This site is about the overreaching political power of the NC Association of Realtors flush with money from cashing in your equity 6% at a time, leaving you to pay for growth with property taxes, year after year, with or without cash flow. In the last few years NCAR has pumped millions of dollars into NC political campaigns at the state and local level. They have spent millions more to defeat Local Options for Local Governments with misleading ads.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

200 Apples to 1 Orange

Orange: Sprawl lobby just says no to LTT, From the Independent Weekly:

Big money from across the state—and as far away as Washington—is piling on to beat the land transfer tax in Orange County. Real estate agents and homebuilders have donated nearly a quarter of a million dollars to a campaign against the May 6 ballot referendum in Orange County. The referendum committee, Citizens for a Better Orange County, has raised $234,239 in contributions, loans and in-kind donations, according to campaign finance reports filed with the elections board April 28.
The committee has spent $205,115 on direct mailings, polls and ads. With 95,805 registered voters in Orange County, that amounts to $2.14 spent per voter as of April 18, more than two weeks before the election.
The N.C. Association of Realtors has effectively been running the campaign against the Orange County referendum from its Greensboro office, the report shows. The association has spent $23,854 on in-kind donations of polling, signs, postage, consulting and “staff costs”; made $30,000 in general contributions; and loaned the committee $70,000.

Other contributions have come from the N.C. Homebuilders Association ($44,500), Triangle MLS, a real estate listing service ($30,000), Greater Chapel Hill Association of Realtors ($5,000), the Triangle Community Coalition ($5,000), and the Durham Regional Association of Realtors ($1,000). The National Association of Homebuilders in Washington, D.C., donated $24,885 in television ad time.
As of April 19, the committee had paid Public Solutions $88,727 on direct mail and Web site design. Public Solutions is a Raleigh-based public affairs and political strategy firm headed by Chris Sinclair, a former lobbyist for the manufactured housing industry who also heads the Triangle Community Coalition. The committee also paid Campaign Connections, another Raleigh political consulting firm, $53,660 for newspaper and radio ads, consulting and other expenses. The Victory Group in Baltimore was hired for $11,000 for a TV and radio ad, and Cornerstone Strategy and Communications in West Palm Beach was paid $2,929 for a phone data bank.
“It’s clear we’re being outspent; I’m going to guess probably about 50 or 100 to one,” [Carrboro Mayor Mark] Chilton said.

More like 200 to one.
—Fiona Morgan

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