Wednesday at MAXX: Political Prognostication, Policy, and Collective Action

Attendees listen along during Sean Trende’s political keynote.

If the 2016 MAXX Convention was about MAXXimizing attendees’ time and impact, Wednesday’s opening session did so in a big way.

The morning kicked off with convention emcee, and COO Denise Gabel, followed by NWCUA President and CEO Troy Stang, who introduced CUNA Mutual Group President and CEO Bob Trunzo.

Trunzo, with a wealth of financial industry experience as well as a stint in government as Wisconsin Secretary of Commerce under former Gov. Tommy Thompson, shared optomism and a renewed call for credit unions to be a “good partner” with CUNA Mutual Group for their members.

He remarked that CUNA Mutual Group has begin reinvesting in not only analytics, but its employees to ensure they remain relevant in a rapidly-changing environment.

Sean Trende unravels the latest polls, decodes “Trumpism”

Sean Trende is the Senior Elections Analyst for RealClearPolitics, He’s also written extensively on political polling, which left NWCUA SVP of Advocacy Jennifer Wagner with an interesting question as she introduced him to the MAXX Wednesday stage.

“I wonder what the title of his book would be if he wrote about this election?”

Minutes later, Trende joked that the book would be titled along the lines of, “OMG! We’re All Gonna Die!” before diving into the issues and attitudes that have seemed to undergird the electoral movement behind Donald Trump.

Sean Trende of RealClearPolitics shares his political handicapping of the general election season.

Noting that while Donald Trump “may go away, Trumpism will not,” Trende separated the specific Trump candidacy from the phenomenon behind it, along with giving a few glimpses into how random elections can be in the end.

“In a recent poll, Trump supporters were asked why they are supporting this candidate, and the strongest predictor of support was agreeing with the statement, ‘People like me don’t have a say anymore.’ People left behind by globalization are real.  Job growth has been in low income jobs and high income jobs without a whole lot in the middle. While the income for the high income jobs has been growing, it hasn’t for the low-income jobs. That somewhat explains the Trump and Sanders phenomena,” he said.

Calling on military strategy to describe what he believes will unfurl for the remaining days of the general election, Trende talked about a “disintegrating army,” where you don’t hit your opponent with every piece of artillery at once. Rather, you let them regroup, and keep hitting as they pull back together.

“The release of this tape, and other things, they aren’t random. If you think they are, I have a bridge to sell you,” Trende joked.

What is “fundamentally random,” Trende noted, are elections themselves, before moving through a series of wild scenarios and random outliers that can affect elections.

In the end, the doom and gloom predicted by many in the media wasn’t shared by Trende, who finished the session with a Q&A with the audience on the influence of third-party candidates, Speaker Ryan’s hold on the Republican caucus and the outlook for Washington’s Congressional Delegation.

Gov. Inslee: We’re all on the credit union team

Gov. Jay Inslee speaking about the credit union “team” and his connection to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

The final keynote to take the stage, Gov. Jay Inslee was effusive in his praise for Washington credit unions, recounting both their economic impact and growing membership numbers, adding that he’s a “proud member of the credit union team.”

“Washington has the number one economy in the country, and credit unions are a critical part of that,” Inslee said.

He went on to tick off other points of pride, from community support following natural disasters, to expanding financial literacy and education, to upcoming financial reality fairs on International Credit Union Day on October 20.

That pride also included a revelation that his family was also touched by another piece of the Credit Union Movement, when his father and brother had been admitted to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. There, he saw firsthand the kind of impact those hospitals have on patients.

Before leaving the stage, Inslee recognized credit unions for also leading in providing safe, sound lending options for their members.

“For a member, that’s huge to not only be able to have sound financial footing, but it even helps to sleep at night,” he said.

Questions about this story? Contact Eric Horvath: 503.350.2222,

Posted in Advocacy News, Around the NW, Events, MAXX Annual Convention.