Realtors' backing of bond measures may have contributed to their defeat

Voters in Scottsdale, Ariz., Tuesday rejected four Realtor-backed bond measures totaling $212 million that would have paid for 39 city projects, including parks, libraries and community facilities; public safety projects; neighborhood flood control; and transportation, streets and trails projects.

The negative public reaction to Realtors’ support of the bond measures may have contributed to their defeat.

Scottsdale City Attorney Bruce Washburn assessed fines totaling $26,446 on a political action committee — Scottsdale’s Quality of Life Matters in Support of Questions 1, 2, 3 and 4 — that received a total of $100,000 from the National Association of Realtors and the Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors.

Washburn ruled that the PAC, which was established by the Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors to support the bond measures, failed to disclose NAR’s $86,000 contribution to both the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office and the Scottsdale City Clerk’s Office within the 24 hours required by state law.

Washburn also found that some voters who received what were characterized in a complaint as “push poll” calls were told that they were paid for by NAR, when election laws require that the PAC itself be identified. But the PAC, not NAR or the Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors, bore responsibility for the improper disclosure, Washburn said.

“We’ve had a ‘no’ environment going on,” former Scottsdale Councilman Wayne Ecton, the leader of another PAC that supported the bonds, told The Republic of voter sentiment going into Tuesday’s election. “We had a competition. We had theoretically some people helping us, and they screwed up,” Ecton said of the Realtor-backed PAC. Source: azcentral.com