California, Nevada CUs Get Involved In Primaries

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The president and CEO of the California and Nevada CU Leagues said the June 6 primary elections in California were good news for credit unions, which worked hard and were rewarded with positive results.

According to Bill Cheney, the California CU League was "involved" in quite a few races across the Golden State, but three in particular drew an investment of money and campaigning assistance.

In northern San Diego, Republican Brian Bilbray defeated Democrat Francine Busby in a race to complete the term of ex-Rep. Randy Cunningham, a race in which credit unions got involved (The Credit Union Journal, June 12).

Another San Diego-area Congressional race saw incumbent Bob Filner withstand a challenge by State Assemblyman Juan Vargas.

In the San Fernando Valley, two Democrats-State Assemblywoman Cindy Monta?ez and Los Angeles City Councilman Alex Padilla-were competing to be the expected replacement for State Sen. Richard Alarcon in November. Padilla defeated Monta?ez, who two years ago initiated a study on taxing credit unions.

"The Bilbray-Busby race garnered national attention; there was a lot of money from outside California," said Cheney. "Bilbray is an old friend of credit unions. Marla Shepard, CEO of First Future CU in San Diego, led the effort by local credit unions to get involved, make phone calls and knock on doors," Cheney continued. "Shepard did a great job of communicating with her members about Bilbray. This is something we are particularly proud of."

The race was seen as a potential crystal ball for how votes will be cast nationally come November.

Filner's victory over Vargas was a "close race where credit unions made a difference," Cheney said. Padilla's defeat of Monta?ez "sent a message" he added.

"If you attack credit unions, we will use our resources to beat you," Cheney declared. "We pulled out all the stops to defeat Monta?ez. This shows the political power credit unions have that will be important down the road."

The next step for the two leagues: Cheney said the Nevada primary is in August, followed closely by the general election in November.

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