Activist CU Members Hit Streets To Save Kanjorski
WILKES BARRE, Penn. – Hundreds of credit union volunteers were calling voters and knocking on doors yesterday in a last-minute push to rescue their embattled congressional champion, Democrat Paul Kanjorski, in the tightest race of his 26-year congressional career.
CUNA and the Pennsylvania CU Association sent full-color mailings over the past week to 40,000 members at four credit unions: U.F.C.W. Local #72 FCU, Cross Valley FCU, Penn East FCU and Choice One FCU, to remind them of all the support their congressman has provided credit unions on Capitol Hill and to remind them to vote. The credit union mailings focus on the positive, Kanjorski’s support for credit unions, so differ from other political mailings which are overwhelmingly negative.
Kanjorski’s credit union supporters were joined over the past few weeks by supporters from other interest groups including unions, specifically the Service Employees International Union and American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, also the National Association of REALTORs and National Association of Home Builders, in hopes of boosting the 13-term incumbent over his Republican rival Lou Barletta a third time. Kanjorski easily bested Barletta in the 200 elections and won narrowly in 2008.
The senior congressional Democrat is targeted for defeat by outside Republican groups and by many of his Republican colleagues in Congress who are helping to fund Barletta’s campaign, including House Minority Leader John Boehner, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, and several members of the House Financial Services Committee, including Republicans Jeb Hensarling, Randy Neugebaeur and Kevin McCarthy.
Kanjorski, who now chairs the prestigious House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises, has been the credit union champion since his authorship of HR 1151, the 1998 CU Membership Access Act, and has followed his support up by sponsoring numerous regulatory relief bills for credit unions, as well as last year’s corporate credit union bailout bill.