Alabama's CUs Between A Rep And A Hard Place

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The race for governor here has put credit unions between a rock and hard place, pitting two staunch credit union supporters against each other. As a result, the Alabama CU League provided support in the primaries to both incumbent Gov. Don Siegelman and three-time U.S. Rep. Bob Riley, with campaign contributions of $40,000 and $15,000, respectively.

But credit unions have yet to decide on which candidate to support in November's general election, according to Will McCarty, lobbyist for the league.

As governor, Democrat Siegelman helped defeat a proposal that could have applied the state's Business Privilege Tax to credit unions, then turned back a bid to siphon $500,000 from the Alabama CU Administration to help balance the state's general fund. Riley was a big supporter of HR 1151, the CU Membership Access Act, and of bankruptcy reform. "Both have been very supportive," said McCarty.

The state's credit unions are putting their support firmly behind the reelection of Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions, a supporter of bankruptcy reform and sponsor of a bill that would exempt faith-based loans from the federal ceilings on member business loans (MBLs); and behind Rep. Spencer Bachus, one of just eight HR 1151 opponents in the House, who has thrown his weight as chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions behind the credit union-backed regulatory relief bill.

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