According to Open Secrets, National Association of Realtors®, NAR, spends about $8 million per cycle on “Political Advocacy” nearly evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats. Here is what NAR says about its purpose:
As America’s largest professional trade association, the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® actively protects the interests of its nearly 1 million members daily. From its building located steps away from the United States Capitol, NAR advocates for federal policy initiatives that strengthen the ability of Americans to own, buy and sell real property.
During the 113th Congress, the REALTOR® legislative and regulatory agenda has been focused on efforts to stimulate, stabilize, and strengthen real estate markets across the nation while protecting the business interests of members.
Here is what NAR says about the political action committee RPAC:
Since 1969, the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) has promoted the election of pro-REALTOR® candidates across the United States. The purpose of RPAC is clear: REALTORS® raise and spend money to elect candidates who understand and support their interests. The money to accomplish this comes from voluntary contributions made by REALTORS®. These are not members’ dues; this is money given freely by REALTORS® in recognition of how important campaign fundraising is to the political process. RPAC doesn’t buy votes. RPAC enables REALTORS® to support candidates that support the issues that are important to their profession and livelihood.
NAR evaluates candidates with a questionaire which can be read in full on their web page.
Here is what NAR says about its 2014 Election Cycle criteria for disbursement:
It is the policy of RPAC to support incumbents who have been supportive of NAR. In order to gauge the deserved level of support, the following criteria will be used to build a candidate profile of incumbents to evaluate support for 2014 Election Cycle funding. Voting records from the 110th through 112th Congress will be used for states with early Primaries. When enough votes have been cast in the current 113th Congress as to provide a clearer picture as to determining support, those votes will be added to later Primary funding decisions as well as all General Election funding decisions. For open seat candidates, the usual review of their record and the race dynamics will still be used to help determine support. NAR Staff is currently conducting an extensive review of all incumbents based on the following criteria:
- 110th Congress Voting Record (overall votes and cross-party votes)
- 111th Congress Voting Record (overall votes and cross-party votes)
- 112th Congress Voting Record (overall votes and cross-party votes)
- 113th Congress Voting Record (overall votes and cross-party votes)
- Congressional Committee Assignments
- Special Recognition Actions (Co-sponsoring legislation/sign on to letters)
- DC Engagement (Is the MOC accessible to lobbying staff?)
- Instate Engagement (Is the MOC accessible back home to the FPC and GAD?)
- Congressional Leadership Position
- Race Competitiveness
- Champion Actions (Category to highlight leadership roles on Special Recognition actions)
- Past RPAC support
There are links to the NAR screening questionaire and payments to politicians below. Here is the record for NY-23. This must be in addition to money spent on independent mailings to Tom Reed’s constituents. Two elaborate and redundant mailings came to me already in April in support of Tom. The NAR must be deeply concerned about his prospects.
© William Hungerford – April 2014