Dollar Opens Lobbying Shop in Washington

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In a matter of weeks since departing NCUA, Dennis Dollar made his return to the credit union movement, opening his own lobbying shop with his long-time aide Kirk Cuevas.

The erstwhile NCUA Chairman said he thought about it for a long time and decided that at 50 years old, if he was ever going to open his own business, now was the best opportunity.

Federal rules, which prohibit a federal appointee from lobbying his former colleagues for a year, will not hinder the potential reach of Dollar Associates, LLC, because they will not prevent Cuevas, Dollar's top assistant at NCUA from lobbying agency officials, according to Dollar. In addition, the rules will not prevent Dollar from lobbying Congress or officials at Treasury, the Federal Reserve and other regulatory agencies where Dollar has made valuable contacts during his seven years at the credit union agency.

The fledgling lobbying firm, which officially opened for business last week, will offer advice and other services on chartering, strategic planning, regulatory compliance, and public and governmental affairs.

Several credit union entities, including the major trade groups, are already lining up to do business with the new firm, according to industry sources. Beside the firm's obvious NCUA contacts, Dollar's relationship with Republican members of Congress are expected to be a strong draw.

Meantime, there's still no word from the White House on a successor for Dollar, leaving the nominally three-person NCUA Board with two members. Dollar expects a successor to be seated sometime soon as a so-called recess appointment because six-year appointments are hard to get confirmed by the Senate this close to a presidential election. A recess appointment, which would be made during one of Congresses' brief vacations, such as Memorial Day or July 4, would allow him/her to serve until the end of the first year of the next Congress.

The presence of just two NCUA Board members should not pose any major problems. But it will be interesting to see what happens when a large community charter application, many of which are opposed by Board member Deborah Matz, comes before the two-member panel.

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