of Minnesota credit unions. Elected officials regularly turn to credit unions for support and viewing us as go-to resources for information on issues important to our movement,” she added.

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