Finally, An Organization I Can Believe In!

I’ve never been a big fan of the ACLU. Oh, I’ve interviewed ACLU officials a number of times in my career. They’re rarely the ones who say, “No comment!” And some of their battles I’ve certainly supported. Sadly, there are too many cases which I firmly believe that the ACLU won’t touch.

It’s a completely different story where the Institute for Justice (IJ.org) is concerned. They, too, are a civil rights organization but they seem to be more focused on housing, minority rights, and seeking out the kinds of justice that would help all of us, not just small minority interests.

Guest blogger Deborah Goonan sends this link to us:

http://ij.org/wa-lawyer-free-speech-release-2-20-15

Institute for Justice has a number of other great videos at:

IJ.org

You could and should spend an entire afternoon watching their videos and studying their interests. And then, as I’m doing now, write them a check. They’re doing some excellent work.

Please follow & like us :)

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 “Finally, An Organization I Can Believe In!

  1. robert

    You might want to talk to George Staropoli before praising the Institute for Justice. On June 21, 2005, George wrote that

    “For years I’ve tried to get IJ [ the Institute for Justice ] to come to the rescue of homeowners in homeowners associations who face a taking in a little more round about way, but a taking with government support no less. HOAs are permitted to deprive a homeowner of his liberty and property rights under the much same reasoning of eminent domain: increased property taxes produce increased revenues, and who cares about minority rights….I wait patiently to see the day that IJ undertakes a crusade very analogous to your eminent domain activities, to protect the fundamental rights of homeowners in homeowners associations.”

    10 years later, groups like the Institute for Justice, Cato Institute, and Colorado’s own Independence Institute continue to ignore the plight of home owners for ideological reasons. And I say that as somebody who used to contribute money to Institute for Justice, and was a volunteer “research associate” for the Independence Institute.

    On the other hand, the ACLU — which I am no fan of — has defended home owners from H.O.A. corporations in at least one instance. In 2010, the ACLU came to the aid of Andy McDonel, who wanted to display a Gadsden flag: the one with the rattlesnake saying “Don’t Tread On Me”. Jacob Sullum, a senior editor of the libertarian Reason magazine, criticized the ACLU for “defending McDonel’s freedom of speech by supporting state interference with the contract and property rights of his neighbors”.

    If you want to see the Institute for Justice’s vision for America, look at H.O.A. corporations. What is there about governance by an unregulated private corporation, under the guise of contract law, with no consumer protections, for a Tea Partyin’ disciple of Ayn Rand and Ronald Reagan not to love?

    Reply
    1. Ward Lucas Post author

      I appreciate your wisdom, Robert. But I think there’s a ‘sea change’ underway in which many conservative groups are re-thinking their positions on HOAs. One of the most critical papers of the HOA regime came out of the Cato Institute. At least one of your former associates at the Independence Institute is now extremely critical of HOAs. A heck of a lot of people (including lawyers!) talk about what a difficulty these fascist regimes are becoming. And there you go again, attacking Ayn Rand. She’s sacred ground to me!

      Reply
      1. robert

        “But I think there’s a ‘sea change’ underway in which many conservative groups are re-thinking their positions on HOAs.”

        No there isn’t, and no they’re not.

        Don’t take my word for it. Ask George Staropoli or Evan McKenzie or Shu Bartholomew if they have seen any ‘sea change’ among conservative and libertarian groups. Their answer will be “no”.

        Even better, point to a policy proposal from a conservative or libertarian group, pundit, or politician crafted to provide relief for home owners from H.O.A. corporations. You won’t find one.

        One of the most critical papers of the HOA regime came out of the Cato Institute.

        Citation needed.

        At least one of your former associates at the Independence Institute is now extremely critical of HOAs.

        Jon Caldara?! Ha! His — and the Independence Institute’s — disingenuousness on this issue could fill a very long blog post. Maybe I’ll write one someday.

        And there you go again, attacking Ayn Rand. She’s sacred ground to me!

        Compare how Jon Caldara phoned-in his performance when you were on his program ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ya0px16jYoY ) to how giddy he was when Yaron Brook, director of the Ayn Rand Institute, said things like; we don’t need environmental regulations to keep corporations from dumping cyanide into our drinking water ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfX6rh6s49k ).

        As Evan McKenzie said four years ago,

        “I realize that there are individual Americans who call themselves libertarian, or conservative, and who also hate their HOA. However, as I see it, you can’t have it both ways. Either embrace the libertarian position on private government, or stop calling yourself a libertarian. Otherwise you are like somebody who says he’s a Marxist but doesn’t believe in socializing the steel mills.” (June 23, 2011)

        and

        “anybody who espouses the philosophy of ‘privatism,’ claiming that the so-called private sector is superior to government, has to answer for the obvious and growing problems of homeowner and condo associations. You free marketers can’t just pick and choose.” (June 24, 2011)

        What’s horribly infuriating is that conservatives and libertarians could save face — and win a lot of popular support — by advocating the same policy proposal for H.O.A. corporations that they do for labor unions: prohibit involuntary membership in a [ H.O.A. corporation / labor union ] as a condition of [ home ownership / employment ]. Instead of being logically consistent, conservatives go through a lot of contorted mental gymnastics to rationalize why involuntary membership in a labor union is oppression of workers, but involuntary membership in an H.O.A. corporation is freedom for home owners. You should have asked Jon Caldara about it when you were on his TV program 3 months ago. I’m sure his head would have exploded.

        Reply
        1. Ward Lucas Post author

          Cato Citation: Randal O’Toole writing about Houston lawyers who drove through HOA neighborhoods writing tickets for minor infractions and then sending legal bills to the homeowners involved.

          I know you have some bad blood toward Jon Caldara but he’s had a number friends who’ve been shafted by their HOAs. I get hundreds of emails from people all over the political spectrum who’ve suddenly wised up to this national scandal. Ten years ago I didn’t know such abuse existed.

          Regarding Ayn Rand, I got a day’s suspension in high school after arguing with a poly-sci professor about his hatred of Ayn Rand. You don’t have to support her politics to thoroughly enjoy a day off from school.

          Reply
          1. robert

            Cato Citation: Randal O’Toole writing about Houston lawyers who drove through HOA neighborhoods writing tickets for minor infractions and then sending legal bills to the homeowners involved.

            What is the title of the article? What is the publication date of the article? Where did the article appear? *

            I seriously do not understand where you get this idea that Randal O’Toole, or the Cato Institute or other conservative think-tanks, is critical of the H.O.A. system. You’ve been repeating that assertion for years.

            On June 20 2012, I attended an event at the Independence Institute, where Randal O’Toole was speaking about housing policy and promoting his (then) new book, American Nightmare: How Government Undermines The Dream Of Home Ownership. During the Q&A session, I brought up the H.O.A. issue. His response was that “a few years ago, a few attorneys gave HOAs some bad advice to strictly enforce the covenants, which led to some stories in the news.” O’Toole admitting that there were a few problems is like Walter Duranty saying “Russian Hungry, But Not Starving” (New York Times. March 31, 1933). Otherwise, he was pro-H.O.A. during the Q&A session.

            What happened next I did not expect, since I was at a conservative/libertarian think-tank. Other members in the audience agreed with me, and started expressing their own negative opinioins about H.O.A. corporations. At that point, one of the event moderators — probably an employee of the Independence Institute — ended the Q&A session, saying “we’re not here to discuss that”. Think about that! At a forum to disucss housing policy, talk of H.O.A. corporations was verbotten, because it doesn’t fit their ideological narrative. Although there was a film crew present, I’ve never been able to find a video of that event on the internet.

            That same week, Jon Caldara interviewed his buddy Randal O’Toole on his public T.V. program Devil’s Advocate , which you can see at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVoEBuiYtqY . They repeated their long-standing praise for Texas, and more specifically, Houston, as a model for national housing policy. As any reader of this blog knows, “If Texas is the epicenter of the HOA foreclosure debacle, Houston and Harris County where it is located is ground zero” (Keith Jurow, 2010). O’Toole also cited Florida as a model to emulate.

            The last time the Cato Institute took a public position on H.O.A. corporations was when they filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Mariner’s Cove Townhomes Association corporation in 2013 with the U.S. Supreme Court ( http://privatopia.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-volokh-conspiracy-our-amicus-brief.html ). Cato argued that American taxpayers are obligated to pay assessments to the H.O.A. corporation for units that were destroyed as a result of Hurrican Katrina in 2005 (even after the individual owners had been compensated and moved on). Cato’s brief referred to H.O.A. corporations as “beneficial private communities”, which is the same position they took in “What Are Private Governments Worth?” (2005).

            The Institute for Justice’s position was stated in 2002, in a response to a request by George Staropoli for intervention on behalf of homeowners:

            You are of course correct that members of homeowner associations have fewer rights than others – but only because they
            exercised essential rights in the first place, namely freedom of contract and vol untary association.

            Here’s a simple test: the next time you talk to somebody from a conservative or libertarian organization, ask them what should be done to protect home owners from H.O.A. corporations. Inevitably, their position will be “Nothing, because government should not interfere in private contracts between consumers and corporations” and that “It’s the home owners fault for not reading and understanding what he was getting into”. As an Ayn Randian, you of all people should recognize the contempt for the indivdual (home owner) and love of the collective (corporation) that permeates conservative and libertarian thought.

            Your assertion that there’s some kind of “sea change” among conservative and libertarian groups is 100% wrong. Again, don’t take my word for any this. Ask George Staropoli, Evan McKenzie, Shu Bartholomew, et al., about groups like Cato, IJ, etc.

            – – – – –

            * Since you did not provide a proper citation, I will, from pages 36 – 37 in Chapgter 3 your book, Neighbors At War:

            Economist and public policy analyst Randal O’Toole in his book, Best Laid Plans: How Government Harms Your Quality of Life, Your Pocketbook, and Your Future, acknowledges that developers have a strong interest in creating Homeowners Associations. But he points out a terrifying reality that in some cities, groups of homeowners can organize at any time and begin imposing covenants on their neighbors:

            Houston permits residents of neighborhoods with no covenants to petition to create a homeonwers’ assocaition and write new covenants. This requires approval of the majority of the votes in the neighborhood…like zoning, homeowners associations are not perfect. They are somewhat tainted because covenants writeen in the early part of the 20th century explicitly forbade homeowners from selling to blacks or other minorities.

            A more serious problem with homeowners associations is that some have been overzealous in enforcing their covenants.

            Houston inadvertently created another problem when it allowed homeowners’ associations that won enforcement actions against their members to make the member pay the assocation’s attorney fees and place a lien on the member’s home until the fees were paid. This led to attorneys roaming neighborhoods looking for minor infractions and sending letters to homeowners telling them to fix the problem along with a bill for their services and a threat to put a lien on their homes if they did not pay the bill. [ 11 ]

            In three short passages, O’Toole, a respected scholar with the Cato Institute, has perhaps inadvertently summed up a damning case against the entire Homeownes Association movement: foundationally racist organizations headed by overzealous board offices, backed by roving attorneys who seek and levy fines against homeowners, knowing tha ttheir legal bills are automatically paid by those facing foreclosure. One coudln’t write a formula with more potential for abuse.

            11. “Best Laid Plans: How Government Planning Harms Your Quality of Life, Your Pocketbook, and Your Future,” Randal O’Toole, Cato Institute (2007), pp. 349-350.

            If that’s the sole basis for your assertion that there’s a “sea change” among conservative groups, your argument is very very very weak, because you’re reading way too much into those three paragraphs, while igoring all other evidence. That “Houston permits residents of neighborhoods with no covenenats to petition to create a homeowners’ association” is a policy that Randal O’Toole supports.

            I support homeowner associations … Under my proposal (which is actually Bob Nelson’s proposal), people would be allowed to form such associations that would take over all zoning authority in their neighborhoods … See Nelson’s book, “Private Neighborhoods,” and his papers on the same subject, for more details. … As far as the real-estate transfer fee goes … if a homeowner association decided to impose such a fee on its members in order to improve the neighborhood, as some do in Texas, I wouldn’t have any problem with it.
            (comment by Randal O’Toole on May 31, 2012 at 11:30 am, at http://oregoncatalyst.com/17300-book-recommendation-randal-otools-american-nightmare.html )

            If you’re familiar with Robert Nelson’s policy proposal, then you know that Randal O’Toole is in favor of conscripting home owners against their will into private H.O.A. corporations. Why you keep hailing O’Toole as some kind of hero for home owners is incredibly baffling.

          2. robert

            Jon Caldara but he’s had a number friends who’ve been shafted by their HOAs.

            So what? It hasn’t changed his, or the Indpendence Institute’s, position on H.O.A. corporations. At the time of the Supreme Court’s Kelo eminent domain decision, the Independence Institute formed the Property Rights Project as one of its Policy Centers:

            The Independence Institute’s Property Rights Project was established in 2005 to serve as a community resource on land use issues—including but not limited to—eminent domain abuse, zoning regulations, and historical designations.

            While the Independence Institute was praising H.O.A. corporations as “Free Market Alternatives To Zoning” (February 28, 2009), their Property Rights Project director director wrote that

            Four years have passed since that heated summer of 2005 when the U.S. Supreme Court shocked our national conscience by declaring that government can forcibly condemn a family’s home simply to make way for a more lucrative private development. While Colorado lawmakers responded by banning such a practice here, new threats to property ownership emerge every day.

            Property rights are the nation’s least sexy — and most often forgotten — civil right. As Americans, we take for granted that when we purchase a home, no one can take it from us, except in rare exceptions based on overwhelming proof of public need. But in too many cases, this simply isn’t true.

            (Jessica Peck Corry. “Property Rights – America’s Forgotten Civil Right” August 27, 2009)

            while not even acknowledging the threat of H.O.A. corporations to individual property rights.

            Jon Caldara did a radio program about H.O.A.s on January 14 2014. For all his complaining, he admitted that he supports H.O.A.s for ideological reasons:

            Hugh (caller, an H.O.A. apologist): You are a libertarian. You believe in a free market.

            Jon Caldara: I do.
            . . . . .
            Hugh (caller): Your overall political view should support the idea of H.O.A.s.

            Jon Caldara: Oh, it does. It does.

            Individual conservatives and libertarians can complain all the want. But the bottom line is that when you ask them to propose a policy to protect home owners, they will respond with “Do nothing, because government should not interfere with the private contract between the individual home owner and the H.O.A. corporation”.

            As somebody who calls himself “fuzzyfuzzyfungus” on the internet once wrote (January 13, 2013):

            ‘libertarians’ seem to have a hard-on that just won’t quite for petty authoritarianism and power imbalances, as long as they can be couched in the language of contract…

            In this case, an HOA is basically what happens when you think ‘zoning’ is fascist but you want control over what color your neighbor’s house is

            For the nth time, don’t take my word for it. Ask George Staropoli, ask Evan McKenzie, ask Shu Bartholomew, etc.

  2. Deborah Goonan

    ACLU also wrote an Amicus Brief in the NJ Co-op free speech case (Dublirer vs. 2000 Linwood Owners Assoc 2014). The court didn’t even consider CAI’s Amicus Brief, with its weak arguments.

    FYI, FL has had Democrats in the Legilsature that sponsored Eminent Domain for Condos. The bill was vetoed by Republican Governor Jeb Bush in 2006, but a similar version was signed into law by Gov Charlie Christ in 2007. Christ was a Republican at the time, but he changed his party to Democrat in 2014 to run against Republican incombent Rick Scott — who won reelection by a narrow margin. No doubt that gerrymandering had something to do with election outcomes – another FL political scandal.

    Once we convince both ends of the political specturm that residential housing by “private contract” is a poor substitute for local government charter under Constitutional standards, we should start to see positive change.

    Reply
    1. robert

      FYI, FL has had Democrats in the Legilsature that sponsored Eminent Domain for Condos. The bill was vetoed by Republican Governor Jeb Bush in 2006, but a similar version was signed into law by Gov Charlie Christ in 2007. Christ was a Republican at the time,

      The Republicans controlled both houses of the Flordia state legislature at the time. See the chart at http://ballotpedia.org/Florida_State_Legislature#Partisan_balance_1992-2013

      I don’t know about other states, but here in Colorado, the Democrats have been worse than useless when it comes to protecting home owners from H.O.A. corporations. Special scorn is reserved for state senator Morgan Carroll (Democrat-Aurora). I spent 2010 and 2012 trying to get the Democrats in my district to do something, but they just don’t care. (I spent 2014 going to Republican campaign events, after giving upon the Democrats). I met with my congressman, Jared Polis (D), in 2012 and earlier this year (2015), but he’s been ignoring me, too. Their indifference on this issue truly baffles me. Democrats are to Colorado home owners what Neville Chamberlain was to Czechoslovakia.

      If the Democrats are Neville Chamberlain, the state’s Republicans are either Mussolini or Stalin. The so-called “Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act” was passed by a Republican legislature. One of it’s prime sponsors, representative Mike Coffman (Republican-Aurora), was also the owner of a property management company at the time. Coffman is now a U.S. representative, and his wife was just elected Attorney General four months ago. Home owners who are being victimized can expect no relief from Colorado’s authorities for at least the next four years.

      Once we convince both ends of the political specturm that residential housing by “private contract” is a poor substitute for local government charter under Constitutional standards, we should start to see positive change.

      Both ends?! Right now, I’d be happy to convince just one end of the political spectrum that the privatization of local government is a failed business model, financial disaster, and threat to the property rights and civil liberties of 65 million Americans. I don’t care which end of the political spectrum it is.

      The worse-than-useless Democrats will occassionally offer meaningless reforms to keep the peasants placated; reforms that don’t actually change anything, because they don’t address the fundamental problems of H.O.A. corporations. If the Democrats were smart — pause for laughter — they’d constantly use the H.O.A. issue as an example of Republican ideas in action. From a purely partisan perspective it would be smart politics.

      Republicans will reflexively oppose any legislative protections for home owners, due to their “no government interference with private corporations” philosophy — unless the proposed regulations benefit private corporations at the expense of consumers. Even when offered a policy proposal that would allow the G.O.P. to save face and trump the worse-than-useless Democrats, Republicans will go through a lot of contorted mental gymnastics to rationalize involuntary membership in an H.O.A. corporation as a wonderful manifestation of a free market. The conservative and libertarian position on H.O.A. corporations can be summed up as “Home owners who are being abused deserve to be abused, because they agreed to it”.

      For example, Daniel Marzano, one of the lawyers involved in seizing Florida condos, is quoted as saying that “If people are too lazy to read the fine print, that’s their problem” (Al Jazeera. “Floridians Forced To Sell Their Homes At Huge Losses”. February 06, 2015) *. Marzano’s party affiliation? Republican. That utter contempt for consumers — the belief that home owners are stupid and deserve whatever is being done to them by H.O.A. corporations — is consistent with the philosophy of the Republican Party, the Libertarian Party, and the Ayn Randians. And don’t forget attorney Robert Tankel’s comments about his H.O.A. foreclosure business from 2011: “It’s called capitalism. It’s the free market” (Tampa Bay Times. “Real Estate Investors Beat The Banks To Profit On Foreclosures” June 25, 2011). Although a Democrat, Tankel could be a protaganist in an Ayn Rand novel.

      * see Evan McKenzie’s blog post at http://privatopia.blogspot.com/2015/02/condo-owners-forced-to-sell-for-peanuts.html (February 07, 2015) :

      Republicans and libertarians delight in complaining about eminent domain. They think it some sort of tyranny when local governments force people to sell their property at current market value so the land can be cleared for some public use. But the same people just love HOAs and condo associations, which they think are bastions of freedom because people supposedly consented to the loss of their liberties. I’ve never found that argument convincing, but how about this, libertarians and Republicans? Here’s the private equivalent of eminent domain, without the due process clause. This sort of thing has been happening all over the country,

      Reply
  3. Deborah Goonan

    Robert, I can’t really disagree with you, espcially when you acknowledge that Democrats are just as guilty by virtue of enabling the HOA Industrial Complex as the Republicans and Libertarians.

    I’ve been following the “eminent domain for condos” debacle for some time now. There are several pending legislative proposals in FL right now–I will be blogging about that here at NAW.

    What is frustrating is that no one wants to address the fundamental flaws inherent in privatization of residential housing. I have not only read Marzano’s and Tankel’s comments, I have debated with Tankel and other so-called professionals (all of them CAI cheerleaders) on various discussion forums. There is a great deal of contempt for homeonwers and even greater disregard for tenants living in HOAs. Never mind the fact that the majority of HOAs would be bankrupt were it not for tenants renting the condos owned by absentee landlords and owners that moved out but could not afford to sell! I would say the majority of these less-than-charming managers and attorneys are Republicans with some Libertarians among them, based upon their comments.

    I was often left with the impression that the CAMs were more interested in making their jobs easier and collecting fees than effective management. These folks actually believe that if CC&Rs were required to be subject to Constitutional constraints, there would be anarchy.

    They actually believe that an individual’s rights should be defined in proportion to the amount of property they own — ie their relative wealth. One CAM referred to the notion of allocating votes in HOAs as One Vote per Resident vs. One Vote per Unit of Property Owned as a “grand agenda.”

    Take this comment for instance, that was made by this CAM from FL, very active in CAI FL chapters, in response to my comment that our government was founded as a Constitutional Republic, not a private corporate entity.

    “… [US Government in its early days] to which you refer only allowed property owners to vote. it wasn’t until the early years of the 20th Century that the “grand agenda” was modified to its more recent forms of allowing all citizens a vote. And, perhaps you should look at some of the documentation regarding the fall of all the great empires of the world…. Basically, they start by having only the land owners or producers as voters and decision makers and they work fine – and then someone comes along and ’empowers’ the non-producers and the non-property owners and deterioration begins and spirals out of control because non-producers and non-property owners almost invariably vote to ‘reallocate wealth’ to themselves and away from the ones who actually produce until finally there are so many non-producers taking from the producers and property owners that the economy and ’empire’ collapse.

    There is rampant speculation among historians that the US has already slipped down that spiral path too far to be retrieved and that the demise of our culture and government can now be measured in decades because we have not learned from the past and those other great nations of history.”

    I was FLABBERGASTED after I read that manifesto. Yes, this luminary is a Republican and a supporter of our currenty Republican Governoer.

    After I was able to get over the initial shock of such blatant arrogance, I thanked this CAM for clearly revealing the true motives behind the HOA Industry.

    The Elite property owners and managers feel Entitled to Control their Empire!

    Reply
    1. robert

      They actually believe that an individual’s rights should be defined in proportion to the amount of property they own — ie their relative wealth. One CAM referred to the notion of allocating votes in HOAs as One Vote per Resident vs. One Vote per Unit of Property Owned as a “grand agenda.”

      That’s a very common belief that permeates through conservative and libertarian thought. If you watch the video “Private Community Associations: Boon or Bane for Local Governance?” (June 30, 2011) at http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/15712398 , Robert Nelson touts that as a positive feature of privatized government. And Nelson is often cited by the libertarian supporters of H.O.A. corporations.

      Instead of “one man, one vote”, they believe in “one dollar, one vote”. It’s an example of what Evan McKenzie called “repressive libertarianism”:

      where certain people who call themselves libertarians invariably side with property owners who want to limit other people’s liberties through the use of contract law. Property rights (usually held by somebody with a whole lot of economic clout) trump every other liberty. The libertarian defense of HOAs is the perfect example. The developer writes covenants and leaves. Everybody who lives there has to obey them forever, even if they lose due process of law and expressive liberties.

      As private corporations take over more functions of government, this position could lead to gradual elimination of constitutional liberties.

      (August 25, 2008)

      As for the “history lesson” from the H.O.A. manager, note how he divides the population into “producers” and “non-producers”. That is straight out of Ayn Rand’s philosophy.

      Basically, they start by having only the land owners or producers as voters and decision makers and they work fine – and then someone comes along and ‘empowers’ the non-producers and the non-property owners and deterioration begins and spirals out of control because non-producers and non-property owners almost invariably vote to ‘reallocate wealth’ to themselves and away from the ones who actually produce until finally there are so many non-producers taking from the producers and property owners that the economy and ‘empire’ collapse.

      The above passage is a perfect description of the H.O.A. regime. The H.O.A. managers and attorneys are the non-producers and looters and parasites, feeding off of the home owners by generating usurious fees and fines to reallocate the wealth of the home owners to themselves. Yet these industry professionals expect to be (and are) treated and respected as the “producers” by the courts and legislatures — along with the libertarians and Republicans who have nothing but praise for collectivist H.O.A. corporations and contempt for tindividual home owners. It is as though an Irony Curtain has descended across America’s neighborhoods, where the wretched political aims of communism are enforced by ruthlessly efficient capitalist means.

      After I was able to get over the initial shock of such blatant arrogance, I thanked this CAM for clearly revealing the true motives behind the HOA Industry.

      The Elite property owners and managers feel Entitled to Control their Empire!

      What these people want is a return to feudalsim, where they rule their own fiefdoms — and feefdoms — without any oversight, while the peasants are allowed to be “homeowners in name only” (HINO) and remain on the land only at the whim of their lords.

      Reply
  4. Deborah Goonan

    Having said all that, I think it is entirely possible for social and political views to evolve over time. It seems to me that IJ interests have a great deal of overlap with NAW readers’ interests in preserving rights and freedoms for HOA residents in America.

    After all, HOA private governments have written the book on overreach and abuse of power.

    Reply
  5. robert

    IJ interests have a great deal of overlap with NAW readers’ interests in preserving rights and freedoms for HOA residents in America…HOA private governments have written the book on overreach and abuse of power.

    No, becasue H.O.A. private governments represent an abuse of corporate power, and the Institute for Justice will never act against corporations abusing power over consumers. Conservatives and libertarians really believe that it is impossible for corporations to have too much power in a free market. When George Staropoli asked IJ to intervene on behalf of home owners in 2002, their response was

    You are of course correct that members of homeowner associations have fewer rights than others – but only because they exercised essential rights in the first place, namely freedom of contract and voluntary association.

    After 13 years, there is nothing — absolutely nothing! — to indicate that their position has evolved. The belief that groups like this are going to change and support individuals (consumers) against corporations (H.O.A.s) is nothing more than wishful thinking.

    Reply

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