Are You Dancing With Your Member of Congress?

In the new political environment where just a few people have the ear of their elected representative, direct involvement by credit unions in political campaigns is the only way credit unions can be all that they can be. At least that’s the way uber-lobbyist Michael Dunn sees it.

Plain-spoken with a slight Arkansas drawl, Dunn, principle of Dunn Associates, reminded attendees of the final general session of the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) 2011 Convention Thursday afternoon that the first rule in politics is getting re-elected. The second rule, of course, is to not forget the first rule.

In order to achieve this, he said, those elected must “dance with the ones that brought them.”

“If a politician has choice of giving up a part of the very limited time he has to meet with people, the first people on his list will be the five people who helped him get his job,” said Dunn, referring to a deconstruction he presented of the myth that politicians represent all of the people in their districts.

“Credit unions must build relationships in order to be the ones who have the ear of any politicians. Involvement in campaigns is the only way to do this. No one likes that reality, but reality is mean—you get what you get.”

According to Dunn, it is up to credit unions to make that happen by hosting meet and greets with

members and holding fundraisers at the homes of board members, credit unions managers and CEOs.

“We have to remember that it’s not how well you know your lawmaker,” he said. “It’s how well your lawmaker knows you.”


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Posted in MAXX Annual Convention.