Kanjorski Bid May Come Down To Turnout Of CU Members
NANTICOKE, Penn. – More than a thousand people, hundreds of them credit union faithful, crowded the tiny gym at Nanticoke High School yesterday where former President Bill Clinton exhorted them to turn out the vote for embattled Rep. Paul Kanjorski, the congressional credit union champion.
The Democrats hope the last-minute boost by the ex-president will help push Kanjorski over the top, as a similar election-eve campaign rally did in the closely-contested 2008 campaign.
Local credit unions, the Pennsylvania CU Association and CUNA have been pulling out the stops for the credit union advocate, going door-to-door on his behalf, manning phonebanks and sending tens of thousands of mailings to credit union members calling for their help. The credit unions lending a hand include: FCW FCU; Corner Post FCU; Tobyhanna Army Depot FCU; Scranton Times Downtown; First CU; People's Choice FCU; Incol CU; Service 1st FCU; Penn East FCU; Vantage Trust FCU; Choice One Community FCU.
Meantime, the National Association of REALTORs, another Kanjorski supporter, expanded its independent efforts on behalf of the veteran lawmaker, spending another $125,000 on TV ads touting Kanjorski, bringing to more than $1 million the funds spent by the REALTORs to help save the candidate.
The 13-term Democrat will need all the help in the final days of the campaign, with recent polls showing him trailing Republican Lou Barletta, who Kanjorski beat easily in 2002 and narrowly in 2008. As it was in 2008, the race has emerged as one of the focus points of the Republican efforts to win control of Congress, with millions of dollars of independent funds being poured into the Pennsylvania’s 11th district either for or against Kanjorski.
Kanjorski has been the leading advocate of credit union causes in Congress, starting with his sponsorship of HR 1151, the 1998 CU Membership Access Act, and ever since then, with bills favoring regulatory relief and with last year’s legislation creating the corporate credit union bailout fund.