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.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Mary Edna Williams - Be Very Ashamed

Mary Edna Williams is 2009 President-elect of the North Carolina Association of Realtors and President of the NC Homeowners Alliance responsible for the content of this disgusting mailer that came in Wake County mailboxes this afternoon.

Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. That belief and a strong work ethic is the standard that Mary Edna Williams lives by.
Is this what you would have others "do unto you" Mary Edna? Or this? Or this? Do you really think what you are doing to Stan Norwalk and Ty Harrell is consistent with the Code of Ethics that "Sets REALTORS® Apart"? Is it really a standard you live by?
Code of Ethics Sets REALTORS® Apart
Here’s a general overview of just a few of the key principles REALTORS® willingly agree to under the Code:
· REALTORS® avoid practices, which may harm the public.
· REALTORS® do not exaggerate, misrepresent or conceal facts related to property or transactions.
· REALTORS® protect and promote their clients’ interests and treat all parties fairly.
· REALTORS® represent themselves truthfully in advertising and other public forums.
Yeah, right.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Morning Cuppa

In an Editorial this morning the Raleigh News & Observer says that the NC Realtors attacks on Stan Norwalk and Ty Harrell are
Over the top

This is bush-league politics. The supporters of a transfer tax are welcome to their view, and the real estate brokers are welcome to their view, and the voters are welcome to decide their position on candidates based on that alone, if that's what they want to do. But deceptive efforts such as this one don't inform. They assault.
Chris Fitzsimon explores the realtors' silver lining in the housing cloud in last night's Fitzsimon File:
Making six percent on the American nightmare
The people of North Carolina are getting a reminder this fall of where some of that billions in annual profit ends up, paying for misleading ads in local tax votes and offensive attacks against candidates for the General Assembly and county commissions.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Realtor-funded group rips candidates

Ripped from the front page of the Raleigh News & Observer:

Realtor-funded group rips candidates
Two mailers have been sent against a Wake commissioner candidate. A state lawmaker is also a target.

A land transfer tax has never appeared on the ballot in Wake County, but you wouldn't know it from the money the state's real estate agents are spending to influence voters. A group called the N.C. Homeowners Alliance is using a direct-mail campaign and automated phone calls that depict Stan Norwalk, a Democratic candidate for Wake commissioner, as a serial tax raiser.
The group also has sent fliers to Wake voters attacking state Rep. Ty Harrell, who represents a district in the western part of the county, for not supporting a 2007 bill that would have required members of the Wake County school board to be elected at large, rather than in districts. The bill, backed by Republicans, never came up for a vote and died in committee. When he saw the mailer, Harrell, a Democrat, said he was confused.
The alliance's president is Mary Edna Williams, a Raleigh real estate agent who is also the president-elect of the N.C. Association of Realtors. When called about the alliance's ads, Williams referred all questions to Julie Woodson, the director of public affairs for the Realtors Association.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Change My World

Saturday, October 25, 2008

More Realtor Attacks on Norwalk

There's a new flyer out, worse than the first, this time direct from the NC Association of Realtors PAC attacking Stan Norwalk for Wake County Commissioner and urging people to "Vote against Stan on Election Day".

· NCAR Flyer PDF on the web

Copies of the N&O articles referenced (out of context) in the NCAR flyer:
· 8/19/2000 Article
· 5/8/2002 Article

The state Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld the dismissal of a campaign finance complaint against a political action committee that supported Cary Mayor Glen Lang and a slate of growth-control candidates running for the Cary Town Council three years ago.
This was the lead paragraph in the article that the NC Realtors reference to support their statement that Stan Norwalk has a "shady past". Having a politically motivated case brought against you dismissed gives you a shady past?

Link to Appeals Court and Supreme Court Opinions clearing Stan Norwalk and the other "Grumpy Old Men":
· Appeals Court Opinion
· Supreme Court Opinion

Also previously, NC Realtors have been fined big bucks by FEC:
· FEC Fined Realtors $78,000 for Burr Campaigning
· High Point Realtors Coerced PAC Payments


Friday, October 24, 2008

Just the Facts Ma'am

Campaign Finance 2008 Third Quarter for: NC REALTORS PAC [STA-C3219N-C-001]

Detailed Expenditures. Some notable expenditures:

10/3/2008 $209,640.00 [$209,640.00] CORNERSTONE SOLUTIONS & COMMUNICATIONS LLC
9/24/2008 $39,300.00 [$49,300.00] FALLON RESEARCH & COMMUNICATION, INC.
9/24/2008 $30,000.00 [$38,500.00] NORTH CAROLINA HOMEOWNERS ALLIANCE
10/18/2008 $27,449.52 [$174,466.43] North Carolina Association of Realtors, Inc.
10/03/2008 $8,500.00 [$38,500.00] NORTH CAROLINA HOMEOWNERS ALLIANCE
09/08/2008 $4,000.00 [$4,000.00] KENN GARDENER FOR WAKE COUNTY COMMISSIONER
09/16/2008 $4,000.00 [$4,000.00] BEVERLY PERDUE FOR NC GOVERNOR
09/16/2008 $4,000.00 [$4,000.00] BRYAN GOSSAGE FOR NC HOUSE
09/16/2008 $4,000.00 [$8,000.00] David Hoyle for NC Senate
09/16/2008 $4,000.00 [$4,000.00] DEBBIE CLARY FOR NC SENATE
09/16/2008 $4,000.00 [$8,000.00] Harold J. Brubaker for NC House
09/16/2008 $4,000.00 [$6,000.00] JIMMY LOVE, SR. FOR NC HOUSE
09/16/2008 $4,000.00 [$8,000.00] John Snow For NC Senate
09/16/2008 $4,000.00 [$4,000.00] Julia Boseman For NC Senate
09/16/2008 $4,000.00 [$8,000.00] Lorene T. Coates For NC House
09/16/2008 $4,000.00 [$5,000.00] LOUIS M. PATE, JR. FOR NC SENATE
09/16/2008 $4,000.00 [$5,000.00] Neal Hunt For NC Senate
09/16/2008 $4,000.00 [$6,000.00] Nelson Dollar For NC House
09/16/2008 $4,000.00 [$8,000.00] PAT MCCRORY FOR GOVERNOR
09/16/2008 $4,000.00 [$8,000.00] Paul Stam For NC House
09/16/2008 $4,000.00 [$8,000.00] Philip E. Berger For NC Senate
09/16/2008 $4,000.00 [$4,000.00] Pryor Gibson For NC House
09/16/2008 $4,000.00 [$4,000.00] RICHARD GUNN FOR NC SENATE
09/16/2008 $4,000.00 [$8,000.00] Tom Apodaca For NC Senate
09/16/2008 $4,000.00 [$5,000.00] William C. McGee For NC House
     Amounts in brackets [-] are cumulative for the 2008 election cycle.


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, 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.

The posts were not 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 occasion, when requested and often when not. Any reader is free to communicate by commenting or by email to No posse is necessary. For my part I will strive to do a better job of separating the illicit from the merely reprehensible.


Pop-Pop for Wake County Commissioner

Stan Norwalk, candidate for Wake County Commissioner, gets his family's endorsement:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cornerstone Solutions & Communications, LLC

From the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, regarding Cornerstone Solutions & Communications, LLC, which has been the recipient of $156,915 reported to the State Board of Elections so far in Disbursements for Electioneering Communications by the North Carolina Homeowners Alliance, funded by $880,457 in contributions from the North Carolina Association of Realtors.

Florida Limited Liability Company

Filing Information
Document Number L08000061354
Date Filed 06/23/2008
State FL
Principal Address
Mailing Address
Registered Agent Name & Address
Manager/Member Detail
Name & Addres
Title MGRM
Title MGRM
Title MGRM
Annual Reports
No Annual Reports Filed

Cornestone Solutions & Communications, Inc., dba Cornerstone Solutions, a North Carolina corporation, was dissolved effective 11:59pm on June 30th, 2008. Articles of dissolution dated June 18th, 2008 were filed June 19th, 2008.

Cornerstone Solutions & Communications, LLC dba Cornerstone Solutions was formed as a Florida Limited Liability Company on June 23rd, 2008 with the same Principals, Rick Asnani, Chris Sinclair and, Alistair Macaulay.

NC Homeowners Alliance Send Realtor PAC Money

According to a new report filed with the IRS the North Carolina Homeowners Alliance made a contribution of $50,000 to RPAC, the National Realtors Political Action Committee. On the last page there is this entry:

Recipient's name, mailing address and ZIP code:
Realtors Political Action Committee
430 N. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611

Purpose of expenditure
Contribution to National Realtors Political Action Committee

Amount of Expenditure
$ 50000
Date of expenditure
The North Carolina Homeowners Alliance is a 527 political committee funded by a mandatory assessment on all NC Realtors by the NC Association of Realtors. This contribution of $50,000 to RPAC would appear to exceed Federal contribution limits, would appear to violate the limitations on corporate contributions and on the electioneering activities of a 527 committee.<-->

Norwalk Attackers Support Even Higher Taxes

The people who are attacking Stan Norwalk for Wake County Commissioner, by lying about his position on a half cent sales tax, actually support a higher, one cent, sales tax. The Triangle Community Coalition, an organization of builders and realtors has advocated for a large increase in the regressive sales tax:

The TCC Executive Committee, at their April 19, 2007 meeting, adopted the following resolution:

WHEREAS, the Triangle Community Coalition supports and advocates the following alternatives to fund infrastructure: the authority to impose an optional one cent sales tax to fund only roads and schools; public-private partnerships to build schools; the use of development agreements to help with infrastructure needs that benefit the community and individual developments; and the use of project development financing (also known as Tax Increment Financing)
The TCC has maintained this position at least since 2003:
The TCC therefore supports the use of a local option sales tax.
And more recently in the TCC blog, "Growth Matters":
Maybe legislators will broker a new deal, and allow counties to have more authority (a full penny versus the quarter of a penny they got last year) for a sales tax to help pay for infrastructure. The sales tax hits everyone, and not just a select few, as Rick Martinez points out in his recent column in the N and O.
Chris Sinclair, TCC blog, Growth Matters.
What is Stan Norwalk's real position on transit funding? Read what he said to the Independent:
As a general rule I am against regressive taxes that fall heavily on working and low income families. However, transit is progressive and would help such families. In that case I have proposed a portfolio of taxes including a ¼ cent sales tax coupled with assessments that would be borne by businesses that would benefit from transit. A portfolio of taxes would best serve the future needs of transit as the sales tax is not keeping up with the economy and the cost of infrastructure.
The TCC supports Norwalk's opponent, incumbent Republican Kenn Gardner. Gardner is the Commissioner who famously claimed no conflict of interest regarding the funding of an aquatic center he designed claiming he wasn't being paid, then turned around and sued the center for almost $400,000 in fees.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

NC Realtors Provide Alternate Reality About Norwalk in Mailer

The NC Realtors have been mailing out flyers, under the alias of the NC Homeowners Association, with lies alternate versions of reality and distortions about Stan Norwalk who is running for Wake County Commissioner.

On Land Transfer Tax: True: Norwalk has been an advocate for the use of a Land Transfer Tax for school funding in high growth counties like Wake. That's about the only truth in the flyer.

On property tax: False: Norwalk has not proposed an increase in property tax. In fact he has advocated for the Land Transfer Tax as a way to avoid property tax increases. In the absence of a Land Transfer Tax increase in Wake County Norwalk projected that property taxes would increase. Guess what? Wake County increased property taxes.

On sales tax: False: Norwalk has not supported the tax. In fact he has gone to great lengths to look at alternate sources of funding for transit. The quote in the flyer was take out of a context where Norwalk was explaining elements of the STAC (Special Transit Advisory Commission) Report and he even included a reference to the NC Justice Center's opposition to sales tax increases: Is there transit in your future?. Here is the entire post:

$4+ per gallon gas, the success of the CM lynx transit system, and the growth in outlying portions of the region, away from job centers, the energy led, rapidly rising costs of road infrastructure have combined to make transit a hot topic once again. As I travel around the County, the high cost of commuting is uppermost in most peoples minds. Our emphasis on the car is coming back to haunt us. Only 3% of the state's dollars is pent on transit.

Recently a new plan was unveiled for the region. While it still contains the commuter rail component of the previous plan that failed to get federal funding, the new plan sensibly put far more emphasis on buses and van pools.

The proposed funding mechanism, largely for the bus component, is an additional half cent sales tax, which likely would have to be approved by each county in the region. CM's vote in a recent referendum, strongly rejected a move to roll-back their half cent sales tax for transit has heightened support for this funding mechanism. Funding for transit and transportation in general will be major topics in the long session of the NCGA starting in January.

Here is a streaming video of a forum sponsored by WakeUP and others on transit. It was attended by about 300 people including many public officials. A link to a 2 hr+ video of the forum can be found on WakeUp's home page

Here is an excellent summary of NC's declining transportation infrastructure by the NC Justice Center. They do not support the sales tax as currently structured.
It's Time for a Change
Elect Stan Norwalk for County Commissioner
On Norwalk's property tax payments: Distortion: Norwalk has an excellent record of paying property taxes on time dating back to 1995 when records first went online. Wake County property taxes are due between September and January of the following year. It is misleading for the NC Realtors Homeowners Alliance to state that September is the due date as most escrow payments are not made until the middle of December, a fact that any realtor would know. For 2006 property taxes interest began January 8, 2007. Norwalk paid before the end of January, on the 24th, including interest of $30.62 which was the only such payment in thirteen years of online records.

Stan Norwalk runs for Wake County Commissioner

Why Stan Norwalk is running for Wake County Commissioner:

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Realtors Attacking Stan Norwalk

NC Homeowners Alliance, the NC Realtors 527 Political Committee, has been robo-calling in Wake County with a message attacking Stan Norwalk who is running for County Commissioner against incumbent Republican Kenn Gardner. Gardner is the Commissioner who famously claimed no conflict of interest regarding the funding of an aquatic center he designed claiming he wasn't being paid, then turned around and sued the center for almost $400,000 in fees.

As a public official, he [Gardner] should have been more straightforward about his role. And his assurances that he had no conflict as he sought to advance the pool project now don't seem to hold much water.
NC Realtors 527 robo-call attacking Stan Norwalk [Click here to listen]

Friday, October 17, 2008

NC Court Instructs Realtors to Return $40,000 Escrow

After almost three years of court battles a Chapel Hill couple may finally get their $40,000 earnest money deposit back from an escrow account held by real estate firm York Simpson Underwood. The case arose from a December 2005 home sale that fell through when a house appraised for $200,000 less than the purchase price of $2,100,000. The house was eventually sold to another buyer a year later for $300,000 less than the original purchase price. The sellers and York Simpson Underwood were named as defendants for not refunding the $40,000 earnest money deposit. The NC Association of Realtors filed an amicus curiae brief.

The North Carolina Court of Appeals Ruling October 7th, 2008 held that:

This appeal arises from a dispute concerning a contract for the sale and purchase of certain real property located in Chapel Hill. Defendants, Richard and Barbara Stewart, appeal from the entry of summary judgment in favor of plaintiffs, Michael and Louise Harris, ordering that plaintiffs' earnest money deposit, plus any accrued interest held in escrow by York Simpson Underwood,L.L.C. (“York Simpson Underwood”) be refunded to plaintiffs. For the reasons stated herein, we affirm.
In sum, the undisputed evidence of record shows that plaintiffs appraised the Stewart property within a reasonable period of time following the 15 December 2005 deadline and such property appraised at a value less than the purchase price. The trial court properly concluded that plaintiffs had the option to terminate the Contract pursuant to the express terms of Section 13(f) of the Contract and that plaintiffs are entitled to a refund of their earnest money deposit plus accrued interest. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court's grant of plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment and denial of defendants' motion for summary judgment.

10% Commission Danger Zone

Strange things happen to realtors when 10% commissions are involved. Here are two recent cases that ended up in the NC Court of Appeals:

Brunswick County
No. 07-CVS-255

v .
Mecklenburg County
No. 06 CVS 5087

Defendant/Third-Party Plaintiff,
Third-Party Defendant.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tarleton Targeted

The NC Realtors' favorite push polling company, Fallon Research & Communication, has been targeting State Representative Cullie Tarleton in his bid for re-election. Tarleton has had the temerity to oppose the realtors political positions and, according to sources at the state legislature, had been threatened with retaliation. Seem like they're making good on the threats. Opponent Dan Soucek is unlikely to have paid for the polling given his limited campaign funds. has been following the antics:

Update: Campaign finance reports filed 10/23/08 for the NC Realtors PAC show a payment of $39,300 to Fallon Research on 9/23/2008.

DePriest Departure

I'm told that the Chief Operating Officer of the North Carolina Association of Realtors, CPA William "Bill" DePriest has resigned suddenly. DePriest is/was an officer in NCAR's various for-profit entities and was the treasurer and/or custodian of books for the NC Realtors PAC, the Realtors 527 political committee known as the NC Homeowners Alliance and, the various county anti-transfer tax committees set up over the past year for which he managed payments. An examination of public reports shows that money flowed freely between NCAR's various non-profit and for-profit entities and political committees.

For-profit NCAR subsidiaries include:
NCAR Management Corporation
NCAR Service Corporation
Realfast, Inc.
RealServ, LLC
DePriest's wife Joanne is/was Director of Education for Realfast, Inc.

The timing of DePriest's departure is curious. This week the NC Realtors annual conference is being held in Charlotte and elections are coming up, including a transfer tax referendum in Polk County. DePriest is still listed as Treasurer for the NC Realtor's PAC. State Elections laws require a new Certification of Treasurer within 10 days of a change along with a revised Statement of Organization.