Legalese

This morning I spoke with attorney representing the North Carolina Association of Realtors (NCAR). He declined to submit concerns in writing but they relate to three posts, on another blog, made in the last few days, which he requested that I remove and recognize with an apology.

In my posts I try to strive to present an abundance of fact, spiced with opinion, believing that sunlight is the best disinfectant and that humor is the best medicine.

I have been dismayed in recent days at attacks on Stan Norwalk, a candidate for Wake County Commissioner, a thoughtful, knowledgeable, "Grumpy Old Man", simultaneously cantankerous and congenial and, a persistent advocate for the public good. Those are my opinions. The attacks have been funded by the North Carolina Association of Realtors. That is a fact.

My respect for Stan and my disdain for the political activities of NCAR may have led to a contraction of fact and opinion such that a reader might consider them indistinguishable. I have revised two posts to avoid that confusion. I have removed one post which I will repost later with a clarification.

Nothing in the posts was intended to suggest illegal or unlawful activity or violations of criminal law where none exist.

I willingly correct mis-statements of fact and mitigate any misunderstanding of opinion. I have done so on ocassion, when requested and often when not. Any reader is free to communicate by commenting or by email to gregflynn@bluenc.com. For my part I will strive to do a better job of separating the illicit from the merely reprehensible.

 

Comments

Strange but true

I know this post sounds strange. I just needed to vent.

reading between the lines

I'm getting the impression that the realtors threatened you? Is that accurate?

- - - - -
McCain - The Third Bush Term

Let's just say

They chose someone who chooses his words carefully. So I'll choose my words carefully and say I certainly felt threatened.

Too bad we can't get the Realtor's Association

to apologize for the misleading advertising campaigns they run.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

To my knowledge

I find the North Carolina Association of Realtors to be a vile organization with one and only one agenda: Enrich its members no matter what the cost to the common good. That is a fact.

Here's another fact. I'm very proud of your more than even-handed treatment of the Realtor Ticks and Fleas. I'm sure NCAR does something of value somewhere deep down in the bowels of the organization, but the stench of its political activities is horrific. If I'd been in your seat, I probably would have thrown up on the guy.

Thanks for posting this.

NC Realtors PAC

Here are some facts, expenditures from the Third Quarterly Report of the NC Realtors PAC filed yesterday.

What's missing from that report? The name of Ty Harrell. He appears to be the only state candidate on the realtors 527 robo-call and mail list who didn't get a contribution. His opponent, Gossage, did, as did others on the list.

Stan

Stan is a member of the temple my mom and I belong to. I have known him for a number of years, going back to our time working together on Julie Robison's Mayoral campaign.

Stan is one of the most knowledgeable people I know when it comes to Wake County policy. The man knows the details of most policy decisions taken by local governments, he understands the implications, and he knows the personalities of everyone involved.

I was very proud to vote for him, and I am glad you are sticking up for him in the face of the Realtors.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

Greg, I strongly support this approach

In my posts I try to strive to present an abundance of fact, spiced with opinion, believing that sunlight is the best disinfectant and that humor is the best medicine.

to citizen journalism and issue advocacy, and I'll tell you why: it very often provides the missing links of motive and agenda to the reader, and helps them see through the often very crafty rhetoric employed by those we are trying to expose.

While a lot of people assume there's something rotten afoot on a given issue, providing them with additional information (or background, if you will) that has been overlooked or disregarded by the MSM, and then venturing conclusions based on such, may be the best (only?) way people can get closer to the truth of an issue. It's not always clean, and it's not always accurate. But if you give it your best effort you are performing a public service, and one that is often invaluable.

Hall Of Famer

We've got a NCAR "Hall of Famer" running for Buncombe County Commission out here in the west. I wrote about John Carroll here. He's for one of four seats in an eight candidate field. I wrote about another candidate, Holly Jones, here at BlueNC not too long ago.

If you've got a little scratch left over, consider sending it to Holly Jones to help her defeat this NCAR acolyte.

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

Some folks think

that the newly registered voters might constitute a new base, and thus a new opportunity for those who have long deplored the influence that the NCAR (and other traditionally powerful lobbies) have wielded in this state.

Some think that just as the Democrats may have the chance to reconstitute their party along more progressive lines (again, because of the newly registered voters), so might some of the more conservative forces have to confront the possibility of losing their stranglehold on state politics.

What have the NCAR done for the common folk lately?

Zip.

Isn't there a strong possibility that we're about to see politics as usual in NC upended?

Politics as usual in NC upended?

I hope so. I have focused on NCAR because they put they most amount of money into state and local issues. I also know a thing or two about those issues. Next in line is the NC Medical Society, the NC Homebuilders (who coordinate with NCAR) and groups like Citizens for Higher Education.

Whether or not you believe that money corrupts it certainly finds the lowest points of our democracy effectively.

NC Homebuilders

is probably the most powerful lobby in NC. In fact, I'd be comfortable taking away the "probably."

They run state government.

Probably

Homebuilders may not be the biggest and most visible PAC but they are very busy under the radar, more like "Dick Cheney" to the realtors' "George Bush". Many of the realtors "issues" are really homebuilder issues.

This morning's headlines feature NC Realtors story

Maybe I'm getting carried away by the idea that this country is about to elect Obama (a person almost feels dizzy with the joy of it) but I can't help believing that there is reason to be hopeful that people are getting truly fed up with business as usual in government.

The N&O is giving prominent coverage to the smears the NC Realtors are launching against Stan Norwalk and Ty Harrell. Both of these men are terrific candidates, and Harrell in particular is one of the best things to happen to Wake County for years.

Don't know how many BlueNCers have access to or a habit of reading the N&O, but I urge everyone to read today's (Oct 25).

PACs Carolina

This is a list of the PAC contributing to NC state legislative candidates, in order of magnitude, compiled by Democracy NC last year after the 2006 election cycle and released January 2007.

NC REALTORS PAC
CITIZENS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION PAC
NC MEDICAL SOCIETY STATE & FED PAC
NC HOME BUILDERS ASSN PAC
NC ACADEMY OF TRIAL LAWYERS PAC
PROGRESS ENERGY PAC
BANK OF AMERICA CORP PAC
NATIONWIDE CAROLINA PAC
NC HOSPITAL ASSN PAC
DUKE ENERGY CORP PAC
BRANCH BANKING & TRUST CO OF NC PAC
WACHOVIA CORP NC PAC
BELLSOUTH EMPLOYEES NC PAC
NC AUTO DEALERS ASSN PAC
BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF NC PAC
NC ASSN OF EDUCATORS PAC
NC DENTAL PAC
NC ASSN OF ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES PAC
SOUTHEAST ANESTHESIA ASSOCIATES PAC
CAROLINK TELEPHONE COOP PAC
NC ASSN OF NURSE ANESTHETISTS PAC
SPRINT CORP/NEXTEL/EMBARQ PAC
NC BEER & WINE WHOLESALERS ASSN PAC
NC BANKERS ASSN PAC
NC FARM BUREAU PAC

A few things to note. This is a list of reported contributions by the PAC. Many PACs also organize individual donors to make direct contributions which are bundled and perceived as coming from the PAC. They are harder to trace though they are reported by the candidates who receive them. Citizens for Higher Education PAC have done this in a big way. That's how groups like the Optometrists gain influence even though they don't appear on this list.

Just read their propaganda

What have the NCAR done for the common folk lately?

The NCAR is not a lobby aimed at enriching Realtors and stifling competition. They are there fighting for the common folk. According to them, their main goals are fighting for property rights and affordable housing.

One might wonder how shunning "discount brokers" who dare to sell houses for less than the "standard" 6% commission ensures housing affordability, but I'm sure their PR people have a good explanation.

One might wonder how buying up the legislature in order to deny property owners the ability to decide for themselves how to best pay for local infrastructure is "protecting property rights" but I'm sure their PR people have a good explanation.

I am so glad the NCAR is out there "protecting" me.

don't be afraid of the big bad wolf ,I mean ncar lawyer

If the ncar are having lawyers take down some of your posts, than you are doing something right with your blog. Keep up the great work. From what you did I got some information against the local coalition of builders and real estate and want to have a "DUMP THE DEVELOPER PARTY" on local politicians in Guilford County so quit taking the money and if you don't then you will get exposed for all to see. I hope you won't mind me linking your blog with something to say and the link to your post.