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October 24, 2014

3 Ways to Answer RPAC Objections

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3 Ways to Answer RPAC Objections

What is the most common objection to investing in the REALTORS® Political Action Committee?

A crowd of about 100 REALTOR® Party Conference & Trade Expo attendees answered this RPAC fundraising forum poll question via text message Wednesday in Washington, D.C. Overwhelmingly, the most common complaint they say they hear from members is: “I don’t agree with the candidates RPAC has supported.”

Attendees explained their thinking behind the need to support RPAC. Linda Romer Todd, broker-owner of Associated Brokers & Consultants and president of the Grand Junction (Colo.) Area REALTORS® Association said she started calling RPAC the “professional survival fund.”

“If you want to survive in this business you have to take action in a professional way,” Todd said.

Speaker Michael Dunn, a political involvement and PAC expert, said that because of the explosion of special interest groups, competition within the legislative process is more intense than ever. He offered several ways to handle RPAC objections.

1. RPAC is a business decision. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re an R or a D, the first thing you all are is a REALTOR®,” Dunn said. “You can do whatever you want individually, you can be as far left or as far right as you want to be, but when it comes to the future of being a REALTOR®, when it comes to the rules and laws that govern what we do in business, we all better be standing in the same place. That has nothing to do with politics; that has everything to do with business.”

2. RPAC is not about social issues that polarize politics. RPAC is about fighting threats to the livelihoods of REALTORS®, such as the threat of losing the mortgage interest deduction. “How many homes are you going to sell without [the MID]?” Dunn asked. “RPAC is designed to support the majority of members of NAR.”

3. RPAC is a way to develop relationships with lawmakers. New sources of money have entered the political arena since the Citizens United ruling in 2010, which allows unlimited independent political spending by individuals, unions, and corporations. This makes RPAC more important than ever, Dunn said. So when bills come up, REALTORS® have a seat at the table.

—By Erica Christoffer, REALTOR® Magazine

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