The National Association of Realtors has officially dropped Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican from Orange County, California, from its President’s Circle donation program, NAR confirmed to Inman Tuesday afternoon.
The program — which is reserved for members of the trade organization that donate a certain amount to political campaigns — is designed to make it easy for members to donate to the campaigns of select elected officials whom the organization has designated “Realtor Champions.” Up until this afternoon, Rohrabacher was one of those elected officials.
Rohrabacher also received $4,000 from the Realtors Political Action Committee (RPAC) — the political lobbying arm of NAR — back in January and has been a regular recipient of funds from the lobbying group since 1997, according to Federal Election Commission filings.
The decision to drop Rohrabacher from the program came on the heels of NAR’s annual midyear meeting in Washington, D.C.
As part of the conference, Realtors meet with their elected representatives and at one of those meetings, Rohrabacher allegedly made it known that he opposed a bill that would add protections based on gender identity and sexual orientation to the Fair Housing Act. NAR announced at the midyear conference it will actively lobby in support of the legislation.
The National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP) called on NAR yesterday in a letter to pull its financial support from Rohrabacher and remove him from the President’s Circle. Jeff Berger, a Florida Realtor and founder of NAGLREP also called on the organization to stop supporting all elected officials who don’t support the bill. This afternoon, Berger told Inman NAR had dropped Rohrabacher from the President’s Circle, which NAR confirmed.
“Realtors are glad to see NAR’s response of removing Rohrabacher from the RPAC President’s Circle,” Berger said, in response to NAR’s decision this afternoon. “However, this does not eliminate the possibility of the congressman from receiving future funds from [RPAC].”
A spokesperson for NAR said the organization, “looks at each situation independently to make the best informed decision on candidates that are good for the real estate community.” NAR declined to comment on if Rohrabacher would receive any donations from RPAC moving forward.