Illinois CUs Seek The Ways AndMeans

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CHICAGO - (08/26/04) -- The credit union lobby officiallyendorsed Democratic Senate candidate Barack Obama after a meetingwith Obama this week in which the candidate weighed in in favor ofthe credit union tax exemption, the independence of NCUA and theNCUSIF, and proposals to expand credit union services. "He's onboard with all of our issues," Don Edwards, chief lobbyist for theIllinois CU League, told The Credit Union Journal. Obama is anoverwhelming favorite in the race to succeed Republican PeterFitzgerald after the Republican nominee pulled out of the race andwas replaced on the GOP ticket by former Presidential candidateAlan Keyes, who has never lived in Illinois. The Illinois leaguehas also gone to bat for 18-term Rep. Phil Crane, thelongest-serving Republican in Congress, and five-term incumbentJerry Weller, two senior members of the tax-writing Ways and MeansCommittee in close races who sent a letter to President Bushendorsing the credit union tax exemption. Crane, a long-time creditunion supporter, is facing Democrat Melissa Bean, who he beat in2002 by 57-to-43. The league has yet to pick a candidate in the 3rddistrict, where Democrat William Lipinski, Jr., is running tosucceed his father, who is retiring after 11 terms.

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