CAI, CALL, CAN –
ALL CLAIM TO LOBBY FOR ASSOCIATIONS -- REALLY?
Opinion By Jan Bergemann
Published July 3, 2012
my opinion Travis Moore and Peter Dunbar (representing the Florida BAR) are
most likely the most dangerous enemies of associations and homeowners in
have known Travis Moore for ten years – and we have never been on the same
side in regard to community association bills.
explanation is easy: Travis Moore is the lobbyist for the CAI and Becker
& Poliakoff – entities with interests that clearly oppose the welfare
of associations and their paying members – the owners. Those entities are
in it for the money – while we owners want a nice peaceful home in a
make one thing very clear: The CAI (Community Associations Institute) is the
trade organization for community association service providers. Its
membership is the “industry” – attorneys, managers, developers,
insurance brokers and bankers – all the folks that are after your money.
Latest example: The CAI in North Carolina, supported by homeowner
coalitions, just killed a very owner-friendly bill!
is exactly the opposition we faced when we tried to create an enforcement
agency for HOAs and many other owner-friendly proposals that were part
of the bill created in 2004 by the HOA Task Force and the House Select
Committee. [See: http://www.ccfj.net/CondobillBRComm.html]
have changed, but the attitude of the “players” hasn’t. Don’t
forget, CALL was created as a response to the deteriorating reputation of
the CAI among board members and homeowners. CAN was created when Donna
Berger left B&P and joined what is now KGB (Katzman Garfinkel Berger).
No matter what names they choose, the idea behind it is still the same:
Create bills that increase the service providers’ profits to the detriment
of homeowners and condo owners. It’s easier to fleece unprotected
homeowners, if there is no enforcement agency to ensure that the statutes
who believes that these organizations are lobbying in favor of
associations/owners may as well believe in fairy tales.
These “lobbying” entities woo association boards because they need their “numbers” and political power. They can’t impress legislators when they claim: “We represent the few attorneys of our firm.” No, they need the impressive numbers of associations and the owners living in these associations. Donna Berger’s crew ran around this year trying to impress legislators with the claim: “We are a non-profit organization that represents over 60,000 homeowner and condominium associations throughout the state. We actually represent the associations and their interests.”
According to OPPAGA, the entire State of Florida doesn’t even have
homeowners’ organizations and board members supported the CAN bill filed
by Rep. Moraitis – a bill that initially included reasonably good
provisions. CCFJ was willing to support that bill with some slight
changes -- until deals were made behind closed doors among the
“players,” the lobbyists and some legislators that turned H319 from a
“friendly” bill into a bill that was detrimental to the welfare of
owners. Many owners’
coalitions still supported this bill, because they were never made aware of
these changes. In cooperation with many other interest groups, CCFJ was
finally able to defeat the bill that had turned into an anti-owner bill with
the help of lobbyists like Travis Moore, who agreed to deals behind closed
excuses used by organizations like CAN and CALL in support of the
strengthening of the Bankers’ Bail-Out provisions were more than
ridiculous. Strengthening the protection of mortgage lenders against
liabilities for unpaid dues is for the interest of associations/owners? Give
me a break! [See: http://www.ccfj.net/CCFJEXCHOGWASH.htm]
associations and their board members support these special interest lobbying
groups, as for example Travis Moore urges them to do with the help of town
hall meetings using false promises, these associations and board members
will in the end lobby against their own interests. As
soon as lobbying groups have the consent of these associations, they will
use their numbers and political powers to lobby for their own interest –
not for the interest of associations. Groups supporting these law firms have
no influence later on. Their lobbyists will not inform them – or ask for
their consent to amendments, once they can claim that they represent all
and board members should start lobbying for themselves, for the interests of
the homeowners they are representing. They have enough political power to
lobby for themselves.
boards BEWARE: Don’t ride on the coattails of organizations that use your
political power to push legislation that increases their income at the
expense of the owners of property in community associations.
works as well with law firms, management companies and other service
providers, but we are in charge of our own lobbyists. They report to us, not
to law firms or trade organizations. We are in charge -- and we hear
immediately about deals made behind closed doors!