RPAC at 50

 Joe Murray  |    July 08, 2019
RPAC at 50

The REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019! Since 1969, RPAC has been working to advance the American Dream of property ownership. RPAC protects homeownership and the real estate industry by electing pro-REALTOR® and pro-real estate candidates for public office. RPAC dollars are used on the federal, state and local level to support candidates who support issues that are critical to the future of real estate and REALTORS®. To support these efforts, and to celebrate RPAC’s 50th anniversary, the WRA board decided to increase the current $35 per member voluntary contribution to $50 on the annual dues bill.

According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), RPAC at the national level was formed in 1969. According to NAR, a group of “forward-thinking members of NAR sought the ability to harness the political clout of what would become one of the largest trade associations in the country. From this, the Real Estate Political Education Committee (REPEC) was launched. Later, it would become the National Association of REALTORS® Political Action Committee, or RPAC.”

In its first year, REPEC had 300 contributors and raised $28,000. Today, RPAC has more than 400,000 contributors investing over $9 million to RPAC at the federal level and $36 million at all three levels of the association, according to NAR figures.

In 1970, the Wisconsin RPAC was formed under the leadership of then-WRA chairman Otto Bytof. In its first year, the RPAC fundraising campaign raised $7,000. Fast forward to today, and the overall success with RPAC fundraising is remarkable. Total RPAC and Direct Giver fundraising in 2018 netted $633,000. From its humble beginnings in 1970, RPAC, and now Direct Giver, fundraising has become the bedrock political program for REALTORS® across the Badger State.

What has RPAC accomplished?

It may be tempting to look at the orderly way with which you can practice real estate in Wisconsin and assume that today’s marketplace evolved naturally and that lawmakers had your interest in mind all along. But that’s not the case. Without the political and legislative support of your local, state and national association, you’d be subject to far more red tape and legal liability in your real estate practice. And it would be more difficult for your customers and clients to achieve their goals of homeownership as well. Take a look at this partial list of legislative wins, made possible because of RPAC, on your behalf over just the past several years:

  • Time of sale requirements prohibited.
  • Liability protection for REALTORS® through a two-year statute of limitations.
  • One-strike evictions for criminals or drug-related activity.
  • Supermajority vote to downzone property.
  • Unauthorized practice of law codified.
  • Property tax freeze/levy limits maintained.
  • Cooperation with out-of-state licensees.
  • Development moratoria for counties prohibited.
  • REALTORS® not liable for fraudulent third-party misrepresentation.
  • REALTOR® opinions of value protected.
  • Status as independent contractor protected.
  • Farmland conversion fee eliminated.
  • REALTOR® ability to complete state-approved forms protected.
  • Mortgage interest deduction preserved.
  • Local rent control ordinances prohibited.
  • State rental weatherization requirements eliminated.
  • Right to rent for homeowners.
  • Local governments prohibited from regulating brokerage services.
  • Rental property inspection programs restricted.
  • Real estate transfer tax hikes stopped.
  • Historic rehabilitation tax credit.
  • Nonconforming structures in shoreland areas.
  • Property rights impact statement.
  • Boathouse restriction modifications.
  • Milwaukee Bucks stadium funding.
  • Joint and several liability defeated.

These accomplishments only scratch the surface of what we have accomplished together with your financial support for RPAC and the Direct Giver program. By financially supporting candidates who support our issues, we can pass good laws and defeat bad laws to preserve and protect the REALTORS® and property owners alike.

Happy 50th birthday, RPAC! 

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