State & Local Independent ExpendituresV
Apply for funding to help influence voter opinion to elect your REALTOR® Champions to public office. Funds can help pay for mailings, phone banks, advertising, and more. Total state and local allocations determined by membership size.
When a $4 billion budget deficit made the mortgage interest deduction a target, the Minnesota Association of REALTORS® faced an uphill battle. But through the Minnesota Home Matters campaign, the 17,000-member association used key partnerships, coalition-building and an effective independent expenditure campaign to garner statewide support to change proposed legislation and protect the deduction while creating a culture of advocacy.
Until this past election cycle, the Birmingham Association of REALTORS® (BAR) had never conducted an independent expenditure campaign or made use of any of the advocacy funds and services available through the REALTOR® Party. This autumn, after careful planning, the 3,200-member association backed 15 REALTOR®-friendly candidates for City Council and School Board seats, and 14 won. They began by hosting an NAR Candidate Training Academy. Then, they used NAR's Campaign Funding and Services to help them run the most effective independent expenditure campaigns, including robo-calls and direct-mail pieces. The rest is history – and a good base of advocacy experience on which to build.
When faced with the expected population boom in Bend, OR, the Central Oregon Association of REALTORS® knew it was crucial to restore balance in the city’s anti-growth City Council. Using the REALTOR® Party’s Independent Expenditure Program, the 1700 member association backed candidates who supported smart growth, fiscal responsibility, and sound solutions to the challenges our growing city faces…and won.
The 2,400-member District of Columbia Association of REALTORS® (DCAR) had long been at odds with the City Council member from Ward 1, a 16-year incumbent and a staunch advocate for higher real estate taxes and more rent control. One opposition candidate, Brianne Nadeau, looked like a promising alternative, but she was down by 25 percentage points. Knowing it would be a heavy lift, they launched an independent expenditure campaign with phone calls, internet banners and door-to-door canvasing. In the end, their candidate won by 17 points.
They say every vote counts, and in April's School Board race in Monett, MO, that was certainly the case. REALTOR® Champion Keith McCracken was seeking a seat on the local Board of Education to further serve his community. With the help of the Southwest Missouri Board of REALTORS® and a REALTOR® Party independent expenditure, he won that seat—by a single vote.
Fort Collins REALTORS® Use Independent Expenditure Campaign to Support Four City Council Candidates: Three Win
When an NAR dues increase went into effect two years ago, the Fort Collins Board of REALTORS® (FCBR) made a promise to its 750 members to bring those dollars back to the northern Colorado community, in the form of grants from the REALTOR® Party. This spring, it made good on that promise, supporting four candidates for local election, including the mayor, with an Independent Expenditure Grant from NAR. The funding paid for get-out-the-vote calls, and a combination of online advertising and social media messaging that reached the youthful voting population of the college town more effectively than traditional print media. Three of the four candidates who benefited from FCBR’s support, won: the incumbent mayor, and two of the candidates running for City Council.
East Lansing, Michigan, home of Michigan State University, is a town with serious budget troubles. Escalating legacy costs had been kicked down the road for years, explains Mark Dickens, Vice President of Policy and Operations at the 1,000-member Greater Lansing Association of REALTORS® (GLAR), adding that the City Council, mired in various divisive issues, had long focused on the generation of tax revenue, rather than solving the root problems. When two seats on the Council came up for election this year, with two incumbents fighting to retain them, GLAR was ready to help the fresh new candidate who was willing to listen to voters, and open to bringing about much-needed change.
Kentucky REALTORS® Help Elect Three Champions to the State House and Put Polling to Use in Tax Reform Battle
Twice last fall, three real-estate-friendly candidates running to keep their seats in the Kentucky State House found happy surprises in their mailboxes: direct mail pieces endorsing them, but not paid for by their own campaigns. Thanks to Independent Expenditure Grants from NAR, the 8,680-member Kentucky Association of REALTORS® (KAR) was able to help all three REALTOR® Champions win their bids for re-election. Then, in a tax-form battle, KAR utilized NAR’s polling services to help make a persuasive case for saving the mortgage interest deduction in a Rally for Home Owners at the state house.
– May 2013 When two seats came up for grabs on the City Council of Salisbury, MD, the 950-member Coastal Association of REALTORS revved its advocacy instincts into high gear. The association interviewed all the prospective candidates and took heart when they met challenger Jake Day, a “local boy” with an urban revitalization background that gave him an understanding of what Salisbury needed to develop as a city. They backed him for one district, and incumbent Shanie Shields, for another. Working together with the Maryland Association, the Coastal Association secured Independent Expenditure funds from NAR to support direct mail cards, a radio ad, robo-calls and door-hangers. Both candidates won in the April 2013 election, and two weeks later Jake Day was selected as President of the Council.
The 1,000-member Montgomery (AL) Area Association of REALTORS® had nothing against any of the five candidates running in the mayoral election this past summer. But there was only one they knew would offer them a seat at the table where pressing budget issues and property rights decisions are concerned.
In a rare tempest of the calendar, the 4,200-member New Orleans Metropolitan Association of REALTORS® found itself with precious little time to launch an independent expenditure campaign for Mayor Mitch Landrieu's re-election. This was thanks to an unlikely confluence of the date of its new trustees' installation and first PAC meeting, the Orleans Parish Election Day, and -- oh yes -- Mardi Gras. Landrieu (the brother of U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, a longtime REALTOR® Champion, herself,) had worked tirelessly to improve the overall quality of life in the City of New Orleans and Orleans Parish, but was facing a tough election. The REALTORS® of New Orleans were successful and helped Landrieu win with 64 percent of the vote.
In the 2014 general election, the New York State Association of REALTORS® (NYSAR) was bound and determined not to let its champion, a REALTOR® and homebuilder in New York’s Capital District, be defeated again in his bid for a state Senate seat. With the help of an Independent Expenditure Campaign that included direct mail, a Get-Out-the-Vote online video, Internet advertising and a door-to-door field effort, the 49,800-member association helped George Amedore (R) win this time – by 11,000 votes.
When the City Council of Fayetteville, Ark., proposed a zoning ordinance to restrict the width of driveways and require garage entries to be to the side or rear of a dwelling, the REALTORS® tried to reason with them. Failing that, they launched an Issues Mobilization Campaign and rallied public support to defeat the measure.
The 8,325-member Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® (OAR) has long had one of the state’s strongest Political Action Committees. But this spring, having received the maximum allowed PAC contributions from OAR, two of its strongest advocates – one in the State House (Marion Cooksey) and one in the State Senate (Clark Jolley) - were still faced with tough primaries. They needed an extra boost. OAR used a $14,500 Independent Expenditure Grant for polling and mailers to bring about success. Representative Cooksey won her race outright in the primary; Senator Jolley will face an Independent in the fall general election, and is expected to win easily.
Oklahoma City Metropolitan Association of REALTORS® Leverages Issues Mobilization Grant to Help Struggling Town Shore Up Infrastructure
When a small, incorporated town within the Oklahoma City limits was being left behind by the surrounding competitive real estate market, the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Association of REALTORS® used an Issues Mobilization Grant from the REALTOR® Party to help secure two new bond packages to improve drainage, streets, sidewalks, and parks.
When the REALTOR® Champion running to maintain her seat on the Oklahoma County Commission faced a primary run-off, it looked like an up-hill battle: though Carrie Blumert had the advantage as incumbent, her challenger was a former state senator and statewide candidate who had held a slim lead in the primary; when neither won a majority of votes, the challenger was favored to prevail in the run-off election.
When the thriving cottage industry of privately operated short-term vacation rental properties was threatened by a recent ballot initiative in Palm Springs, California, the REALTORS® secured an Issues Mobilization Grant. The success of their campaign to defeat the proposal was a victory for private property rights.
In politics, there are REALTOR®-friendly candidates, and then there are candidates who are actually REALTOR® members. This election year, the Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS® (PAR) protected and secured the seats of not one, but two of its own who serve in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. With two Independent Expenditure Campaigns funded by NAR, PAR helped to re-elect Sue Helm of Dauphin County and Marguerite Quinn of Bucks County, outside Philadelphia.
Pinellas County Florida holds the most flood insurance policies in the U.S. When proposed ordinance changes would have made it significantly easier for homes to be designated as “historic” and potentially increased the cost of property insurance, including flood insurance, and property upgrades, the 6,000-member Pinellas REALTOR® Organization (PRO) took action. Read more about how an Issue Mobilization campaign and coalition building helped led to a PRO victory.
With three new REALTOR® Champions on the County Council, and a favorable relationship with the County Executive-elect, the REALTORS® of Prince George’s County, Md., can be assured that the issues that matter to them are in good hands. Three Independent Expenditure Campaign grants from the REALTOR® Party helped strengthen the odds.
When the police department lacked funding to purchase hi-definition security cameras to help combat crime, the New Orleans Metropolitan Association of REALTORS® came to the rescue. Working with the New Orleans Police & Justice Foundation, the 4,000-member association used a Game Changer Grant to help increase safety and improve property values in their city.
It’s a jungle out there in San Diego; in fact, in all of California, where the ‘Jungle Primary System’ applies. In the jungle system, all candidates are in the first round which, technically, is a non-partisan race, although candidates can accept endorsements. Fifty percent plus one vote wins the race outright. If no one gets over 50 percent of the vote, the top two candidates go to a run-off in the general November election. The 12,000-member San Diego Association of REALTORS® (SDAR) endorsed three candidates, and with Independent Expenditure funding from NAR, it created targeted direct mailings for all three elections. On June 12, each of the three REALTOR® candidates had garnered the most votes: one won a seat on the San Diego City Council; one goes to a run-off for a City Council seat; and the third will compete in a run-off for the office of San Diego County Supervisor.
When a seat opened up on the San Jose, CA City Council last January, the 5,000-member Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® saw an opportunity to elect a candidate who would stand up for their issues. This was especially important with a number of significant property-rights issues looming on the horizon. With an Independent Expenditure grant from NAR and political action funds of their own, they helped their candidate win a decisive victory in the June election.
It’s not every day that the president of the St. Charles County Association of REALTORS® gets hoisted 15 feet off the ground in the basket of a boom-truck. But that’s what happened September 12, 2012 when the 14,000-member association, launched its annual RPAC fundraising event with a much-anticipated Golf Ball Drop. Members had paid $5 apiece for the 330 marked balls that were dumped overboard. The member whose winning ball landed nearest the target got a prize. A lively auction, dinner and games rounded out the event, which raised more than $18,000 and added nine Major Investors and 11 Major Investor pledges. A $2,500 RPAC fundraising grant from NAR helped to pay for the event and to raise 50 percent more than the previous year’s event
St. Charles REALTORS® (MO) Help Elect Real-Estate Friendly Board of Aldermen; Re-Electing One of Their Own, As Well
Five years ago, the climate for business and real estate in Wentzville, MO (an hour’s drive from St. Louis) was not good. Since then, the 1,200-member St. Charles County Association of REALTORS® helped bring positive change for homeowners and the housing industry in Wentzville – by changing the makeup of the Board of Aldermen. With the help of endorsements and RPAC contributions from the St. Charles REALTORS®, five of the six of Wentzville’s current Aldermen are “real estate-friendly”. And, the President of the Aldermen, Rick Stokes, is an active REALTOR® in the Wentzville area. Last spring, Stokes’ campaign for re-election to the Board of Aldermen became one of the first in the nation to benefit from an Independent Expenditure Grant from the NAR’s REALTOR® Party.
The 7,000-member St. Louis Association of REALTORS® put its campaign experience to work, along with mailers and online advertisements from NAR to back one of their own for the Board of Aldermen in Ballwin, Missouri, last April. The successful Independent Expenditure Campaign resulted in a landslide victory for their champion, who has long held leadership positions in both the state and local REALTOR® associations.
Last fall, with four seats on the Town Council up for grabs, the Telluride Association of REALTORS® (TAR) made the most of the opportunity to promote candidates who espoused the values of affordable housing; sustainable growth and development; and economic vitality and vibrancy. With an Independent Expenditure, TAR conducted a campaign that helped elect three REALTOR® Champions.
The REALTOR® Party celebrates Independent Expenditure (IE) Program milestone, supporting Chris McCandless, proud Utahan, member of the Salt Lake Board of REALTORS® (SLBR) and a tireless public servant. When seeking re-election to the Sandy City Council it was a no brainer for SLBR to apply for and receive the 1,000th IE to help ensure re-election to a third term in office.
For the 1,700-member Clark County Association of REALTORS® (CCAR) in southwest Washington state, supporting John Blom for County Council was a no-brainer. As REALTOR® Champions go, there could hardly be a more obvious choice—active in NAR, RPAC, CCAR and its Government Affairs Committee. When John decided to run for office, the REALTORS® were there to support him through the REALTOR® Party’s Independent Expenditure program.
Wisconsin REALTORS® Help Lower Property Taxes, Strengthen School Budgets, and Protect Property Rights
The Wisconsin REALTORS® Association launched two successful Issues Mobilization campaigns: the first convinced the legislature to eliminate a minor property tax dating back to the Great Depression; the other supported a new law that overturned an existing one that had been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Justice Pat Roggensack, one of the four-justice majority seen as favoring property rights on Wisconsin’s Supreme Court, was running for a second 10-year term. The 13,000-member Wisconsin REALTORS® Association (WRA) was there to help her secure it, with 57.5 percent of the vote. WRA led an independent expenditure campaign for her re-election, working closely with a well-established coalition of like-minded partners that includes the state chamber of commerce, the state bankers and builders associations, and the Wisconsin Club for Growth. WRA has been involved in seven of the past eight contested state Supreme Court races, backing the winner in six of them. The difference this time came in the form of a $210,000 grant from NAR that financed a two-week statewide radio campaign.