Seven out of eight House candidates the National Association of Realtors threw its weight behind in a big way in the months leading up to Tuesday’s election will be members of the 113th Congress.
The lone exception — Rep. Judy Biggert — is a longtime NAR ally whose defeat could represent a setback for the Realtor trade association. Biggert will be packing her bags after serving 14 years in the House of Representatives, having lost a hard-fought race after her congressional district was redrawn.
The National Association of Realtors board of directors has approved a $40-a-year dues increase to boost political activities, despite polls showing members overwhelmingly opposed it, and warnings from local association executives that a dues increase would accelerate membership declines.
In march, NAR floated the idea of raising the national association’s dues by 50 percent, from $80 to $120, in order to increase spending on political advocacy in light of last year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down restrictions on independent campaign expenditures by corporations.
An advisory group formed by NAR’s then-president, Vicki Cox Golder, concluded in a November report that the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC would open the floodgates for independent campaign expenditures, requiring NAR to step up spending to maintain its voice.
The dues increase approved Saturday "will allow NAR to provide millions of dollars in additional support to state and local boards, which are facing a cadre of policy proposals that would restrict private property rights and drain homeowners’ pocketbooks," NAR President Ron Phipps said in a statement.