Getting Down to Business

October 1, 2000

If real estate is your profession, politics is your business.” That’s what Nestor R. Weigand Jr. said back in 1988 when he was president of the National Association of REALTORS®. And it’s still true today, especially in a presidential election year.

By nature, I’m not a political junkie--my choice to live near Washington, D.C., notwithstanding. But by profession, I have to stay in touch with what’s happening in the political arena, especially as it relates to real estate.

To help me do that this year, I dropped in on the GOP Convention in Philadelphia in August. (Our senior editor, Robert Freedman, attended the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles.)

What I found in Philadelphia was more than 100 REALTORS® from across the country, some of them elected officials in their own communities, who were serving as delegates, making politics very much their business. And good for them!

I also saw NAR’s elected leaders working hard to carry the association message on private property rights, the mortgage interest deduction, data piracy, and smart growth to the Republican party leadership. And Rob reports that they did the same in Los Angeles with the Democratic party leadership at their convention.

There are lots of ways for all of us to make politics our business closer to home--from exercising the right to vote to contributing to the REALTORS® Political Action Committee to actually running for an office.

Voting for a new U.S. president is most likely the way we’ll all be making politics our business on November 7.

If you’re still mulling who’ll get your vote, as I am, you may find Rob’s article on page 17 helpful. It lays out the key policy differences between Texas Gov. George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore on issues related to real estate.

Many of the news pundits have been postulating of late that the differences between the two parties are dwindling as each moves toward the moderate center.

But Rob found some sharp differences in their approaches toward issues that’ll impact REALTORS®. His story may help you crystallize in your own mind some of the pros and cons of each candidate before it’s time to get down to business—in your local voting booth.

Pamela Geurds Kabati is the former publisher of REALTOR® Magazine and senior vice president of communications for the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

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