Greatest Show on Earth

Got this heads-up from my friends at the EAA.

Enjoy …



I’m going for a walk.

I was in The Nation’s Capital last week with some other Wisconsin credit union people meeting with our Congressional representatives at CU House.  It’s always nice when our representatives can visit CU House and not have to deal with the distractions of their office or the Capitol.

Congressman Tom Petri was like watching a living, breathing Normal Rockwell painting.  Rep. Petri’s been serving the 6th since 1978 when he replaced Bill Steiger and it’s easy to see why. 

F. James Sensenbrenner was his usual self.  I don’t agree with his politics but his abhorrence of inside the beltway doublespeak is refreshing. There’s no wondering on which side of an issue he falls.

Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin reminded me again of why I’m so proud to have her as my representative to Congress.  She’s been a staunch and important supporter of credit unions.  But it was her comment regarding the Fourth Estate that I thought important. When she joined Congress in 1978 no less than 14 Wisconsin newspapers had staff reporting from D.C. Today it’s down to one. And, when Fox News and MSNBC have more booking agents than journalists you wonder who will be the ones to keep an eye on government.

Usually, it’s something a politician or staffer says that makes me have to get up, go for a walk and … calm down.  Not this time.  This time it was CUNA’s Senior VP of Political Affairs, Richard Gose.  I just wish more credit union CEOs and/or board members had been present to hear him.  Richard has forgotten more about politics than most people know and was giving us a politico’s perspective on the upcoming midterms. He prefaced his words with results from a recent CUNA CEO/Board survey on politics.  Get this – in regards to “Political Participation,”  31 percent of credit union CEOs and 18 percent of credit union board members base their votes on credit union issues.  Worse still, only 47 percent of board members agree that CU leaders have an obligation to contribute to credit union political action committees. 

All of this came after reading in that morning’s Washington Post that the American Bankers Association gave over $204,000 in campaign support – in the first quarter. 

Listen – If you’re a credit union leader and you’re not voting at least SOME of the time based on how it will effect credit unions; If you’re not contributing in SOME fashion to the Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC) or – in Wisconsin – the Wisconsin Credit Union Legislative Action Fund (WCULAF) don’t whine about what’s going on in the state capitol or in Congress until you get involved. How do you do this?  Contact your League’s Governmental Affairs department.  Or contact me. It’s easy.

53 percent of board members don’t think it’s important to contribute to credit union political action committees.

69 percent of credit union CEOs and 82 percent of board members don’t think it’s important to vote for someone based on their support for credit union issues.

You ought to be ashamed of yourselves.

I’m going for a walk.