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You May Not Like It, But ‘Politics as Usual’ Have Changed

By Brian Summerfield, Online Editor, REALTOR® Magazine

RMag_At_MidYear1Since the announcement of the REALTOR® Party Political Survival Initiative (or RPPSI, if you’re into unwieldy acronyms), the association, the magazine, and the REALTOR® Action Center have received quite a bit of feedback.

NAR Leadership has stood solidly behind the timing, scope, and level of funding proposed for the initiative, which was developed by a group of members appointed by 2010 NAR President Vicki Cox Golder. At the Board of Directors Meeting Saturday, the NAR directors voted overwhelmingly to approve the program and to fund it with a dues increase. Here’s why.

Q: Why now?
A: Not surprisingly, this is a complaint we’ve seen a lot. We’ve been in a rough patch for a while. Why are you doing this now, when REALTORS® can barely afford it? Believe us, we know. Whether it’s from NAR or other organizations’ research, anecdotal feedback from members, or headlines in major media outlets, there has been no shortage of bad news for real estate these past few years. This decision, however, is not driven at all by economic circumstances, but rather by the fact that we’re in a political “perfect storm, as 2003 NAR President Cathy Whatley termed it. Specifically, the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling changed the game.

Q: OK, what was the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling, exactly?
A: Back in 2008, a conservative non-profit group called Citizens United released an anti-Hillary Clinton film with the creative title, “Hillary: The Movie.” To promote the picture, the organization ran ads on TV 30 days prior to the Democratic presidential primaries. The U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia ruled that this was in violation of the McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002.

(Incidentally, Citizens United had alleged that ads that ran in 2004 for Michael Moore’s film “Fahrenheit 9/11,” which attacked the Bush Administration’s foreign policy, violated McCain-Feingold, but the FEC dismissed the complaint with the explanation that the movie was a “commercial enterprise.”)

The case eventually made its way up to the Supreme Court, which in 2010 ruled 5-4 in favor of Citizens United. In the majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote, “If the First Amendment has any force, it prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for simply engaging in political speech.” That ruling also overturned soft money prohibition laws in 23 U.S. states.

Q: So, what are the implications of that decision?
A: Basically, it means that soft-money spigots have been turned on full blast. For a simple illustration of this, compare the total non-party committee spending tallies from the 2006 midterm elections to those of the 2010 midterms.

Q: Soft money, hard money, what’s the difference?
A: You hear these phrases tossed around a lot in explanations of RPPSI. Here’s what they mean, in the simplest terms possible:

Hard money: Financial contributions made directly to a candidate in a primary or general election. The sources and amounts of these funds are regulated by the Federal Election Commission and subject to limits ($5,000 contribution per candidate by a political action committee).
Soft money: Funds donated to political organizations to finance ads for candidates, against candidates, and in favor of or opposed to a specific political issue. McCain-Feingold banned national political parties from accepting these funds, but the Supreme Court’s ruling for Citizens United overturned that.

Now, special interests of all sizes and persuasions can make unlimited contributions to 527 organizations and political parties, which in turn spend money on ads that boost a particular candidate or issue, but are not coordinated or approved by the candidate.

Here’s how you can tell the difference: You know how you’ll hear something like, “I’m John J. Candidate, and I approve this message,” at the end of some radio or TV ads? That means it was financed with hard money. If you hear, “Paid for by Citizens Who Want to Get Rid of John J. Candidate, That Big Jerk,” that means it’s soft money.

Q: Does NAR benefit from the Citizens United ruling?
A: Not at all. Frankly, NAR was in a much more favorable position when soft money was more tightly controlled under McCain-Feingold. RPAC is the biggest PAC of its kind, but that’s not enough in the new political landscape. Now, the association has to compete with entities that are in a position to spend much more money.

Q: Will my dues go to a candidate I don’t like?
A: This is another major concern with RPPSI. The answer? Yes, your dues could possibly go toward candidates you wouldn’t support based on many of their positions. However, decisions to support candidate are not made rashly. Members of the association evaluate candidates’ stand on issues important to the real estate industry. Moreover, NAR is among the most bipartisan professional associations, and divides its political expenditures nearly evenly among Republicans and Democrats based on their positions and voting records on real estate issues.

But while much of the RPPSI debate has centered around this particular issue, as a share of overall RPPSI funds, the amount that goes to campaigns for individual candidates at all levels will represent less than 30 percent of the money collected over the next five years. Much more will go to mobilization, advocacy, and campaign-coordination efforts around state, local, and federal issues that affect real estate, ranging from the mortgage interest deduction to transfer taxes.

Q: If the initiative is so important, why doesn’t NAR just cut other programs or staff to fund it?
A: You can fault NAR for making spending decision you don’t agree with — but make sure you know the facts. NAR leaders, for example, are volunteers; they earn no salary for their work on behalf of the industry. On the staff side, NAR has made significant program cuts, eliminated positions, and frozen staff salaries and hiring. In the face of changing campaign finance rules and mounting regulatory and legislative challenges to the real estate industry, more cuts won’t put NAR in a strong position to advocate for the political survival of REALTORS®, the real estate industry, and home ownership.

Q: When does it take effect?
A: The $40 dues increase won’t kick in until 2012.

Got more questions? Let us know in the Comments section. Also, there are lots of resources to help you learn more at the REALTOR® Action Center and at http://www.realtor.org/topics/political_survival_initiative.

Brian Summerfield

Brian Summerfield is Manager of Business Development and Outreach for NAR Commercial and Global Services. He can be reached at bsummerfield@realtors.org.

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Comments
  1. This is 110% why I am against this. Not up to you to decide where my money goes when it comes to politics. I am with you on the issues and the importance so I will volunteer my time and energy to helping the good fight. But this below is why you must keep this voluntary. Shameful.

    Q: Will my dues go to a candidate I don’t like?
    A: This is another major concern with RPPSI. The answer? Yes, your dues could possibly go toward candidates you wouldn’t support based on many of their positions. However, decisions to support candidate are not made rashly.

    I lost a lot of respect for NAR and the way this was handled today. I think this will have some long term implications on our association that many in leadership positions can not see right now. You may have “awoken a sleeping giant” when it comes to opposition to NAR. The “we know what’s best” approach did not sit well with many of us. Sad day to be a Realtor if you ask me.

    Mike Long

  2. Nancy Linder

    This is a “surprise-surprise” situation. When an Initiative is formed by the Board of Directors and NAR Leadership, of course it’s going to get a vote of “yes”. However, there was a loud roar from the REALTOR community against it and we obviously have no voice in the matter. We are forced to pay dues at whatever cost without a vote. If I had the option to not be a NAR member and still get MLS access, I would be sprinting to the door.

  3. Cathy Mankus

    Totally agree with Nancy’s post. This is supposed to be an organization FOR realtors. In reality, it is about supporting the desires of those who run it- NOT those that keep it in existence. Here’s a crazy thought- many of us have had to cut our expenses due to market conditions. Maybe NAR could do the same? (again, I know I am talking smack) Sure would be nice to force every client to pay money up front before we work with them. We do not have that luxury as realtors. Only NAR does.

  4. Ana Trinque

    Not a happy camper with NAR right now. In the 20 yrs I have been in real estate, I have NEVER seen NAR reduce its fees. Now is NOT the time to raise dues!! This is all about building a war chest for the upcoming presidential campaign. There is so much more I would like to add but would probly get myself in trouble. NAR has done nothing to help me in my business. What about streamlining short sales? Get the bankers to start lending? Get some of these ludicrous regulations off our back? This MARS is a joke, exempting attorneys who is doing most of these wrong solicitations on loan mods. I don’t see the benefits. Everything NAR provides for us costs us money.

    Ana Trinque

  5. Brian Summerfield

    Thanks for your comments, everyone. Just a point of clarification: This initiative was not decided by fiat from NAR leadership. It came from members like you, who volunteered their time to study the political environment and come up with a response to changing conditions. It was then voted on and approved by members.

  6. Nicole Jensen

    The REALTORS® doubting the advocacy NAR provides its members are perhaps unaware of the tireless efforts and endless hours NAR staff and volunteer leadership dedicate to promoting the best interest of homeownership and REALTOR® issues. The choice to spend time complaining, rather than becoming informed, is tragic. What has NAR done for you lately? Banks in Real Estate, First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit, and the National Flood Insurance Program are just three issues that come to mind. To become more informed on how NAR has protected the best interest of its members, visit: http://www.realtor.org/government_affairs/reg_leg_accomplishments

  7. Janelle Chapman

    Thank you for your clarification Brian. However, I would also like to point out that the members who pay their dues and are currently sitting on the Board of Directors, are OUT OF TOUCH with what the REALTOR COMMUNITY has expressed. They did not listen to the MEMBERS anymore than you are listening to your peers now. NAR BOD has their own agenda and it’s not in the best interest of REALTORS. If anything, it’s in the interest of their own political gain, not just “survival.” They are doing whatever they want regardless of what the membership has to say about it. Congratulations NAR, on your new status as a Union.

  8. Tim Burson

    Quit Spending my Money. Let me decide WHO, WHAT & WHEN i want to Support. Make it a volunteer program.

  9. Carol Moson

    I just wish NAR would have taken more time to explain what is going on and how our business is truly under attack. I wish they would have built the trust and support of the membership before they told us what they were going to do and seemingly forced the idea on the membership. I am just confused as to why they even brought up Plan “B” because there was obviously no intent to have the directors support that. So I now say to you, if you are going to keep the awareness campaign you ought to be a little more blunt and to the point in your ads. The public still has no idea what the difference between a Realtor and an non Realtor are and they don’t really understand why we are running Home Ownership Matters ads and we’re paying for ads we still have to explain.

  10. Rob Johnson

    I have talked to many local agents and not a single one is in favor of the increase for political funds. If you think we are for it, then make it optional and let the Realtors interested donate their $40, and the rest of us (the vast majority) and decline!

  11. Gloria Lever

    I thought this was an Organization for the Realtors , So who was looking out for the interested of Realtors when this decision was made for us? It seem that no one is listening or have our best interested when it come to increasing our dues. This is a bad situation for Realtors and we obviously do not have a voice.

  12. I am somewhat confused. In your response of “Why Now” you state the decision is not driven at all by economic circumstances. I would disagree when you address concern about other groups raising and spending money which is an economic concern. Again, I question if the initiative is so important, why can’t NAR just cut other programs or staff to fund it? Where do the cuts come into the increase in dues? The issue seems to me to be about INCREASING dues, not cutting them. NAR is still operating under the same resources as before, right? It shouldn’t have to cut staff to operate differently if the dues were not increased. Simply put your anwer makes no sense. Another question is your comment “RPAC is the biggest PAC of its kind, but that’s not enought in the new political landscape.” WHY? You say the association has to compete with entities that are in a position to spend much more, but you just said RPAC is the “biggest”. Did you mean in terms of size, money taken in, money spent..? Regardless of what Citizens United did to federal campaign finance laws those changes impact all organizations, not just NAR. Why is NAR more adversely impacted, I think you to be more specific and fully anwer that question. Frankly I think NAR saw an opening to effect politics and they wanted to increase dues to be able to spend even more money. Politics are local and you have now taken from the local PSF collection plate. Again, this is a done deal but I can say is it is wrong and you can color coat it anyway you want……the spin isn’t working with this member.

  13. I put an article dated October 12, 2010 on the blog yesterday about a campaign in the 18th District of CA where NAR contributed 205,000.00 to the campaign of Dennis Cardoza. After researching it I found no real reason to support that large donation other than the remark by Stockton realtor Marian Norris who declared “California Realtors have had a long and productive relationship with Congressman Cardoza because os his strong support of CA homeowners”. Going through his record I saw nothing that would distinguish him from any other lawmaker. He was pro extension of the tax credit, vote 409-5 in the house, so quite a few were in favor.

    Where are our assurances that the money NAR invests in candidates is vital, well spent and respresents good value. Is Cardoza a special interest of NAR’s head lobbyist who is also a CA and prior to working for NAR worked for political types from CA in DC? Absolute power corrupts absolutely!!

  14. Brian Summerfield

    Janelle: REALTOR® Magazine editors have been listening. This post was intended to address the points we’ve heard up to now from many of the members. Many of the questions above were derived from actual questions we’ve gotten on this blog.

    Cheryl: You said, “Regardless of what Citizens United did to federal campaign finance laws those changes impact all organizations, not just NAR.” This isn’t quite right. An organization like, say, Goldman Sachs (or Wall Street’s political arm, the Financial Services Roundtable) can now raise a lot more money for independent political expenditures than they could prior to the Citizens ruling. And again, those organizations can beat NAR on spending all day long, even with this dues increase. But it’s not just about — or even primarily about — direct spending on political campaigns; it’s about using the money to mobilize REALTORS® on important issues at all levels: local, state, and federal. And the initiative is wholly new, which is why it requires new funding (rather than pulling from existing funds).

  15. Though Nicole rebuts what NAR has done for us lately with the “Banks in Real Estate” rebuff that was actually a bill signed into effect March, 2009….which isn’t lately to me.

  16. The NAR Board of Directors had no intention of listening to its “dues paying” members on this initiative. They already had their minds made up that the RPPSI was going to pass and knew they had the votes of “their executives” to do this. Politics…you’ve got to love it….or not! It’s ingenious and laughable at the same time how NAR actually displayed just how dishonest politics really is!

    I’ve called around the United States prior to the vote and found it alarming (yet not surprising) how many “top producing” agents were completely oblivious to this initiative. On the occasion where an AE/CEO of a Realtor Association actually did poll their members I found no group that actually supported this initiative. Every blog I read was against this initiative (unless it was from a member of a Board of Directors).

    No polling was done of the the entire NRDS database of members for their input because NAR already knew the outcome would be a resounding NO vote! What’s next for this organization? Many local associations are going to be looking at the ramifications of leaving NAR. What a sad day in the history of this organization that members who have proudly wore the R pin now have to be put in such a precarious situation.

  17. Brian – thank you for this concise explanation of Citizens United and the issues.

    My question is this: knowing that the IE provision is causing so much controversy, and by your own admission, only 30% or so of RPPI funds are going to go to such independent expenditure campaigns (only $12M out of the $40M)… why not drop that portion altogether?

    Are you hearing something from your lobbyists that the $12M will make a gigantic difference? Seems to me that you’ll get outspent by any reasonably sized company/union anyhow, so why go down that road?

    If NAR were to remove the 30% IE part of #RPPI, seems to me that a huge number of your members would be solidly behind this effort. Why not consider it?

    I’d just like to understand why that tactic is so important to NAR going forward.

    -rsh

  18. Brian Summerfield

    Rob: That’s a great question, but one that I’m not in a position to provide a fully informed answer for, unfortunately. I would definitely encourage you and any REALTORS® interested in learning more about the rationale behind the allocations to contact the folks at the REALTOR® Action Center at http://www.realtoractioncenter.com/contact.html. By the way, I’ve enjoyed reading your RPPI write-ups on the 7DS blog.

  19. John Leonard

    NAR’s decisions and the way that they were reached, have made me hostile to the organization. Any organization who asks its members “we propose this, that do you think ?” Then gets an overwhelmingly unanimous “no” answer, but decides “well it is necessary for you, we are going to do it anyway” is unworthy of support or membership.

    to all of you who feel that you have no choice… this seems like a class action suit waiting to happen. it is a “closed shop” situation, except in this case, one is forced to join the union and pay dues, if the company is a “union shop” i believe one or more of us who feel boxed in… should investigate. why should i be forced to remain a NAR member, if my company is a NAR member. if we worked for Ford, we might choose to join the UAW, but would not be legally required to to retain our jobs.

  20. Fred Lyons

    RPAC is currently a volunteer contribution. Please let us determine who we will support from a political perspective, unless we decide to do so at the local level.
    You have no right to decide this for us and use our money to do so.
    Take away the price increase (of 50%?). We can decide who we wish to promote.

  21. Bill Morscheck

    What is the difference between NAR and SEIU (Service Employees International Union)? Dues are mandatory for membership/employment, funds for political activity are deducted from members/employees dues/salaries, and the funds are spent as the leadership of the organization sees fit without respect to the wishes of the members/employees.

    A sad time for a once proud, member driven trade association.

  22. I agree with the comments I’ve read opposing the increase in dues at this time and for the reasons stated. To be forced to give money to politicians we may not support contradicts one of the most basic freedoms we have in this country. I think this decision should be revisited and indefinitely suspended for now. If we suffer for it in the long run then at least it will be our choice.

  23. Glenn Whorley

    I absolutely resent being forced to fund candidates whose value and votes are completely opposite of my own beliefs. When an organization can force you to support their political candidates– it is time to start looking for new leadership. There was no listening, or asking of your laborers before this decision was made. At no time should a person be FORCED to support any candidate without voluntarily supporting them. You can explain away your decision with all the hyperbole you wish to use– the facts remain the same. Forced support of your candidates.

  24. Sharon Lunski

    I was in DC when this initiative was discussed and voted on…yes our Board of Directors put this into action. It’s for four years and if your money isn’t well-spent then I suggest you rise up and squash it at the end of four years, but if, as in the past, it serves us well…..embrace it and thank leadership for it’s foresight. I did not vote, I am not on the board…but I see it as necessary for survival of all realtors.

  25. Michael Curtis

    In a similar abuse of power, the Hawaii Association of REALTOR’s BOD lobbied for and achieved an increase in the required Continuing Education hours required for Hawaii relicensing.

    The effect of which was that our “elected” leadership chose to increase the amount of government intrusion and regulation of our industry. The assumption was that I needed their MANDATE to continue as a responsible informed licensee. Mandating it is counter-productive, as the assumption of irresponsible licensees only tends to create that reality (The Pygmallion Effect)!

    I also appreciate the representation of our interests at the Federal level. I’m afraid that I must agree with the “Union” leadership analogy. The Hawaii teacher’s union lobbied for and achieved the limiting of change in our Hawaii State education system, to the detriment of the students.

    We all suffer when it’s ok for “us” to abuse power, and not the “other” guys/gals. We all suffer when this slippery path is followed.

    I fully appreciate the value of learning and education. I also fully appreciate the disrespect our leadership chooses to assume in lobbying for additional regulation of our citizens and industry.

  26. Mike McIntyre

    Thank you for addressing this very interesting issue regarding campaign finance law as a result of Citizen United. Well written Q&A.

    Would you please publish for the membership the contributions made by NAR in the last two election cycles of all political activities (volunteer funding and 527′s supported by NAR for all House, Senate and Presidential candidates. Please include the legislative advocacy for pending legislation. If you cannot provide this funding where can I find the published spending?

  27. Jacqueline Drake

    I am totally opposed to the mandatory dues increase many of you have voiced my own concerns about the issue. I have sent in comments prior to this being passed opposing the issue and feel like I was ignored as do the rest of you. We as members pay for NARs existence with our dues so heavy handed decisions such as this would make me open to alternatives to NAR if they are offered. A $40.00 increase is ill conceived when the real estate market is weak and gas has been pushing $4.00 a gallon. With me it’s not about the money, it’s the idea of being forced to support a candidate who has played a part in the destruction of out country. NAR can still wake up before it’s too late if the leadership is smart enough to do it. The comment about those elected to positions with NAR not being there actively working in real estate is largely correct in my opinion. Perhaps that’s why they are out of touch.

  28. TC

    I am writing to express my strong objection to NAR increasing dues for political purposes. I do not willfully give my proxy vote to NAR to determine what candidates they will support on my behalf. This is unethical and in my opinion constitutes extortion. I am writing my senators and representatives in congress to ask that they initiate an inquiry into the legality of this action. I am requesting that the NAR leadership reeavulate its policy and racant this measure. I can voluntarily contribute to NAR political action committee, but do not force us to give you money to support candidates that someone “thinks” is best; there is an entire country at odds about what policies are in the country’s best interest. Use REALTOR dues for REALTOR services, not for funding political campaigns for candidates I may or may not support. I can do that voluntarily.

  29. Dan Craddock

    I NEVER HAVE BELONGED TO A UNION AND I NEVER WILL. I didn’t become a Realtor to be in a union and that’s what NAR is acting like now. They are taking my money and sending it to people that I don’t support. Never have the fees been lowered and this is exactly the time to do it. NAR, don’t act like the government and want more and more from us who are hurting. Cut your own expenses and figure out ways that don’t involve money to support real estate causes.

    In a time when we see our incomes reduced due to lesser commissions, we don’t need our supporting organization to start being a political activist/lobbyist. STOP!

  30. Gay Rochel

    OK, let’s say I believe what you are saying . . . make this a one-time charge! Put your mouth where our money is!!!

  31. M Furman

    I am very disappointed in NAR’s allocation and use two specific dues; the $40 for this initiative but also the continuing fee for Advertising Assessment of $35.

    With over 1.1 million members, this is >$40 million ADDITIONAL funding directed toward politics as we are already paying $23 in dues to Regulatory and Legislative Advocacy . This is > $63 million dollars annually that members are paying for this service.

    Another area that needs addressing is the Advertising Assessment. The latest report from NAR stated member opinion in support of this. The survey states 2400 members were surveyed – shame on you – that is < 0.24% of members. How could this laughable percentage truly reflect the opinion of 99.75% of remaining members? The survey states that the % of the public using a realtor today versus past years has increased considerably. I do not argue that fact, but it is NOT due to NAR Advertising, it is due to the complexities of the market, pricing and distressed properties. I polled my clients and 100% stated that NAR's advertising is nice but has not influenced their decision about seeking help from a Realtor; their reason is the market in general has caused this to happen. I would like to see a better survey conducted regarding advertising on a cost vs. value to Members, with a much greater % of members surveyed.

    In summary, the above two issues represent $98 of the $155 annual dues, that is 63%. I am not stating that these items are not needed, but that the expenditures allocated to these areas is excessive and should be better managed. An amount of 30% of dues would be more appropriate with member voting on any increase in this amount. I also feel that there should not be a $5 charge to members if they want a membership card – that is the most bazaar statement I have ever heard. Membership wallet cards should be provided to all members upon request. This fee has me questioning if my dues are being spent across the board appropriately and in the best interest of its members. The answers I have found are – no they are not.

  32. Mark Bogdany

    Apparently, this organization is as deaf as Obama is when it comes to listening to the people!
    No, you really don’t understand how bad it is for realtors RIGHT NOW!
    Who are you listening to???? Ahh….. the lobbyists!
    Of all times to raise any fees, this is absolutely absurd!
    Start cutting staff and other areas before you pull this crap! Let’s view your ENTIRE BUDGET for this and next year?
    Seems you’ve become just another entrenched group bending to the will of your lobbyists and your own agenda!!!
    Soon, you won’t have an organization that can continue to pay these dues and will have to contend with competition from a different organization forming without having to foot your outrageous lobbyists’ desires!
    Who the hell asked you to speak for my political views?????????
    Welcome to 1984!!!
    This ploy is a great way for many realtors to just hang it up and become referral agents instead of kow-towing to your demands!
    Ahhh……….. you’ve become just like Congress………….. heeding no one!
    Shame on you!

    Want to tell us when you’ll ever reduce fees over your mania for maknig us pay for
    your wants…………….. not ours?
    So now we have no say in how you want to piss away our dues…….. great!!!
    apparently you forgot all about US!

  33. Shari Posey

    I agree with others who have said it’s not about the money, it’s about what this money is being spent on…POLITICS! By the way, it’s not just the $40 increase in dues. I called NAR today at it’s a total of $68 for politically lobbying efforts (two fees of $40 and $28). Special interest money is one of the biggest problems with this country and NAR, with 1.8 million members paying $68 each, is contributing to it.

    I really do feel like I am a union member rather than an association member. Most importantly, I feel it is against my rights to force me to contribute to any political campaign or lobbying effort. Of course, I can always quit NAR, and my state and local board to become an independent broker and pay for the MLS without trying to buy candidates. But I love the brokerage I’m affiliated with and I feel like it support me much more than any of the associations. So, I just suck it up.

    However, since NAR is so confident about the money being well-spent, I’m certain NAR has a list of funds contributed to specific candidates so that we as members can do the research to see firsthand whether we feel the money is well-spent. Brian, can you help us find this list in the library of documents? Or post it on this blog?

  34. I have been having this ongoing discussion with my broker regarding the NAR’s promoting political policies and politicians I (and even he in some cases) strongly object to. While reading last months issue of Realtor magazine, there was a large ad bragging that over $6million was spent in the last quarter of 2011 and another $4million in the second quarter etc. I can’t help but wonder what in the world this budget consists of especially when you mention all the participants who are donating their time and efforts. All that comes to mind is lunches and campaign donations for already fat congressmen and big fees for lawyers to interpret and or craft the legislation nobody can understand. I looked over this site and was unable to see any kind of expense reporting or financial information letting us know exactly where our money is going. I too am in a situation where if I want to remain with this company, I am required to subscribe to this Realtor organization whether I want to or not. Raising the dues feels like just another poke with a knife. Not providing this financial information makes us feel like the “powers that be” do not think we can understand or would not approve of the spending. It goes to the quote in this months issue by Moe Veissi stating that “people will forget what you said; people will forget what you did; but they will never forget how they make you feel” That goes to a negative direction as well as positive. Keep in mind, it takes a lot for someone who normally “goes with the flow” to stop and comment on this blog. It also indicates many many more who feel the same way but do not know how or where to express their opinions. The NAR should listen to their constituents.

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