Real Estate Industry professionals must be politically active. If REALTORS® do not speak out, get involved and help shape the discussion, someone else will.
“REALTOR® Party” is the term the National Association of REALTORS® to uses to describe their nonpartisan advocacy efforts to protect property rights and to promote the industry. About 1/3 (or $40) of NAR dues are earmarked for REALTOR® Party activities. The activities sponsored represent on of the largest professional, nonpartisan advocacy groups in the country, with significant presence at the federal, state, and local levels. Candidates who receive our support are not selected based on their political party or ideology, but solely on their support of real estate issues.
Participation in REALTOR® Party activities at the local level does not require REALTOR® Membership in COCAR™, but Associate membership is minimally suggested. Members of the COCAR™ Advocacy/Government Affairs Committee are also responsible for directing COCAR™ local REALTOR® Party activities as well as the distribution of COCAR’s share of RPAC funds to local candidates.
Since 1969 REALTORS® have been independently raising and spending money to elect federal, state, and local candidates who understand and support the interests of the real estate community. While the NAR has a significant Government Advocacy and Education program, this money ‹comes from voluntary contributions separate from member dues. Today, money is raised using two separate vehicles, the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) which is a hard money fund used to directly support candidates, and the CORPORATE Ally Program (CAP) which is a soft money Super-Pac.
Contributions are non-deductible for federal income tax purposes
Between NAR’s Government Affairs Program and its RPAC and Corporate ALLY Program, the Center for Responsive Politics has consistently ranked the National Association of REALTORS® in the top 5 largest spenders in lobbying in the US,; in 2016 NAR was ranked second, after the US Chamber of Commerce.
REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC)
The REALTORS® Political Action Committee’s contributions are considered “Hard Money” in that they are Hard dollars that are, voluntary, individual personal contributions from REALTORS® and can be used to directly support candidates. Any family member of anyone affiliated with any REALTOR® organization, including COCAR™, may contribute individually, corporate checks cannot be accepted.
Hard Money is raised from individuals, not corporations. An individual may contribute up to $1,000 directly to a federal candidate per election and $5,000 to a PAC per year.
A hard money Political Action Committee can contribute $5,000 to a federal candidate per election.
RPAC contributions are split between National RPAC 30% (for federal candidates/issues) and State & Local RPAC 70% (for state and local candidates/ issues). Until the state PAC reaches its RPAC goal, 30% is sent to National RPAC to support federal candidates and is charged against your limits under 2 U.S.C. 441a. (applied against your federal campaign finance law contribution limit of $5,000 per year to RPAC.) Once a state PAC reaches its RPAC goal, it may elect to retain your entire contribution for use in supporting state and local candidates.
The REALTORS PAC of Oklahoma, the local affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS® PAC, is classified as a Limited Political Action Committee by the Oklahoma Ethics Commission. A limited committee is one organized to make contributions to candidates, and may also may make independent expenditures or electioneering communications. The Oklahoma Ethics Commission has issued rules and a Guide to Political Action Committees.
More information on the Oklahoma RPAC is at http://okrealtors.com/rpac. REALTOR®, Institute Affiliate (CCIM, SIOR, IREM, etc.) or Affiliate membership in OAR is required for participation in the Realtors PAC of Oklahoma. The COCAR™ Government Affairs Committee makes recommendations to the Realtors PAC of Oklahoma for distribution of our share of the Local PAC funds to local candidates.
The NAR PAC operates the REALTORS® Action Center, which provides a variety of advocacy, education, and community outreach services for Local Boards. REALTOR® and Institute Affiliate Members (CCIM, SIOR, IREM, etc.) members may participate at the national level, with the NAR Midyear Legislative Meeting and Trade Expo in Washington DC being the primary planning meeting.
To Contribute to RPAC:
- Make personal checks payable to RPAC-OK
- Send contribution to:
COCAR – Membership Services
Attn: Peggy Missel, Association Executive
1212 S Air Depot Blvd / Suite 35
Midwest City, OK 73110
Corporate ALLY Programs (CAP)
The REALTOR® Party’s Super-Pac is called the Corporate ALLY Program; they are advocacy fundraising programs to raise soft dollars. Soft dollars are corporate dollars and can be used in independent expenditure campaigns to support candidates. Soft dollars cannot be contributed directly to federal candidates, or to state or local candidates in some states. The Federal Election Commission Regulations define independent expenditure as expenditure for a communication “expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate that is not made in cooperation, consultation, or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate, a candidate’s authorized committee, or their agents, or a political party or its agents.” NAR’s policy is to only participate in positive independent expenditure campaigns that support NAR’s positions on the topic.
NAR’s Corporate Ally Program is a “soft money” type, Super PAC, that can only accept corporate contributions with checks made out to one of two funds, either:
- Issues Advocacy
- “Candidate Independent Expenditures” to support specific campaigns, but not coordinated with the campaign. Note: Some corporate charters preclude their spending of corporate funds to support candidates.
Distribution checks for local issues and local independent campaigns are written by NAR affiliated organizations, with contributor preferences considered.
Corporate ALLY Program may only accept corporate checks from any corporation, not personal checks. Contributions to the NAR Corporate Ally program are split 50% Local, and 50% NAR, with NAR’s portion being used to supplement NAR’s local, state, and national independent campaign & issues programs.
To Contribute to the Corporate ALLY Programs:
- For Candidate Independent Expenditures, Make Corporate checks payable to: NAR Congressional Fund
- For Issues Advocacy Campaigns, Make Corporate Check payable to: NAR – Issues
- Send contribution to: NAR Finance Department Attn. Karen Paschal
430 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
- For Further Information contact:Paula MartinoNAR Director of Corporate Fundraising202-383-1156 / firstname.lastname@example.org
NAR Also provides for Independent Expenditure Requests and Grants, independent of RPAC and Corporate Ally Programs, funded through NAR Dues. These expenditures include Issue Oriented Campaigns, electioneering, and other community outreach programs. Most of these grant requests must be initiated through a Local REALTOR® Board, in our case COCAR™ Outreach/Research and Advocacy/Government Affairs Committees .