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Calif. Execs Wade Into Campaigns

WASHINGTON-Credit union executives around the country have stepped into congressional campaigns in a big way this election season, but nowhere more than in California, according to filings with the FEC.

The most prolific is California CU League President David Chatfield, who made 25 contributions totaling $9,124, most of it to Democrat candidates or committees. The most generous is Rudy Hanley, president of Orange County Teachers FCU, who, with his wife, made eight contributions for a total of $13,450, all to Republican candidates or committees.

Next were: Mark Holbrook, Evangelical Christian CU, 10 contributions totaling $9,500; Bill Cheney, Xerox FCU, 10 contributions for $7,725; John Bommarito, Western FCU, seven contributions for $6,500; Larry Sharpe, Arrowhead CU, seven contributions for $5,550; and Jean Goodman, Toyota FCU, 10 contributions for $3,950. Several other California CU execs were among the list of most active political contributors, including Mary Cunningham, USA FCU ($2,550); Barry Kane, Patelco CU ($$2,650); Tom Graham, Kinecta FCU ($2,750); and Richard Cooper of Telesis CU ($2,550).

Big Day For CU-Backed Candidate

WILLIAMSTON, N.C.-In one of the more unusual developments this election season, Democrat G. K. Butterfield was elected to serve an unexpired term in the House on the same day he qualified as the Democratic nominee for November's general election.

The credit union-backed Butterfield, a long-time member of State Employees CU, was elected in a special election July 21 to serve out the term of freshman Rep. Frank Balance, who retired for health reasons, and won the primary for the full two-year term on the same ballot.

Because of the predominance of Democratic voters in this rural northeastern part of the state, Butterfield is widely expected to win the November election, according to Dan Schline, chief lobbyist for the North Carolina CU League.

The credit union lobby has yet to weigh in on the state's critical Senate race, to succeed John Edwards, the Democratic candidate for vice president, where long-time credit union supporter, Republican Rep. Richard Burr, is facing off against Democrat Erskine Bowles.

Ohio CU Pushes Boundaries

DAYTON, Ohio-FirstDay Financial FCU has received approval from NCUA to add 900,000 residents in four area counties to its field of membership, giving it the largest FOM in the midwest.

The regulatory action comes just six months after the $75-million credit union, formerly known as Dayton Area School Employees FCU, received approval to serve more than 1.6 million people in nine surrounding counties.

NCUA approved several other large community charters last month, including requests from: Fairfax County FCU, Fairfax, Va., to serve 1.1 million people in Fairfax County; IBM Texas Employees FCU, Austin, Texas, to cover 1.3 million people in five counties; and LA Financial FCU, Los Angeles, to serve the 10 million residents of Los Angeles County.

CACU To 'Push' Products Via ATMs

KANSAS CITY, Mo.-Community America CU said it has teamed with NCR Corp. to implement a solution to "push"information to members through ATMs, while allowing members to "pull" data on their accounts through electronic alerts and notifications.

The solution will also allow the $1.3-billion credit union to customize account statements to include interactive communications, like ads and marketing messages. The new solution is based on Corillian's Voyager Internet Banking platform and is powered by NCR's Customer Power eCRM application suite.

Empire FCU Unveils Card Promo

SYCRACUSE, N.Y-Seeking to boost outstanding balances in its card portfolio by one-third before year-end, Empire FCU has rolled out a new card promotion offering a 1.99% rate on balance transfers for new cardholders, and instituted a new rewards program.

It has further looked to cut expenses by moving all of its Visa credit cards to the Platinum platform.

The goal is to increase outstanding balances from $14 million to $21 million by the end of the year.

The rewards are being offered through the CURewards program from St. Petersburg, Fla.-based PSCU Financial Services.

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