Candidate For Congress Is Listening!

guest blog by Nila Ridings

Over the past week I have been emailing back and forth with Andy Ostrowski. He’s hoping to become the newly elected member of Congress from Pennsylvania. Tuesday, November 4th is the critical day that will decide whether his goal has been achieved. Please get out and vote regardless of what state you live in. If you live in Pennsylvania give your neighbor, church friends, golfing buddies, yoga sisters, or the freshly registered voter from the college campus a ride to the polls!

Somebody out there in HOA Land put a ‘bug’ in Andy’s ear about the abuse and suffering home owners are dealing with in condos and HOAs. He had no idea how bad it really is. He had friends a while back who had problems with their HOA, but that was where his exposure to the insanity stopped. Our emails have ping ponged back and forth and most of you know I don’t candy-coat my words. Andy knows we need a hero. He knows we need a legislator who will work across party lines. And he knows we don’t need any more politicians in bed with the CAI! He gets it!

You’ll find his website at the bottom of this blog.

And now a message from Andy Ostrowski-

Homeowners’ Associations – A Need for Congressional Action

“During my run for Congress, I have met many people with many unique needs for assistance, and government action. None has been as compelling as those Americans who are involved in property ownership in Homeowners’ Associations (HOAs).

I was surprised to learn that some 60 million Americans own property subject to HOAs, and have heard many horrific stories about the abuses that they suffer.

Home ownership – the right to own property, and use it for the purposes of raising a family, and providing solace for all of our private affairs, is a core value in our constitutional republic, and, in many ways, is part and parcel to the “pursuit of happiness.” These HOAs, however, are creating the pursuit of misery.

I have a lot to learn, but have heard enough, and understand enough to know that this is a widespread problem across this country, and something that may require Congressional action to address.

The Community Associations Institute (CAI) is a trade organization that passes itself off as an educational organization designed to promote “professionalism, effective leadership, and responsible citizenship,” but is, in reality, a lobbying group backed by builders and developers, and bent on getting their access to legislators across the county to create a legislative field tilted heavily in their favor – and they have been successful.

HOAs, and their Boards, serve public purposes traditionally reserved for governments, and elected officials, and this reveals one of the true hearts of the problem – there is no accountability to oaths of office to uphold and defend the constitution. People who try to sue these HOAs are told that they are not government entities, and do not have the same responsibilities and duties as do their governments. They are creatures of corporate law, and planned development acts.

Individuals unknowingly give up core constitutional rights to private entities created under the authority of law, and subject themselves to foreclosure actions, fines, forced entries, and evictions without the protections of law otherwise available. It is the lack of accountability that we at least theoretically can demand from our government, through, at the very least, the right to vote, that is the source of the true harm in this area – one that affects the lives of 60 million Americans – this needs to change.

To tie this in with my particular expertise, these HOAs are often then protected by the courts, which are subject to the same crony influences that the legislatures are often subjected to, and is further evidence of how the system is tilted in favor of the big banks, and corporate and monied interests, and away from the rights of the individual.

There are many proposals around among the individuals being hurt and harmed, and I will be studying and considering them all. The AARP, for example, has recently voiced concern that homeowners associations pose a risk to the financial welfare of their members. They have proposed that a homeowners “Bill Of Rights” be adopted by all 50 states to protect seniors from rogue Homeowner Associations. This bill of rights should apply to all homeowners and Constitutional protections should also be restored for a fair and balanced playing field.

The plight of the individuals whose pursuit of happiness is being obstructed, and whose lives are being ruined, is one area that needs specific focus.

This is a true civil rights issue as it involves legislatures across the country enacting laws that cut off constitutional rights, and access to courts for millions of Americans, and I will fight to give government back to the people by fighting for the rights of these individuals.”

Website for Andy Ostrowski for Congress:

(http://andyostrowski.com)

 

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About

Ward Lucas is a longtime investigative journalist and television news anchor. He has won more than 70 national and regional awards for Excellence in Journalism, Creative Writing and community involvement. His new book, "Neighbors At War: the Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association," is now available for purchase. In it, he discusses the American homeowners association movement, from its racist origins, to its transformation into a lucrative money machine for the nation's legal industry. From scams to outright violence to foreclosures and neighborhood collapses across the country, the reader will find this book enormously compelling and a necessary read for every homeowner. Knowledge is self-defense. No homeowner contemplating life in an HOA should neglect reading this book. No HOA board officer should overlook this examination of the pitfalls in HOA management. And no lawyer representing either side in an HOA dispute should gloss over what homeowners are saying or believing about the lawsuit industry.

12 thoughts on “Candidate For Congress Is Listening!

  1. hoasavers

    And of course the CAI will be happy to support him because they say they help homeowners…and they say they help protect values too, and I see first hand how that is going…bs

    Reply
    1. Dave Russell

      Andy is not a sellout! He has been made well aware of the CAI and their alleged “protection of homeowners.” I’m thinking Andy will be the first true congressman, willing to step up to the plate, and help the millions of suffering and abused homeowners. Let’s face it, Andy is the first congressman willing to listen.

      Reply
  2. Cynthia

    Along with the HOA reform, Andy Ostrowski see the need for the judicial reform that is desperately needed that many times is a major factor in the HOA abuses and property thefts. Please see:

    Barletta challenger: Court reform should be Congress’ top priority

    Reforming the nation’s courts to possibly include a new grand jury system that puts some control in everyday citizens’ hands will be his top priority if he’s elected, Democratic congressional candidate Andy Ostrowski said Tuesday.

    citizensvoice.com|By By Borys Krawczeniuk

    Reply
  3. Cynthia

    The link for the article about Andy Ostrowski did not post correctly in my comment already submitted. Here is the link:

    http://citizensvoice.com/news/barletta-challenger-court-reform-should-be-congress-top-priority-1.1767276#.VDVa3PuR0pg.facebook

    Barletta challenger: Court reform should be Congress’ top priority

    Reforming the nation’s courts to possibly include a new grand jury system that puts some control in everyday citizens’ hands will be his top priority if he’s elected, Democratic congressional candidate Andy Ostrowski said Tuesday.

    Reply
  4. Nila Ridings

    Let me be very clear.

    If I had even the slightest inkling that Andy Ostrowski was going to be a CAI sellout, this blog would not have been written for his support. This website does not have a history of supporting ANY political candidate. Andy Ostrowski was given this space because he was vetted as much as possible and found to be genuine in his concerns and comments.

    He openly admits he does not know all that he wants or needs to know about the HOA abuses that are blanketing the country. He is willing to learn as much as we are willing to share. He clearly understands who the CAI is and what they do.

    Let’s not kick the guy in the teeth before he’s given a chance to show us what he can and will do to help us. We have to start with one legislator and it looks like we have a great chance with Andy.

    Reply
  5. robert

    So far, the only statement Andy Ostrowski has made on this issue is the one post one his F*c*book page

    Andy Ostrowski for U.S. Congress
    October 5 at 5:22pm
    Homeowners’ Associations – A Need for Congressional Action

    30 days before the election.

    I don’t know how sincere he is about H.O.A. reform, but it appears to be a case of “too little, too late”. Which is too bad, because if you look at the top three “Issues” on his web site andyostrowski.com

    – “We The People”
    – “Corporations”
    – “Court Reform”

    the H.O.A. reform issue ties directly into all three. The current H.O.A. regime is a symptom of Ostrowski’s top-3 issues, and one that a lot of people can directly and tangibly relate to.

    I would even go so far to say that if Ostrowski is serious about “We the People”, “Corporations”, and “Court Reform”, then he should make H.O.A. corporations a center piece of his campaign. Then use the H.O.A. issue to illustrate to and persuade the voters on his other, related, issues.

    From a purely political viewpoint, it would also force his opponent to

    – defend H.O.A. corporations
    (“H.O.A. corporations are great, you’re just not good enough for them”, “You agreed to be abused”, etc.)
    – defend the failures of the privatization of local government
    (“It’s only wrong when government does it”, etc.), and
    – defend what Robert Metcalf called “a systematic infusion of corporate culture and governance into the domestic lives of an ever larger share of the American population. Who wants to live at work?” (emphasis in original)

    Of course, I am neither a political consultant nor his campaign advisor, and I have my own agenda, so if he’s reading this, he should take the above with the appropriate grain of salt.

    But if we’re right that there is mass dissatisfaction with H.O.A. corporations (and I think we are), then this is an issue that is just waiting for the first candidate to seriously address it. And I don’t mean as an afterthought, nor by offering the worthless illusions-of-reform that politicians usually offer; such as the Democrats do here in Colorado, who often work with the C.A.I. lobbyists to craft legislation, while lying to the public that they’re working to protect home owners. A candidate should make it clear and unambiguous that it is a priority to remove the incredibly perverse incentives and moral hazards inherent in the H.O.A. corporate system.

    My personal opinion is that the H.O.A. industry is facing a “preference cascade” :

    This illustrates, in a mild way, the reason why totalitarian regimes collapse so suddenly. . .Such regimes have little legitimacy, but they spend a lot of effort making sure that citizens don’t realize the extent to which their fellow-citizens dislike the regime. If the secret police and the censors are doing their job, 99% of the populace can hate the regime and be ready to revolt against it – but no revolt will occur because no one realizes that everyone else feels the same way.

    This works until something breaks the spell, and the discontented realize that their feelings are widely shared, at which point the collapse of the regime may seem very sudden to outside observers – or even to the citizens themselves. Claims after the fact that many people who seemed like loyal apparatchiks really loathed the regime are often self-serving, of course. But they’re also often true: Even if one loathes the regime, few people have the force of will to stage one-man revolutions, and when preferences are sufficiently falsified, each dissident may feel that he or she is the only one, or at least part of a minority too small to make any difference.

    – Glenn Reynolds
    Patriotism and Preferences
    March 13, 2002

    Reply
    1. andy ostrowski

      Excellent comment, Robert. As Nila pointed out, I am somewhat new to the whole HOA problem, and glad that this campaign has opened my eyes to it. I stand by my comments on the constitutional infirmities of the entire industry, and appreciate your insights.

      At this point, with three weeks to go, it will be difficult for me to bring this to the fore in my campaign. Plus, I am an outsider, and not running a big money campaign where I can redeploy resources like others may be able to.

      My record speaks for itself in my commitment to the rights and interests of the individual in distinction to the monied corporate interests, and to the principle of equal access to justice for all, and accountability in our government. I will not be compromised when I see the justice of a cause.

      I do, in the short term, need all the help I can get from those who share your interests and concerns, and anything you all can do tohelp me get the vote out in the 11th Congressional District in Pennsylvania (Carlisle, Harrisburg, Sunbury, Shamokin, Bloomsburg, Hazleton, Tunkhannock, and surrounding areas) will be greatly appreciated.

      Please hold me accountable, as well.

      Thank you.

      Reply
  6. Nila Ridings

    Andy was not aware until very recently that a MASSIVE PROBLEM EXISTS WITH HOAs in America. Once he was briefed on the subject of HOAs he inquired to learn more.

    None of us learned all the intricate details of the HOA world overnight. Most of us are still learning because just when we think we’ve heard it all, here comes another insane HOA story that has to be dissected for the “hows and whys” and it is discussed endlessly before it is clearly understood.

    Perhaps if Andy had known the details of the HOA issues a year ago his campaign strategy would look differently. Now, he knows over 60,000,000 Americans are either suffering HOA abuse or waiting in line to take their beating. He recognizes how massive and widespread the problem is.

    Early this morning he emailed and said, win or lose, he’s going to stay involved with us.

    For now, the best we can do is vote for him (PA residents in his district) help with his campaigning…anybody close to PA or heading that way can jump in to help. Or any of us can go to his website and make a financial contribution to help with campaign expenses.

    Basically he was blindsided with the subject of HOAs. He could have said he was in the middle of a political campaign and couldn’t take the time out to discuss it, but he did not do that. He immediately realized the topic was a serious problem and he’s taken the time to listen and ask questions. He’s a human being not a miracle worker. So far he’s been our only chance for help from a potential legislator or a legislator. I think we owe it to him to give him the chance to help when and where he can…after the election.

    Reply
  7. Pingback: We need more candidates across the country like Andy Ostrowski | Nesara Network

  8. Pingback: We need more candidates across the country like Andy Ostrowski | Nesara Network

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