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Two letters. Different opinions. Same consituent. Oops!

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Wide White: Two letters. Different opinions. Same consituent. Oops!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Two letters. Different opinions. Same consituent. Oops!

Unfortunately for Congressman Ron Kind, he wrote two letters to the same constituent on both sides of an issue.

A banker who believes credit unions have an unfair advantage over banks wrote Ron Kind, expressing his support for a bill that would tax credit unions who have over $250 million in assets to level the playing field with banks, who are already taxed.

The first letter addresses the banker's concerns as Kind intended to respond.

To read it, click the picture and print the screen.

Or just read my summary. (emphasis mine)

Dear _____,


As you know, [goes on for a six-line paragraph defining HR 2317.]

Please be assured that I hold small community banks in the highest regard. I believe these banks play an integral role in their communities, bringing opportunities that would otherwise not be available, especially in the many rural communities of western Wisconsin. When considering legislation, I always make sure to consider how a proposed bill would affect all of my constituents.


So basically we have no idea where he stands on the issue, though we have a two-paragraph summary, one of which explains a bill the banker already knew about. However, he does "hold small community banks in the highest regard" and finds them essential to rural communities.

That's good to know. But look at what he tells the same constituent in an email the next day! This letter shows Kind's feelings about credit unions when he's writing to a constituent who [he thinks] supports credit unions.

Again, if you don't want to print or try to read the JPEG, I've copied most of it. (emphasis mine)

Dear _____

As our nation continues to struggle to regain a solid financial footing, I write to commend the great work you do to aid this goal.

Credit unions are of great importance to their members and this country. Instead of focusing on maximizing profits [like those dirty rotten banks], credit unions exist to meet the financial needs of their members. Some members of Congress argue that credit unions should be taxed in the same manner as other depository institutions. Reasons for this argument include a desire to rely more heavily on market forces and to increase revenues.

I believe that advocates of a credit union tax fail to appreciate the uniqueness of credit unions. Like The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), I believe that taxing credit unions could create pressure to eliminate valuable services given to their customers and increase the costs of credit to those without other sources, thereby hurting low-income families. Please be assured that I am opposed to taxation of credit unions.

[More details further explaining his opposition to taxing credit unions.]

As a strong advocate for the important role of credit unions in this country, I hope you will not hesitate to contact me if I can ever be of help on this or any other issue. I look forward to working with you in the future.


Well, that's a different tone! He holds small community banks "in the highest regard," but he is also "opposed to taxation of credit unions" because those same small banks are "focusing on maximizing profits."

Let's go play a game of politics with Ron Kind!

Something doesn't smell right.


Blogger kristi noser declared,

What a complete loser. I hope he is in the next election as well.

5/24/2006 5:40 PM  
Blogger keithslady declared,

Wow, wow, and wow. What doesn't smell right? Must be the waffle.

5/25/2006 9:26 AM  
Blogger Stephanie declared,

Yeah, I get letters like that all the time (though, admittedly, I usually only get one side of it)...the bs that could be taken either way.

Though, on this particular issue, I have to say that credit unions are not the same thing as banks. Banks are for profit, credit unions are not. It's really as simple as that.

5/29/2006 8:26 AM  
Blogger Joey declared,

But it's not that simple. Many credit unions are turning into massive operations that work like banks, have executives making huge salaries, but still call themselves "non-profit credit unions." They're taking business from banks under the cloak of "non-profit" status and are undercutting the market.

5/29/2006 12:08 PM  

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