Do It Yourself

Recently, Wisconsin Realtors Association got together and endorsed Scott Walker in the recall election, over the objections of many of their members and without even knowing who he will be running against. While they are long backers of republican candidates, having contributed $150,000 to Walkers first election, the actual realtors/members throughout the state are not very happy!

“It’s very short-sighted for an industry trade association leadership that has 100 percent of Wisconsinites as its consumer base to act in such a clearly partisan political way,” says Troy Thiel, a Realtor with Keller Williams Capital Square in Madison.

Thiel is a founding member of Real Estate Professionals for a Better Wisconsin (REPROS), a group formed last year after Walker began implementing some of his policies, including increased health and retirement contributions for government employees that had the effect of reducing their take-home pay, often by hundreds of dollars a month.

REPROS now counts more than 130 members from Rice Lake to Milwaukee, although that’s just a sliver of the 13,000 WRA members statewide.

Paul Kurensky of Northshore Homes in Milwaukee says he’s long been against the WRA making political endorsements. But he’s particularly bothered by what he calls the “knee-jerk” endorsement of Republican gubernatorial candidates in the past, including Mark Green and Scott McCallum.

“Real estate agents aren’t a homogenous group any more than homebuyers,” he says. “By making these endorsements they just end up pissing people off.”

That is what is great about the free market system. If you think a 6% commission on selling your house, and resulting money being spent on the Walker re-election campaign you can always Do it Yourself!


Related Articles

14 thoughts on “Do It Yourself

  1. Don’t know about this statewide association but aren’t a few commercial realtors mixed up in the Walkergate hubbub? Is this just a self protective move, as the thin red line has begun unravelling?

  2. I know Troy (great realtor and human being!) and I can understand why he was upset that his non-partisan group was so…partisan. Good for him for speaking out.

    Thanks for writing about this, Jeff.

  3. A few more facts as an fyi;

    The Board did not just vote 35-2 to endorse walker..but also too kleefisch and all 4 senators facing recall..without even know who the opponents are and what they stand for.

    The WRA has been using a front group called the Wisconsin Homeowners Alliance to funnel millions of dollars to republican partisan pacs and “lobbying” line items, not to mention staff time, and they will not release records.

    The WRA Board is comprised of 95%plus owners yet over 97% of the membership are non owners.

    The 37 member board has 34 registered republicans, registered republicans are less that 30%…

    The Board is self nominating, self selected and has no transparency in meeting promotions, agendas (lil ol governor endorsement was not on the agenda..) etc….Groupthink, closed system, Ralph Reed in action? You betcha

    Several of the WRA staff are currently paid by Republican groups as lobbyists…and the Director was until just a few months ago. They are ALL former republican lobbyists.

    And oh yeah, it gets worse, lots worse…the National Association has hired Bill Malkesian, WRA Director for 30 plus years, to set up similar at the NATIONAL Level..and go around the States and set them up with front groups…..tens of millions a year in political funds, without the membership’s ability to elect to say no…..and under the guise of “non partisan” trade association.

    This story is bigger than you know…

  4. another fact; when asked to donate electively to the RPAC that the Board can spend..4 out of 5 Wisconsin Realtors say no.

    plus your FSBO ad included in the story is a weeeeebit self serving…and extremely misleading.

  5. Troy thank you for commenting and shedding more light in the subject. I appreciate it. However i have to disagree about it being selfserving. I have no real estate interest whatsoever. I just wanted to point out that therre are options for those who dont support such policies.

  6. Although I appreciate the effort to bring these issues to light, I agree with Troy that the article is self-serving. Consumers most certainly do have a choice: they can hire a REPRO Realtor! There are plenty of Realtors who are disgusted with the WRA and no shortage of us who support public workers.

    1. Met with new Buyer yesterday. Asked me about the WRA endorsement. Told me that it was very important to her that she work with a realtor, who opposes this endorsement and who supports the recall of the governor. I was blown away, because I did not raise this issue. She did.

  7. Hey guys thanks for commenting. I just wanted to clear one thing up. I did not like the way the article ended. With the realtor saying no one cares because he was listing a house where someone was driving a car with a “recall walker” bumper sticker. I wanted to show that for people who are frustrated with this that there are options and they can list through for sale by owner. I added that in there.

    It is not “self serving” as I have sold two houses in my life, both through realtors and currently have no house for sale. I will not make a penny either way. My goal is to get rid of Scott Walker, and it appeared to me that the realtors goal was in direct opposition to my goal. Thank you for shedding light on the subject and showing me that not all realtors are walker supporters no matter what. Frankly most of the realtors that I know are pretty strong republicans so this was a breath of fresh air to me.

  8. Jeff, thanks much for your growing awareness and understanding. It points too THE heart of the issue…that all organizations and their membership are not the Borg, a unanimous mind with same purpose…and in today’s politically crazy environment you, an intelligent interested and forward thinking person, are even taken in by the labeling and use it to make your perceptions of our entire industry…it is simply wrong. Simply not the case and that is why we have to make this issue heard. And as I pointed out, there is no transparency by the elite group that manages this…yet they are the “voice” for us. …and so they are the loud, extremely well funded (with our dollars AGAINST our wheel) squaky wheel that makes us all look very very very bad…when reputation and perception is important to our legitimacy and livelyhood. C Wright Mills, Ralph Reed, you name it…small well funded, well entrenched group speaking for their interest, but clearly NOT the interest of the membership, using the front of an entire trade association to do it…know they have taken it national AND….know that it isn’t just my industry…’s this all working out for us? our political “civility” and logic in priority in policy purpose and effectiveness for our nation? our state? Not very well….divide and conquor works….we have to stop letting people seeking to do that by calling it for what it is.

    Thanks again for understanding…..look forward to meeting you!

    1. The question is how do we all work together to change the system? Its hard in real estate as a consumer because ( im guessing and i am sure you know the stats) but i would say the average person buys/sells a house every what 5-7 years? It is hard to have a voice in the market place when you use it that infrequently.

      Yet Ralph Reed should not have his dirty, unethical , little hands in anything to do with WI.!

  9. What benefits are there for a realtor to belong to a professional organization. Are there only two? WRA or REPRO (unfortunate accronym)? Is there a reason for the organization’s existence beyond “old boys club” or lobbying for laws with a louder voice?

    Does a Homeowner preparing to sell have a way of knowing if a realtor belongs to an organization?

  10. I frequently tell people that I am a broker/owner and Realtor who opposes the WRA endorsement and that I support public workers. I have only had one person disagree with me…and they hired me anyway!

Comments are closed.