REALTOR Party Abuse

  • Wednesday, December 11, 2013

REALTOR Party Abuse

Dear Editor

I totally get that the REALTORS have helped Richard Miler and his family make a handsome living in real estate. Good for them.

However, numerous other REALTORS, and I, opposed the Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) and oppose Mr. Miler’s views in his recent letter.

The reasons we voted against LOST have been well-aired and need not be repeated, but it should be noted that Mr. Miler’s math illustration is in error. Property tax is paid on assessed value, not on sales value as he stated. Depending on other variables, the tax savings would range from $116.18 to $171.68, which is nowhere near the $425.00 he stated it would be, and the savings would be much less in unincorporated areas of Dorchester County. A majority of Dorchester County residents, including many who are REALTORS like me, would lose money on balance and, in many cases, receive no tax credit whatsoever due to

LOST. We object to the REALTORS promoting a tax that hurts some of its members, in order to help Mr. Miler and other REALTORS. We REALTORS resent our REALTOR dues and the good name of our REALTORS organization having been used to hurt us by supporting bad candidates

and bad policies.

Mr. Miler clearly was wrong when he wrote, “there is not now, or ever has been a “REALTOR PARTY.” His error is proved by a 24-page “Resource Guide for REALTOR Associations 2014,” published by the National Association of Realtors, that uses the term “REALTOR Party” 30 times; an official REALTOR Party logo; and chapters titled “Building REALTOR Party Strength” and “REALTOR Party Consultant State Assignments.”

This highly sophisticated political manual references “resources, funding and turn-key implementation tools to help state and local REALTOR associations run successful advocacy ... programs … available to all associations to help raise RPAC funds and activate member mobilization, so we can elect REALTOR Champions to public office and advance public policies.”

This manual describes “a wide variety of resources to help your association be successful in campaigns to elect REALTOR Champions to public office, as well as to advance public policies to benefit real estate”; and states that “each state has its own REALTOR Party Consultant, [who] is our partner, who will assist you with planning and carrying out your REALTOR Party activities.”

Political resources available for the REALTOR Party to promote their issues and candidates include polling, voter lists, voter registration, research, direct mailing, telephone banks, automatic telephone calling, advertising, websites, social media, campaign management, consultants and a “Candidate Training Academy.”

The REALTOR Party has used its vast resources to promote in Dorchester County its various REALTOR candidates and the LOST, to which I and many other REALTORS object. Much of this has been done using abusive and stealth tactics, without most Dorchester County voters realizing we were the targets of this REALTOR Party.

We especially resent the abusiveness and nprofessionalism of the campaign for LOST foisted on us by the REALTOR Party, through Ryan Castle, the Government Affairs Director of the Charleston Trident Association of REALTORS. We object to this REALTOR Party leader’s

bullying, use of half-truths and personal attacks against LOST opponents, as part of his pro-LOST campaign.

Mr. Castle publicly attacked the Republican Party for opposing LOST, and publicly (and ridiculously) told people to vote for LOST because Senator Mike Rose opposed it. Mr. Castle recruited REALTORS to join the Dorchester County Republican Party Executive Committee during its last reorganization, and even got an already elected Executive Committeeman replaced by arranging a second election in a precinct in which Mr. Castle was not a member.

That tactic did not work, given that the Dorchester County Republican Party voted to oppose LOST 24-14, despite the pro-LOST members of the REALTOR Party Mr. Castle succeeded in getting elected to the DCRP Executive Committee.

Martha Hollis

Scotch Range Rd.


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