So this post is a “what I can find” post, and I’m hoping that if someone has more info they can add or correct what I have here.
On Friday, there was a commentary from Mayor Johnson in the Alameda Journal. In it, it said:
“The anti-P campaign is funded by a Southern California-based Realtors organization.”
Which prompted Nancy Rogers, one of the heads of the No on P campaign, to respond on The Island Blog (and one can expect to see this in the papers as well):
“Alameda Realtors voluntarily contribute to a political action fund to protect private property rights….But the majority of the money funding the campaign comes from contributions from local Realtors.”
First, I’ll point out that Ms. Rogers adds the caveat of “the majority of the money” is local, which of course means that even the No on P campaign admits that the money is not entirely local. A quick (and I mean quick, so this is where hopefully Ms. Rogers, the California Association of Realtors, or pehaps someone else can fill in the blanks) glance at the CAR website found this explanation of the Issues Mobilization Political Action Committee (IMPAC) which is funding the No on P campaign (this is not the voluntary contribution PAC that Ms. Rogers mentions;
How are State and Local IMPAC funded?
Funding for C.A.R.’s Issues Mobilization Political Action Committee (IMPAC) comes primarily from a $10.00 set aside from the members’ dues, which is deposited in the Issue Action Fund (IAF).
The IAF first pays for:
- Administrative Costs of CREPAC/Candidate PACs
- Administrative Costs of IMPAC
After these administrative costs, the remainder is allocated as follows:
- State IMPAC Account (70%)
- Local IMPAC Accounts (30%)
So 30% of $10 minus admin fees goes to the Local IMPAC account. If we are generous, we can assume that there are no admin fees (CAR assumes that 20% of this money will be admin according to their presentation) and that each local realtor has contributed $3 a year to this fund. The Local IMPAC fund also gets another $1 per realtor from the Political Action Fund.
On top of this, the CAR has a voluntary fund (This is what Ms. Rogers mentions, where a Realtor (r) can voluntarily give an additional $197 on top the CAR membership fees. I believe the $97 keeps it under the $200 reporting minimum so that these are not necessarily public record). Of this contribution, $29.40 goes to the BORPAC fund, which is a PAC to support candidates (not issues). These funds can be exchanged for IMPAC funds (I’m unclear on the use of “Exchange” which implies that money would be removed from IMPAC in an equal amount, and therefore I don’t quite see the benefit. I’m sure there is one).
According to the list on the Alameda Association of Realtors, there are 272 local realtors paying dues to these funds. Assuming that 15-25% of the Realtors® are paying voluntarily into the PAC and that all the money from BORPAC was transferred, it would take 6-8 years to raise this money.
The interesting thing, is that the 9/30/08 filing, which was made after the $19,000 in contributions from IMPAC to No on P (8/26 & 9/23), show no money being transferred into the IMPAC account from BORAC, which would lead one to believe that no BORPAC funds are being used. (a similar search through reported BORPAC contributions shows no money moving to IMPAC).
Therefore, since IMPAC started in 2000, only $7-8000 appears to have been possibly raised by Alameda Realtors®, which, if true, would suggest that Ms. Rogers “majority of the money” is not correct and that her outrage is misplaced. It would also suggest that Mayor Johnson’s comment that the majority of the funds are coming from the State Realtor’s association is completely accurate, both literally and in spirit.
More on this if I get more clarifications.
Aside: I had promised to post the political contributions to City Council Candidates yesterday, but LDo beat me to it. A nice, typed up list is available here.