Opportunity: Preserving Realtors' Rights
Our Elections are not the only duty of the Secretary of State is tasked with. Included in the tasks are business services, occupational licensing, state rules and regulations, records management, international relations and youth civics programs. The Secretary of State also happens to be the Chair of the Real Estate Commission.
This past winter, the Chairwoman of the Lincoln Board of Realtors threatened her constituents with 5-figure fines if they were involved in the so-called “Fairness Ordinance” petition drive that had Lincoln residents trying to get the City Council to retract it.
The fairness ordinance was an attempt to create a judicial body at the Human Rights Commission over citizens. It changed the legal definition of handicaps, augmented the emotional service animal definitions of landlords, added abortion language, as well as added new class definitions of sexual orientation/identity for fair housing purposes. Essentially, it forced a "progressive" viewpoint on all of Lincoln, whether you wanted it or not.
The Association President cited this as “Law” and that the ordinance needed to be adopted and upheld, even by financial threats. This is absolutely not true! A HUD interpretative regulation based on employment case law does not change the law. Citizens have the right to petition their government whether they are a Realtor or not. Bob Evnen did not address the situation when individual rights were jeopardized by "Leaders" of the real estate industry.
Bob Evnen didn't clamp down on the association threatening the rights of its members, but I will.
The commission needs to be focused on preserving the rights of Realtors and agents to protect property rights, civil rights, and keep our economy moving forward through real estate market. The real estate industry does not need to become a progressive experiment that forces one particular viewpoint and uses financial threats if you do not obey!
The same President responded in a future correspondence that fifty housing complaints are fifty too many. I’ve got news for the Realtor President. In America, people are innocent until proven guilty. Too many fraudulent housing cases are made today for the sake of lawsuit money. Our Constitution protects our rights to speak through the First Amendment!
It is imperative that the Real Estate Commission begin protecting the Constitutional rights of Lincolnites and all Nebraskans in addition to the due process rights of providers. The association president not speaking about the rights of property owners is abysmal. An activist association President who has been caught in pictures with radical Adam Morfeld must be dealt with. No individual in our property businesses should be making the assumption that fifty cases of housing complaints are all worthy complaints until the judicial process has run its course.
Clearly, Bob Evnen and his elitist industry cohorts have not had the gumption to address threats against due process in property rights and realtors’ rights to participate in the political process. I will make sure the Commission quickly addresses individuals seeking to damage the Constitutional rights of their members.
Even the Democrat party was smart enough to call for the recall of the ordinance. Shouldn’t a Secretary of State speak up against a Realtor Association President threatening fines against their own for speaking out against the same ordinance? We are ready to stand tall on more issues than just the election.