Bank-Turned-CU Lobbyist Now Must UndoWhat He’s Done

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WASHINGTON - (04/14/06) – Just three months after hechanged sides in the bank-credit union wars, new NAFCU lobbyist DanBerger is working to kill an anti-credit union bill he helped draftfor the banking lobby. Berger, who came to NAFCU in January fromAmerica’s Community Bankers, is lobbying Rep. PatrickMcHenry, R-N.C., and other lawmakers against McHenry’s billto strip NCUA of much of its power over credit union conversions tomutual savings banks. The involvement of Berger on the credit unionside has confused lobbying over the bill, which Berger helped draftlast year while working for ACB, the trade association for mutualsavings banks. Confusing the issue even more is an April 4 campaignfundraiser at Washington’s Capitol Grille Berger and NAFCUand ACB sponsored for McHenry, who has emerged as a potentialtarget for credit unions in this year’s congressionalelections. ACB has been pushing for hearings on the bill just asthe controversy over DFCU Financial, the largest credit unionconversion ever to mutual savings bank, is heating up. Berger saidhe knows where McHenry stands with some credit unions, but isworking to maintain a relationship with the chief sponsor of thisimportant bill. “We want the dialogue to continue. Youcan’t have input on a bill if you write off a member ofCongress,” Berger told The Credit Union Journal. NAFCUPresident Fred Becker emphasized the need to work with allcongressmen, even perceived opponents like McHenry. “Itdoesn’t mean you slam the door on the guy’s nose andmake an enemy forever,” said Becker of McHenry’santi-credit union bill. “ In my view, you would beill-advised to do that with any member of Congress.” TheHouse Financial Services Committee has scheduled hearings onMcHenry’s conversions bill for next month, halfway throughthe 90-day member vote on DFCU Financial.

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