Legislative Forum, the League’s signature annual political event, was held on Wednesday and, for the first time, was conducted online. The virtual event delivered timely insight and thoughtful discussion for all in attendance.
League President/CEO Todd Mason kicked off the morning by thanking the League’s Governmental Affairs team and the League’s Governmental Affairs Committee for their work in support of the state and federal candidate endorsements. Mason highlighted the importance of the League’s endorsement policy and informed participants about the election information posted on the League’s website. Before introducing the keynote speaker, the Honorable Joseph Lieberman, League Vice President of Governmental Affairs Robert Caverly joined Mason in speaking about what is at stake this election season.
When Senator Lieberman began his remarks, he immediately expressed his appreciation for the League’s candidate endorsement process. He noted how important his own credit union endorsement was during his campaigns.
“Credit unions stand behind their friends,” said Senator Lieberman. “I can’t tell you much it meant to me to have the support of the Connecticut Credit Union League, even after I lost my primary. I appreciate how you have supported Susan (Collins) during this election cycle.”
Senator Lieberman shared stories about his tenure in the Senate and work alongside his Maine colleagues including Senator George Mitchell, Senator Olympia Snowe, and Senator Susan Collins. He discussed the importance of bi-partisanship and praised Maine’s Susan Collins for always working across party lines. He ended his keynote with his thoughts on the nation’s political divide, media bias, and the loss of centrists in Congress.
“Moderates are shrinking,” said Senator Lieberman. “The greatest victims of this partisan divide and the loss of the center is Congress itself. You run for office because you want to make a difference, and then the system pulls you apart.”
During the Q&A session, Senator Lieberman addressed a range of topics including redistricting, the Supreme Court, and the cloture and filibuster process. He also gave his predictions for election night but stressed that anything could happen in these uncertain times.
Following Senator Lieberman’s address, Republican State Senator James Hamper and Democrat State Representative Drew Gattine discussed Maine politics and the state’s financial challenges. Senator Hamper and Representative Gattine both served on the Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee and were successful in negotiating the state budget.
The event also included a virtual award presentation for the 2020 Political Involvement Award. Evergreen CU President/CEO Jason Lindstrom was presented with this year’s award for his advocacy work and leadership.
“Jason’s commitment to credit union advocacy is second to none,” said Caverly. “He is an active participant in all Governmental Affairs activities and events. Whether it is meeting with lawmakers, or helping raise money for advocacy, Jason is always there to help lead the way.”
Before the forum concluded, credit unions that donated items for the online CULAC auction were recognized and thanked. CULAC provides critical funding to credit union-friendly candidates. The auction, which was done in conjunction with the event, raised over $1,800.
Next year’s Legislative Forum will take place in November. Stay tuned for a save the date!