The ripples from the investigative series in the Kansas City Star continue to move across the nation. Editors at many major newspapers are undoubtedly kicking themselves for not diving into the story earlier. Beleaguered homeowners in out-of-control Homeowners Associations who’ve been victimized by the local lawn Nazis are feeling a bit of satisfaction that someone in the newspaper industry is finally looking their way. And some HOA bully boards may be looking behind them to see if investigative reporters are shadowing their activities.
Lord Acton famously said, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said, “Light is the best disinfectant.” The very structure of the modern Homeowners Association creates a system of absolute power. And only by opening up that corrupt and secretive HOA structure to public inspection will homeowners begin to reign in the abuses and financial corruption of a huge number of the nation’s HOA neighborhoods.
The editorial in the Kansas City Star is worth reading, although those of us in-the-know recognize that it doesn’t go far enough. Legislative control? Yes. It’s necessary. But a complete ban of these phony non-profit HOA corporations is the only way to truly restore Constitutional rights to tens of millions of homeowners who inadvertently signed them away.