Thursday, November 09, 2006

Southern California wins in Santa Clara County!!! (But let's not get cocky.)

Dudes! Dudes! Dudes! What a righteous victory for Southern California Realtors against the Santa Clara County environment. Sure, it's a one-percent margin of victory, but we certainly weren't going to buy us a landslide up there.

Please folks, credit where due - it was OUR money that decided this. Socal realtors brought in $300,000, and the National Realtors sent $200,000 from Chicago. If it had been Bay Area realtors versus Bay Area enviros, Measure A would have been a landslide Yes vote. Props to us!

When talking money, we need to stop for a minute though, and think about the sacrifice this entailed. It was a half-million dollars spent on defense - had it not been for Measure A, we could have spent that money weakening environmental rules elsewhere. Instead we had to spend that money just treading water, and keeping environmental rules from getting better.

And there's that County Viewshed Protection Ordinance, the one we told people we were so supportive of. Last year our friends up there were trying to kill the thing - we had to pretend that we're into "collaboration." So another sacrifice - the viewshed protection could've been weaker or non-existent if it hadn't been for the meddling Measure A folks.

But enought of that! We won! We, the Southern California Realtors, won! And we remember why! As we just said, it was our money, but that's not all - we said Proposition 90 would pass and bankrupt the County if Measure A passed. Of course it wasn't going to pass and Measure A was designed to drop provisions that Prop. 90 would require payments for, but who cares, we won!

And then all the reasons we've trumpeted here on our blog got us our victory:

Putting No on A signs on client's property without their permission, driving away potential customers to advance our politics.

Sending out political mailers that imply Democratic leaders oppose Measure A and state that environmental leaders also oppose it.

Getting Supervisor Pete McHugh to say that cell phone networks would be prohibited when they aren't, and spreading his quote everywhere.

Saying Measure A set minimum parcel sizes of 160 acres everywhere when it doesn't.

Obscuring the financial link Norm Matteoni's firm appears to have to our side, referring to him as "former County Counsel" instead.

Saying Measure A would reduce affordable housing when it doesn't.

And much much more we didn't have time to get into in this blog. All the above is why we won. It is what we are proud of, what we represent.

The key to all this is business. These are the values we bring to business, and we find them equally useful in politics. So remember when dealing with us, you can trust us! Right?

Party on, dudes!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Remember what we're fighting for!

Dudes! It's really simple - if you want to Southern Californiafy Santa Clara County (like we SoCal Realtors bankrolling the No Campaign want), then Vote No on Measure A!

If for some reason you don't like sprawl, well we guess you can vote for the other side. Yeesh.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Hey you Realtors up north - keep going ahead with putting signs on your clients' property without permission!

Dudes! As in, Realtor Dudes! As you all must know, Realtors and real estate agents have placed "No on Measure A" signs on property they're supposedly trying to sell for their clients. And who needs to ask clients for their permission - "fiduciary duty"? Who takes that seriously?

Okay, so someone might point to this annoying statement:

Why is posting political signs on their client's property not allowed without permission? Two reasons:

1. As agents of the landowners, Realtors and real estate agents have a fiduciary duty to help their clients, and not do anything that could harm the clients. Using the client’s property to advance the agent’s or Realtors Association’s political interest on an important political issue could turn away potential buyers. Imagine someone who strongly supports Measure A is doing initial searches for property, and the person is undecided about following up a cursory interest in a property with a phone call. From that buyer’s perspective, the landowner seems to be putting her worst foot forward by including an odious political message within her invitation to contact her. This buyer would pass up the property when there are plenty of others to choose from.

2. While not all real estate agents are Realtors, the Realtors are the main problem, and their own code of ethics places limits on what signs can be placed on owners’ property. In the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors Code of Ethics, Standard 16-19 states:

Signs giving notice of property for sale, rent, lease, or exchange shall not be placed on property without consent of the seller/landlord.

Standard 16-19 indicates that if Realtors can’t place signs on a property that benefit the owner without the owners’ permission, they certainly need permission for political signs that have no benefit.

And someone might say this to you Northern Cal realtors:

“Please keep in mind that putting up a ‘No on Measure A” sign on property you’re representing without the landowner’s permission could cause serious problems for you. Imagine a landowner or another agent in a dispute with you about your effort to sell the property. You would not want to add to that a dispute a claim they may have that posting an unpopular political message for the benefit of the Association’s of Realtors’ political interests, without their permission, was a negligent act that drives away customers. You should not post political signs without the owner’s permission, and if you’ve already put up signs, you should take them down until you get their permission.”

Don't believe it! It's not a problem - no one could complain about using other people's property for our own benefit when you're contractually and ethically obligated to use if for their benefit. We just don't see a problem.

And if for some crazy reason there is, well we SoCal Realtors can just come on up and take up the slack caused by Realtors who've had to leave the business. It all works out.

Party on, and Southern Californiafy Santa Clara County! Vote No on Measure A!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Hey - can you help us find endorsers who don't make money off of sprawl?

Dudes! It's down to the wire for the Measure A campaign, and we're looking for a little help - can you find us some endorsers who aren't doing it so that they can make money off of sprawl? Getting these neutral endorsers are a problem - we can't figure out why.

We mean, look at the newspaper endorsements for the other side, the Yes on Measure A campaign:

Milpitas Post - Editorial
October 26, 2006

Metro Silicon Valley - Editorial
October 25, 2006

Palo Alto Weekly - Editorial
October 25, 2006

Mountain View Voice - Editorial
October 20, 2006

Los Altos Town Crier - Editorial
October 18, 2006

San Jose Mercury News - Editorial
October 15, 2006

San Jose Mercury News - Another editorial
October 15, 2006

Come on! Why do they all support the Yes campaign?

Now, we've cleverly listed the Morgan Hill Times and Gilroy Dispatch as two separate endorsers for our side, even though they have the same publisher and same editorial policy. But everyone who pays attention to them knows their editors always favored destroying farmland.

So we need neutral endorsers! Our "supporters" list includes some Chambers of Commerce, but their legislative committees are stacked with Realtors (yeah - good advance planning!). So we'll claim they're neutral, but people will see through that. Then we've got a few politicians who've tied themselves to developers. Still not neutral. And just about everyone else on our list can make money by converting farmland to sprawl.

So if you can think of prominent people who would support the No on Measure A campaign for reasons other than their self interest, please let us know! We'd love to list them!

Just tell them the BEST POSSIBLE reason for voting no - that it will help us Southern California Realtors succeed in Southern Californiafying your county - it'll be great!

Monday, October 30, 2006

You've GOT to check out our Halloween disguise!

Dudes! We put together a great flyer that we mailed out in the spirit of Halloween - it's a disguise! It says it's a "Voter Information Guide for Independent Voters" and that it contains evaluations and recommendations by "Environmental Leaders." It reads mostly like a liberal Democratic Party list of references, endorsing Democrats running for state offices and taking a liberal line on most state issues.

THEN, on Measure A it says "NO on Measure A - Poorly written behind closed doors. Threatens future of family farming. Encourages premature annexation and sprawl. Wipes out tough view shed (sic) protection ordinance. Don't risk our county's future."

Isn't Halloween great? Things that normally would be all lies are now just a disguise! An environmental voter who didn't know anything more about Measure A would be sure it's a bad thing from reading this. Even better, it doesn't even mention what Measure A does - lock in current protections, reduce the amount of new development, and add protections to natural resources. All the description does is make up stuff about Measure A's effects, something we've found to be much more effective than actual information.

So Happy Halloween, all you folks up north! We're working to help you Southern Californiafy - just vote NO on Measure A!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Look what we got Pete McHugh to say!

Dudes! Look at this great quote we got out of Supervisor Pete McHugh's mouth! He said Measure A "could block construction of the county's proposed wireless communications network." Isn't that excellent? We've sent his quote everywhere, for all the voters to think about!

What's so great about it is that he's willing to go so far to help us out. After all, Section 10 of Measure A specifically lists wireless facilities as an allowed use if the County Supervisors find its construction is "required". Pete's quote is what true friends are willing to do for you.

Help Pete as he helps us Southern Californiafy Santa Clara County! Vote No on Measure A!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

160 acres! 160 acres! 160 acres! (We just need to keep repeating it, right?)

Dudes! When Shanna Boigon from the Association of Realtors tells voters in public presentations that Measure A sets a minimum parcel size of 160 acres, that's spot-on accurate. Of course, it's actually 40 acres for two of the three areas affected by Measure A (designated Hillsides and Large-Scale Agriculture), but 40 and 160 are practically the same. And of course, 160 acres was already the minimum parcel size in the third area, Ranchlands, if subdivisions weren't clustered - all that Measure A did was get rid of clustering that allowed small parcels.

But if we just keep saying it, that's all that counts, right? 160 acres! 160 acres!

And remember it's for the higher cause - to Southern Californiafy Santa Clara County! It's worth it!