WASHINGTON (11/6/08)—The Credit Union National Association (CUNA), state leagues and credit unions were active in a large number of federal election campaigns in the 2008 cycle with good results for credit union friendly candidates, according to CUNA Political Director Trey Hawkins. Credit union forces provided contributions, campaign support, and foot soldiers to knock on doors and assist on phone banks for candidates of their choice. For instance, the Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) for the first time endorsed a candidate, Republican Erik Paulsen, who won Minnesota's only open seat. Paulsen’s strongest opponent in the race considered a plan to remove the credit union tax exemption to fund small business health insurance benefits. Through MnCUN and credit union efforts, according to the league’s Mara Humphry, Paulsen was the beneficiary of door-knocking, literature-distributing volunteers, as well as favorable articles in newsletters sent by credit unions to their members. A similar effort was launched by the Pennsylvania Credit Union
One of the direct mail advertisements credit unions sent to member households in support of Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.). Click for larger view
Association (PCUA), to support the threatened seat of Rep. Paul Kanjorski, a democrat and primary sponsor of the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (CURIA, H.R. 1537). (See News Now
, Nov, 5, “CURIA sponsor Kanjorski prevails in reelection bid”) PCUA President James McCormack said Wednesday that at least 70 credit union volunteers helped Kanjorski in his fight to retain his House seat. Also, CUNA worked with the Pennsylvania league and five credit unions to send direct-mail pieces to 18,000 member households containing 24,000 voters. CUNA, state leagues and credit unions also have been carefully watching results in the races involving credit union supporters and co-sponsors of the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (CURIA, H.R. 1537). Some results of key interest in the Senate:
* Two co-sponsors of the Senate’s CURIA who were up for re-election won their races: Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Susan Collins (R-Me.); * In Colorado, Rep. Mark Udall (D), a House CURIA co-sponsor, won his race for an open Senate seat against former Rep. Bob Schaffer (R); and * Rep. Steve Pearce, a New Mexico Republican and House CURIA co-sponsor, running for an open Senate seat, lost to Rep. Tom Udall (D).
In addition to Kanjorski’s and Paulson’s House victories, other races of interest include:
* State Rep. Judy Baker (D-Mo.), lost her bid against banker and former State Rep. Blaine Leutkemeyer (R), for an open seat; * Kansas State Treasurer Lynn Jenkins (R), a long-time credit union advocate, won against Rep. Nancy Boyda (D-Kan.); * Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-Mich.), a CURIA co-sponsor, was defeated by Michigan State Lottery Commissioner Gary Peters (D); * Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), a CURIA co-sponsor and key player in passage of H.R. 1151, lost to State Rep Steve Driehaus (D); * Rep. Chris Carney (D-Pa.), a freshman House member and CURIA co-sponsor, won against businessman Chris Hackett (R); and * Rep. Jon Porter (R-Nev.), a CURIA co-sponsor, lost against State Sen. Dina Titus (D).
See related News Now
stories: “CUNA hones its political clout” and “CUs positioned well for 2009 Congress, says Magill.”