If you follow our weekly emails or read our blog, you’ve noticed that PRO “recommends” certain candidates and ballot initiatives. Do you know the process behind these recommendations, why we are involved in political initiatives, and why they’re important to your profession?
Every day the real estate industry is affected by policies set at the Federal, State and Local levels. Sometimes this is on purpose, like the passage of Dodd-Frank following the recession. Other times it is inadvertent, like the potentially devastating flood insurance issue that’s currently a hot topic. Either way it is important that there are elected officials who can stand up and be a voice for REALTORS®, and it’s important that REALTORS® do what they can to support them. That is where the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) comes into play. In a nutshell, RPAC promotes the election of pro-REALTOR® and real estate candidates and issues. RPAC is the most bipartisan political action committee in the nation.
Who determines which candidates will be supported?
The process for earning a REALTOR® recommendation and subsequent financial support through RPAC is not easy. The Public Policy Committee here at PRO, an all REALTOR® member committee, invites candidates for consideration of support. For a candidate to receive RPAC funds, they must fill out an extensive questionnaire outlining the viability of their campaign and their views on important issues affecting real estate. Second, they must go through an interview process with the Public Policy Committee. The final recommendations by the Public Policy Committee are then approved by our Board of Directors.
The all REALTOR® member Public Policy Committee will recommend candidates for RPAC support based on how they stand on REALTOR® related issues. During the process, the members are instructed to set aside any personal views about party affiliation and non-REALTOR® issues, and instead focus on views related to property rights, property taxes, property insurance, economic development, regulations to real estate transactions, etc.
What about candidates running for state office?
The Florida REALTOR® RPAC trustees (another all member committee) must evaluate and approve the recommendation for RPAC support.
What about candidates running for federal office?
The Florida REALTOR® RPAC trustees, as well as a third all member committee at the National level, must evaluate and approve RPAC support.
All of these processes are extensive and not taken lightly.
Ballot issues are given the same process, except that the committee at the National level is separate from the RPAC trustees. The committee is called Issues Mobilization and is also an all member committee.
If you have any questions about the process, or are interested in serving on the members only Public Policy Committee, contact PRO’s Director of Public Affairs, Joe Farrell, at JFarrell@tampabayrealtor.com or 727-216-3029.