Tucson By Choice!: Inside NAR Political Contributions: A Major Shift From Right to Left?

Inside NAR Political Contributions: A Major Shift From Right to Left?

The 3rd largest contributor to political campaigns (per http://www.opensecrets.org/) is the National Association of REALTORS®.  Since the 1996 election cycle, NAR contributions to Democrat candidates have increased in every cycle.  This cycle, it's exponential.  For the first time in a long time, giving to Dems will surpass 50%.

Here are the numbers. 

Granted, we are still relatively early in this cycle, and the numbers could even out, but I'll bet they don't.

I wonder if it has something to do with the real estate bust?

I don't have an answer, but contributions/NAR support seems to be on hold until we have a clear choice of candidates.  Notice that giving by the NAR peaked back in 2002. 

The blurb on the opensecrets.org site says "One of its biggest issues in recent years has been a move toward deregulating the financial services industry. For years, real estate agents have successfully warded off attempts by banking interests to delve into the sale and management of property." 

It will be interesting to see if that continues to be an issue this time, as banks have taken a beating in the real estate market. 

And that's the real estate opinion of this Tucson, Arizona mortgage lender,

Mike in Tucson
Mike Jones (Tucson Mortgage Company, LLC): Loan Officer in Tucson, Pima County, Arizona

EDIT:  Click HERE to see who NAR supported in your congressional district.

Comment balloon 32 commentsMike Jones • February 18 2008 12:08AM


Could it be that Republicans may support Banks in Real Estate?  Not saying they do...just think that could be an answer to your question. 
Posted by ARDELL DellaLoggia (Better Properties Seattle ) over 12 years ago


I don't think so.  Note that the past two cycles, during which this has been a hot topic, the giving is almost 50/50 to Republicans and Democrats.  I think something else is happening.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 12 years ago
Mabye the NAR wants everyone to pay more taxes, slowing the home sales and making their membership smaller?   Doesnt make any sense to me either.  Raising taxes never helped anyone except the lazy.
Posted by Delaware Junk Removal Residential And Commercial Hauling Clean Outs, Whole House Clean Outs, Basements, Garages, Attics (Delaware Junk Removal 302-530-9186) over 12 years ago

Mike- I think this is because some of the Republicans were voting for the banks to get into real estate. 

It is a sad day though when our contributions are going to the left, who want to raise our taxes and in many states try to pass service taxes on our sales in real estate. What else could be happening? Why left?  

Posted by Katerina Gasset, Get It Done For Me Virtual Services (Get It Done For Me Virtual Services ) over 12 years ago
This is why I don't donate political funds via NAR.  I have them taken off my annual dues and then donate that money to my party of choice.
Posted by Mary Warren over 12 years ago

Hmmmm.  I'll be waiting for more comments from the political gurus here on AR.  This is very interesting Mike.

Posted by Susie Blackmon, Ocala, Horses, Western Wear, Horse Farms, Marketing over 12 years ago
Mike - Perhaps they can't tell the difference between a Republican and a Democrat anymore.  I'm even having a hard time these days.
Posted by Jesse & Kathy Clifton, Retired (Jesse Clifton & Associates, REALTORS®) over 12 years ago

Jesse & Kathy,

Thanks for the comment.  The website, opensecrets.org, says that one of the reasons for the NAR's success as a political action committee is their practice of contributing equally to Democrats and Republicans.  Don Young of Alaska received $5,000 from NAR this election cycle.


Thanks for commenting.


I've done the same.  Thanks for stopping by to comment. 


Your comment prompted me to find a list of NAR beneficiaries.  I've edited the post to include the link.


Click the list to find out who NAR supported in Deleware. 

Mike in Tucson 

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 12 years ago

Call me naive ... but I'm not really sure I like the idea of NAR contributing to ANY candidate, of either party. 

I'd rather see the money go to fund public awareness campaigns of issues affecting real estate.  And real understanding and awareness stuff .... not the vapid puffery that NAR usually puts out there.  (That'll be the day.)

PS... This post would be a natural for the Politics and Real Estate Group.  http://activerain.com/groups/politicsandrealestate  

(You'll have to take it out of one of the other groups to keep the total at 5)

Posted by Cheryl Johnson over 12 years ago


Thanks for the postscript.  I've taken your suggestion.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 12 years ago
Mike, Thanks for digging this up.  It is interesting to try to figure out what NAR is thinking.
Posted by Dan Forbes over 12 years ago
Mike:  I wonder what NAR is thinking?  I'll keep a watch on this post for more comments. 
Posted by Donna Yates, Blue Ridge Mountains (BHGRE - Metro Brokers) over 12 years ago
Thanks Mike.  You just saved me $365, my annual contribution to the NAR Pac. 
Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 12 years ago
Mike--When do you have time to look up this stuff? It is great information that I would have missed otherwise...Maybe those late nights when only a handful of you all are out there in the rain? :)
Posted by Teri Eckholm, REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro (Boardman Realty) over 12 years ago

Looking at the table over the years, It is interesting to note that there has been a swing of 1/3 of dollars contributed from republican to democrat.  I wonder what the political makeup of NAR's directors looks like during that time period.

This is one reason why I never have given money to an organization to spend "in my name"--I'll give my contributions myself, thank you very much. 

Posted by Kent Simpson, Real Estate Is About People (Realty One Group Mountain Desert) over 12 years ago

Mike, do you know where to go to see the NAR surveys and polls of it's Member body to determine where the money is directed?

Posted by Amanda Evans, Real Estate Broker - Fort Worth Texas (DFW Living) over 12 years ago

NAR is either hedging their bets (to go with winners) or they are serious about not contributing to candidates pushing for pac reform.

McCain says publicly he doesn't want pac money.

Posted by Mitchell J Hall, Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn (Compass) over 12 years ago

placeholder for Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 12 years ago

Traditionally, NAR Pac money is split approx 50-50  for Dems and Repubs, as you stated. The NAR PAC holds a lot of clout in DC., primarily for real estate and homeowner issues.  

The lean to the left is in anticipation of the direction the majority will vote in  this upcoming election. ( my humble  opinion)

Posted by Bonnie & Terry Westbrook, Grand Rapids MI Real Estate (Westbrook Realty) over 12 years ago
We as individuals can not have the impact of the association thats why I have decided to get involved in the process and talk to the people that allocate the funds. Just think if everyone gave without a connection the the Real estate business our voice on important issues would be much smaller. Thanks
Posted by Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re (Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner) over 12 years ago

Mike...I think some of it simply reflects the change in this countrys demographics! I think the other is they are trying to back the winner.To the best of my knowledge that is a given in an election year!

 We are allowed to designate where we want our RPAC contribution to go...either party or individual in particular(local)...isn't it handled that way everywhere?

Observation: They may be leaning more left...but are ending up in the middle! Sounds good to me! :)

Posted by Joan Mirantz, Realtor, GRI, CBR, SRES - Concord New Hampshire (Homequest Real Estate) over 12 years ago
Like all lobbying groups, NAR gives to both sides so they have a "voice" with whoever is elected. Unfortunately, in my district, Arizona CD-1, they made the unfortunate choice to back Mr. Corrupt (aka Rick Renzi) for the last three cycles. He also happens to be Republican and is running so scared from the law right now that there is no "voice" for our district and hasn't been for 18 months.
Posted by Ann Heitland, Retired from Flagstaff Real Estate Sales (Retired from RE/MAX Peak Properties) over 12 years ago
You know the builders got ticked last week and took their little red wagon home - swearing not to make ANY PAC money available because Congress is not doing enough to fix the housing problem!
Posted by Eleanor Thorne, Equity Resources 919-649-5058 (Equity Resources) over 12 years ago
All the king's horses and all the king's men, couldn't put the housing market back together again.  Try as they might, I don't believe that either party has a squirrel's nut of a chance to fix the mess we are in.  The NAR will cozy up to whoever the likely president will be.
Posted by Richard Sweum (1st Security Bank) over 12 years ago
Mitchell -- Obama also says he doesn't want PAC money.
Posted by Ann Heitland, Retired from Flagstaff Real Estate Sales (Retired from RE/MAX Peak Properties) over 12 years ago
Mike - that was interesting and really not something I would have expected! great post!
Posted by Billnulls Blog Florida Realty Professional, AHWD (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 12 years ago

Bill & Barbara Jo,

Me neither!


Interesting that neither McCain nor Obama want or need PAC funds.


Thanks for commenting.  The housing mess will sort itself out.

more later...

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 12 years ago

Great info Mike, very intriguing!Maybe NAR is looking at individual issues and not at party affiliations. We should all do this because both parties are leading us down a dark road, one is just doing it quicker then the other.


Posted by Jeff Fullmer, Real Estate Investor/Financier (FM Properties) over 12 years ago
Mike,  The other thing any of us can do is send money and not have it go to the candidates but instead to the issues.  I'm not sure how to do it...but they said we could in Michigan.  Good topic!
Posted by asdf zcxv, Ann Arbor Area Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty) over 12 years ago

Mike, I stopped contributing to the NAR PAC a while ago. 

NAR is, after all, a lobbying organization, so I think it's appropriate for them to lobby and make contributions, but I wouldn't like to think any of my income went to help elect our current leader.  I give to the guys I like, and I think my judgment in the matter is as good as NAR's.  Oh!  Yes!  And it's a voluntary contribution!   

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (Redfin) over 12 years ago

placeholder from the sickie.  Under the weather.  Back soon.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 12 years ago

All you have to do is take a look at who is NAR president and her profile. She is a Hillary Clinton (guess Bill didn't count in the #metoo movement) loving Liberal. How she got elected (Nar President NOT HILLARY thank god) I will never know. Guess it's who you know that gets you to the top.  I would withdraw my membership if my agency let me but we have to be REALTORS.. Time to make some noise about these contributions. WHY Realtors would support a party that is NOT pro business I will never know. All one has to look at is how things have exploded since our current president got rid of the mountain of regulations to know who is better for business. And if a party is good for business then it is good for OUR business. PERIOD.

Posted by paul cote over 2 years ago

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