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Frank Diekmann is to be commended for calling on federally chartered credit unions nationwide to join their state-chartered colleagues in fighting such bank-inspired initiatives as the state-by-state campaign to tax credit unions (March 3, 2003). The bankers are again gambling on a divide-and-conquer strategy, and only a united stance on our part will defeat their gambit of simultaneously pitting state charters against federal charters, and smaller credit unions against larger.

In California and Nevada, we are fortunate to have a "one movement" perspective among our federally and state-chartered credit unions, who cooperate on issues that at a glance may only appear to affect one or the other.

Our federally chartered members regularly attend our state Government Relations Rally, and we again had a superb turnout of state-chartered members at CUNA's Governmental Affairs Conference- fine examples of credit unions taking an interest in matters across the charter divide.

The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues have long advocated the dual chartering system, because we believe it brings the greatest range of options to credit unions and the most benefit to the consumers we serve. The current attacks on the tax status of state-chartered credit unions are just a prelude to a campaign to also tax federally chartered credit unions, a tactic that will benefit no one but bankers. Our entire movement is under assault. Our entire movement needs to respond.

David L. Chatfield, President and CEO

California and Nevada CU Leagues

Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

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