AT COLUMBIA CREDIT UNION INTEGRITY MATTERS
I am a member of Columbia Credit Union and a candidate running for the Supervisory Board. I am hopeful that my fellow credit union members will understand the necessity for replacing the four incumbent Board members and three incumbent Supervisory Committee members with those candidates endorsed by Save Columbia Credit Union (SaveCCU). I had also hoped that I would be participating in a fair election, but sadly I find that this is not the case.
Instead, what I see is more character assassination, guilt by association and the outright distortion of the truth. Take the website www.retainourboard.org whose physical address is a post office box in of all places: Donald, Oregon. (This address only appeared in an ad run in the Daily Columbian.) If you go to this website you will find no identification of who is responsible for it or how they are funded. But who wants to reveal their face when they are busy disfiguring the faces of others?
For example there is a link called “Dissidents” where you find a description of three people in what is a classic attempt to paint guilt by association. Two of these people are associated with the Green Party. I am one of them, and my membership in the Pacific Green Party of Oregon has absolutely nothing to do with my membership in Columbia Credit Union; and the same goes for Robert Tice who happens to belong to the Washington State Green Party and ironically is not even a candidate for the board. The Pacific Green Party knows nothing about Columbia Credit Union and it has nothing to do with the group SaveCCU. In fact, there are all kinds of people in SaveCCU, some of them are past employees, some of them are Democrats, and some are Republicans. All of them care deeply about Columbia Credit Union and many have belonged to this credit union for most of their lives. If our political beliefs are to be the litmus test of our worthiness as candidates, then we are all equally guilty of the high crime of caring about our community and standing up for what we believe.
Also on this page of “Dissidents,” is a picture of me being arrested in December of 1992, at the Trojan Nuclear Plant, as well as a statement letting you know that I was also arrested in July of 2002. What they don’t tell you is why I was arrested, or how in both incidents, the charges brought against me were dropped. But, that would be too much like telling the truth. So instead, they hurriedly plant the obvious question: “do you really want someone like this representing our credit union?” and then invite you to visit my website, www.marbet.org where “there is just so much information on this individual that there is simply no time or space to record it all here.”
On this they are right for there is a lot of information on my website and, yes, I have deliberately put it there. I also have no problem telling people how they can reach me and where I live. I happen to believe, that as an activist and a candidate for the Columbia Credit Union Supervisory Board, you have the right to examine my background. So imagine my surprise when I hit the link to my own website only to discover that someone had hacked into it and removed all of my information except for two links, one of which rather conveniently was a description of my arrest in 2002, for petitioning in a public park on Fourth of July.
With considerable effort, I have taken the time to restore my website and while I do not know for certain who has done this, I am sorry if it was done by people who would rather manipulate the outcome of elections through deception, than allow both sides to be fairly heard on the issues affecting Columbia Credit Union and the financial well being of its members. In reviewing the history of credit unions, I find that it has been a long struggle to create and preserve democratically run financial institutions that operate for the benefit of all of its members. Most importantly, democratically run institutions are only as good as the integrity of those who participate.
If you haven’t sent in your ballot, please vote!
Lloyd Marbet is the Executive Director of the Oregon Conservancy Foundation. Both are members of Columbia Credit Union. For more information on SaveCCU candidates go to www.saveccu.com or call 750-7228. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.