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CUNA Analyzes Mid-Term Election Results

CUs had a strong night despite the loss of some Democratic friends.

November 03, 2010
KEYWORDS candidates , house , reform , senate
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Yesterday’s election results clearly represent a significant change of direction for Washington. As has been widely reported, Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives, picking up a net of at least 60 House seats, with the outcome of 13 races yet to be determined as of early this morning.

Democrats retained control of the U.S. Senate. Despite a six-seat pickup by Republicans and three yet-to-be-called races, they maintain a minimum of 51 seats.

As for credit unions, we had a strong night despite losses of Democratic friends. We engaged in this election to a greater degree than ever before.

Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and league support, as defined by Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC) donations, extended to 358 House candidates and 31 Senate candidates, meaning we backed a pro-credit union candidate in 82% of the seats up in Congress.

As of this writing, 26 of our Senate candidates won and just three lost (Brad Ellsworth in Indiana, Lee Fisher in Ohio, and Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania). A fourth race, involving credit union-backed incumbent Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), remains too close to call.

In the House, 300 CULAC-backed candidates won election, and 48 lost, with 10 races yet to be determined. Overall, as of this morning, 93% of candidates in called races who received CULAC support won election.

Of perhaps greater note, our involvement extended beyond mere CULAC donations in a number of key races. CUNA, CULAC, leagues and individual credit unions spent a combined $1.1 million on direct communications with voters in 13 races, 10 in yesterday’s general election.

Millions of voters heard some form of communication from us in 12 targeted states, all positive and all in support of candidates from both parties who understand and back credit unions.

Indeed, a Washington Post analysis in late October ranked CUNA the fifth-largest outside spender in campaigns among trade associations, and the most bipartisan among the top 50 organizations.

Our efforts ranged from statewide television ads in South Dakota and radio ads in Colorado, Missouri, and New Hampshire, to more than one million pieces of mail sent to voters since early August.

Of particular note, 22 credit unions worked with CUNA and their leagues to send more than 600,000 pieces of direct mail to their members in support of their local congressional candidates.

Next: Results in key races

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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