Listen to Commentaries on Spotify audio

Announcing selective commentaries are now available as audio podcasts of Spotify – must signup for free account.  You can also listen on other podcasters – see below. Files range from 3 minutes to 15 minutes.

Just click on the Spotify button on the commentary page or add the RSS feed to your email browser under RSS Feeds. On the the commentary page, click on “Podcasts” in the left column or enter Podcasts under Search in the right column.

Here’s the link to use: https://anchor.fm/s/4e14861c/podcast/rss

Other Podcasters are available if you have an account. Go to Anchor website and choose Podcaster. You will probably need an account.

ANCHOR main — HOA Constitutional Government • A podcast on Anchor  — ALL episodes and podcasters. Select under “Where to Listen.”

Spotify is available on your cell or tablet. Download the app and skip all the advertising and promotions nonsense, and click on “search” bottom at the bottom. In the Search box enter HOA constitutional government.

AZ free speech bill HB 2052 on track

The substantive Arizona homeowner reform bill, HB 2052, has been assigned to the Senate GOV committee. No hearing date has yet been assigned.  In short,

“Overview Stipulates that a unit owner’s association or a planned community association (association) may not prohibit a unit owner or member (member) from peacefully assembling and using private or common elements of the community.”

See Arizona HB 2052 restores homeowner constitutional speech protections

Effective presence in support of legislation requires immediate support to the assigned committee to let the members know before the public hearing. It is this private committee time where decisions are made. This advice can be found in Colorado’s Morgan Carroll’ book and discussed in Colorado senator’s guide to effective HOA legislation.   

Many may not remember Ugenti’s conduct in 2013 but I have the hope that justice will prevail for homeowner with 2052.

“The loss of these perceived benefits lies not in this victory, but in the acts of Rep. Ugenti who is responsible for attaching, at the last legislative session, her defeated HB 2371 to SB 1454.  SB 1454 now became a bill with two subjects in violation of the constitution.”

Here are the committee’s email addresses.  AZ Senate GOV committee 2021

Sonny Borrelli  sborrelli@azleg.gov 
Juan Mendez  jmendez@azleg.gov 
J.D. Mesnard  jmensnard@azleg.gov 
Jamescita Peshlakai  jpeshlakai@azleg.gov 
Warren Petersen  wpetersen@azleg.gov 
Martin Quezada   mquezada@azleg.gov 
Kelly Townsend, Vice-Chairman,  ktownsend@azleg.gov 
Michelle Ugenti-Rita, Chairman   mugenti-rita@azleg.gov 

Countrywide political culture cause of HOA reform failures

On this morning’s talk show, political discussion addressed the questions of the  Republican Party policy of applying strong power in order to stay in office, and what is the percent of Trump supporters who are hard core followers – cultists.  Will these dogmatic people remain loyal to Trump and to the Republican Party after the events at the Impeachment Trial?

Materials describing the growing trend toward authoritarianism[1] in America is well documented and reliable information can be found on the Internet.[2]

There are some people [authoritarian followers] for whom the system of checks and balances are bothersome and annoying, and dislike the noise and chaos of democracy. . . . [Authoritarians] understand their role, which is to defend the leaders, however dishonest their statement, however great their corruption, and however disastrous their impact on ordinary people and institutions.”[[3]

Talmon hits the nail on the head when he writes that “Citizens of a totalitarian democratic state, even when aware of their true powerlessness, may support their government.”[4] 

 In “Part 1, The Cultural Dynamics of HOA-Land” of my HOA-Land Nation,[5] I present my analysis of  the forces at work dominating the politics within the HOA private government. 

Basically, the HOA legal structure and scheme is authoritarian in nature: strong central power, limited political freedoms, no accountability, and under the rule of man, not law. The authoritarian nature of HOA-Land is masked by a thorough indoctrination that presents a false picture of the real estate subdivision as democratic, inappropriately named a community, simply because the members are allowed to vote, as meaningless as it is.

Getting back to HOA-Land, it becomes disturbing that the application of authoritarianism and totalitarian democracy philosophy seems to fit quite well. Too well at that! [6]

HOA Consultant

* * * *

The same dynamics at work in HOA-Land[7] are well evident in Impeachment Trial II of Donald J. Trump[8] and reveal the new political forces at work in all of America. The trial brief stated, among other things,

The only honorable path at that point was for President Trump to accept the results and concede his electoral defeat. Instead, he summoned a mob to Washington, exhorted them into a frenzy, and aimed them like a loaded cannon down Pennsylvania Avenue. (p. 75).

By the day of the rally, President Trump had spent months using his bully pulpit to insist that the Joint Session of Congress was the final act of a vast plot to destroy America. As a result— and as had been widely reported—the crowd was armed, angry, and dangerous.  (p.2).

President Trump has demonstrated beyond doubt that he will resort to any method to maintain or reassert his grip on power. A President who violently attacks the democratic process has no right to participate in it. Only after President Trump is held to account for his actions can the Nation move forward with unity of purpose and commitment to the Constitution. (p. 5).

* * * *

Today’s politicos are talking about a third party with Trump as its leader, mainly from Republicans.  A Gallup survey[9] shows that there is no majority party in the US, counting Independents as a party: Republicans and Democrats are about 25% each and Independents now 50%.  (In Nov.  2016 it was 27% Republicans, 30% Democrats and, 40% Independents). 

It will be an interesting new US political scenery; what will happen who knows.

How many Republicans, government officials,  and the general public supporters of Trump remain loyal after the events of the Day of Infamy, January 6, 2021?  With Trump out of office, but able to run again, how much power will this authoritarian leader retain?  It seems the Congress, the WH, and Americans in general need to examine their moral positions and ask themselves, Did I do right? Did I do the honorable thing for America?

Notes


[1] Authoritarianism: favoring complete obedience or subjection to authority as opposed to individual freedom..

[2] See in general: Anne Applebaum, Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism, Doubleday (2020); Amanda Taub, “The rise of American authoritarianism,” Vox (March 1, 2016); Bob Altemeyer, The Authoritarians, 2007.

[3] Id., Applebaum.

[4] J. L. Talmon, The Origins of Totalitarian Democracy, Penguin Books (1986, first published 1952).

[5] George K. Staropoli,  The HOA-Land Nation Within America, StarMan Press, 2019.

[6] George K. Staropoli,  HOA political dynamics: totalitarian democracy (2019).

[7] HOA-Land is a collection of fragmented independent principalities within America, known in general as “HOAs,” that are separate local private governments not subject to the constitution, and that collectively constitute a nation within the United States.  Latest estimate at this writing is that some 23% of Americans live in HOA-Land.

[8] Articles of Impeachment, H. RES. 24, (2021). See House_trial_brief;  Trump answer; House answer response.

[9] Party Affiliation, Gallup (Feb. 15, 2021.

Lessons from Impeachment trial for HOA-Land

If you wondered why I have posted about the dysfunctional Washington and President, here are some lessons for HOA-Land.

1.  Words spoken and conduct before and earlier in any event or situation can be held against you, or the BOD, HOA attorney, or manager.

2.  Conduct and words over time can demonstrate a pattern of wrongful behavior by HOA and its advisors.

3.  The national pro-HOA lobbying firm has focused homeowner attention on events as isolated events of no major consequence.  In other words, they directed members to look at the trees and not see the repeated pattern of wrongful behavior — forest thru the trees.

RICO is based on a repeated pattern of wrongful behavior.

Limited purpose public HOA board; slander; AZ HB 2052

This writing is not meant to scare homewners from expressing their political free speech rights regarding HOA governance issues, but to observe certain precautions.

I’m disturbed by the appellate court’s rejection of theappeal in Tarter v. Bendt with respect to limited purpose public figure immunity pertaining to complaints against an HOA. The homeowner’s  complaints consisted of verbal statements, written communications, and a newsletter.

If Arizona’s HB 2052 (to be voted on by the full House), as a start,  were law today I believe your outcome would have been favorable. In part, the bill  

Allows a member or group of members to organize to discuss or address planned community business, including the following: a) Board elections or recalls; b) Potential or actual ballot issues; c) Revisions to the community documents; d) Property maintenance e) Safety issues; or f) Any other community business or actions. (Sec. 1, 2)

(See more, Arizona HB 2052 restores homeowner constitutional speech protections).

My nonlawyer view is that the case was a harsh application of the laws in an instance of an entity that functions for all intents and purposes as a local government;  allowed to operate outside constitutional protections. It is not  an “as usual” slander/libel situation but was treated as such in a memorandum decision.

The crux of the opinion was,

The parties stipulated that Mr. Tarter, as the HOA president, was a limited purpose public figure. Thus, the Tarters were required to prove that Mrs. Bendt’s defamatory statements were “made with ‘actual malice’—that is, with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.”

In spite of the homeowner’s loss, the case can serve as a hard lesson to other homeowners, warning them of the dangers of rambling against their HOA and board of directors,  as the Court saw it. It serves warning that ALL relevant issues be brought before the court at trial as they may not be allowed in an after-the-fact appeal.

The Court summarized the defamatory statements, as charged by the HOA,  consisting of:

The Tarters introduced evidence that Mrs. Bendt called Mr. Tarter “idiot,” “fool,” “spineless,” “disgusting,” “chicken shit,” “lowlife,” “low-class sneak,” “unethical,” “lazy,” “weak,” and “a complete fake” in front of fellow HOA members. . . . . Mrs. Bendt also disparaged Mr. Tarter’s legal education, insulted his alma matter, referred to him as a habitual liar, and unethical. Mrs. Bendt accused Mr. Tarter of violating his attorney ethical obligations, and wrote that he could be disciplined by the Arizona State Bar and investigated by the Attorney General (“AG”).

As the Court saw it, very important issues of compensatory and punitive damages were raised and found in favor of the HOA.  The court allowed large sums, totalling $1,500,000, for nonmonetary damages as harm to reputation and emotionsl stress, and others, so beware! 

Support HB 2052 to be soon voted in  the House COW; date to be set.

Legal Disclaimer

The information contained in this written or electronic communication, and our associated web sites and blog, is provided as a service to the Internet community and does not constitute legal advice or opinion. We perform legal research and case analysis services, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in any report, finding, recommendation or any communication, or linked to this web site and its associated sites.  No document prepared by HALRIS or George K. Staropoli is to be considered a legal document to be filed in a court or in a legal proceeding. Nothing provided by HALRIS or George K. Staropoli should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel.  George K. Staropoli and no person associated with HALRIS, AHLIS, HOA Constitutional Government or Citizens for Constitutional Local Government are attorneys nor are employed by an attorney.