Dear Arizona Speaker Pro Tem Montenegro,
Rep. Montenegro, you seem to have adopted the same approach as the special interest CAI lobbyists who are against constitutional protections for the people. I cannot understand your continued support for this bill, and making false statements about all the stakeholders, holding an “ex parte” meeting with the only the special interests attending and no advocates, and alleging agreement by all “stakeholders” to the trivial amendment to a horrendous bill — the Home Builders Assn., CAI, and its its property managers spring-off, AACM. America is a country of the people, by the people, for the people, not for the special interest business groups.
Emails in opposition to the bill were sent to you from a few homeowners prior to your ex parte meeting, any one or all of whom you could have invited to the meeting, if you were indeed a neutral party as you alleged in your false statement to COW. (Ariz. COW # 2 session of Feb. 23, 2011, HB 2441. For an anlaysis of this bill, see Analysis of AZ HB 2441, the HOA minority control bill).
You erroneously assert by your actions, following CAI’s propaganda, that vendor groups are equal in private property rights with the homeowner. No, I’m sorry, you obviously believe that these so-called “stakeholder” vendors hold more rights than the homeowner, since you neglected to include any outspoken and known opposition homeowners in your alleged “stakeholder” meeting. This is disgraceful conduct for one who holds the position of Speaker Pro Tempore. This is the attitude expected from a fascist government where the business of government is in supporting businesses, and the people’s rights are secondary.
How do you justify this bill as good public policy? You bring disgrace and dishonor on all those good and honorable Arizona legislators. I find your position quite surprising and disturbing, and I have difficulty in reconciling it with your deep religious beliefs and involvement with the National and Arizona Messengers of Peace (not related to the UN Messengers of Peace). “The desire of his heart is to be a vessel of honor in God’s hands.”
Your floor amendment is dishonorable and still allows the declarant or a minority of members to control the board and therefore the HOA, as anyone who has really looked into the real-life conditions of HOA living would easily discover. You’ve added additional “wiggle room” wording that still permits the CAI lawyers to run to the courts and soak up those fees. Why were you afraid to include homeowner advocates at your meeting? Was it because we don’t count?
Interestingly, Rep Burges, Chair of the GOV Committee, responded to my email on HB 2441 by noting that I had not appeared before the GOV committee to speak. I answered her with,
Generally, after 10 years before the Legislature, I’ve found such in-depth exchanges do not occur at any committee hearing. I do not understand why any legislator or committee chair does not pick up the phone and say, “Come on down and explain your email to us.” Yet, paid lobbyists walk the halls and legislators seem always to have time for them.
Your disingenuous statement is living proof of my statement to Rep. Burges.
Anticipating such a continued bias toward HOAs by a good number of legislators, I had included the following plea to the Justices in my Feb. 1, 2011 amicus brief to the AZ Supreme Court in Gelb, “It is quite evident that an Arizona homeowner living within an HOA governed subdivision cannot look to the Attorney General, the Legislature, DFBLS, or ADRE for due process protections and the equal application of the laws.” (See Advocate submits amicus brief in AZ supreme court appeal of HOA due process).
You have not served your Party or the people of Arizona well with your misguided belief that better landscaping makes a better Arizona. I will be requesting that you be removed as Speaker Pro Tempore for your unethical conduct on behalf of the special interests, and against the good people of Arizona.
George K. Staropoli, Pres.
Citizens for Constitutional Local Government