Influence in danger

According to the Washington Post, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, campaign donations from Realtors declined big-time in the 2011 elections. The good news is that we’re still among the top-donating professions (behind lawyers and IT folks, and ahead of doctors, alcohol distributors, auto dealers and bankers). The worry is that it’s the beginning of a trend that could be dangerous.

Because, while other industries are giving more, “The biggest decline came from the information technology field, real estate agents and developers.”

And yes, the candidates know that — they know which industries are giving more and which are giving less. They need to know which of their constituencies are more connected an involved.

At some point we might find ourselves faced with a bill where Realtors’ interests don’t jibe with, say, lawyers’. And legislators are going to see which professionals are more connected and concerned.

It would be good if they saw Realtors at the top of the list. That doesn’t mean they’re going to do our bidding, simply that we keep the clout to be able to say, “Senator, let’s talk about this” and know he’ll say, “Sure thing.”

 

2011 giving by organization type:

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2011 giving by donors’ occupations:

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About Andrew Kantor

Andrew is VAR's editor and information manager, and -- lessee now -- a former reporter for the Roanoke Times, former technology columnist for USA Today, and a former magazine editor for a bunch of places. He hails from New York with stops in Connecticut, New Jersey, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Roanoke.
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