Making substantive HOA reform legislation happen

A few years ago I produced the Rules of Engagement designed for advocates to combat the undue influence of CAI and other pro-HOA activists who had controlled the legislative playing field for years. Simply put, the Rules call for challenging, confronting, and exposing the issues with the facts based on fundamental principles. The Rules have proven successful, at least in Arizona and with CAI Central where they have been applied.


Once our opponents realize that they no longer control the playing field, as they must pause and defend their positions, they will become less outspoken in the media and be more circumspect in what they say and claim. This leveling of the playing field is a direct result of advocates having demonstrated the validity and strength of their positions. Its a basic necessity that the legislators, the media, and public be educated.


However, CAI and its paid minions still have a strong influence in the legislatures that must be overcome – I call it “walking the halls of the legislature and whispering in the ears of the legislators.” They are paid lobbyists and we are just citizen advocates. California and Florida have strong Evil Empire contingents, with other states having varying degrees of opposition. You know the strength of your opposition.


To overcome the opposition in the legislature, advocates must clearly understand and accept the fact that no legislature in any state is a friend of homeowner rights advocates. History has shown that to be the case, loud and clear. What has occurred is a relatively small number of legislators taking on the cause of the homeowner against the political party leadership opposition to reforms. I say again: the political party leadership is opposed to substantive HOA reform legislation.

In order to make a difference and obtain substantive legislative reforms, homeowners must find a legislative champion with courage, perseverance and political abilities to successfully fight our cause and make reform legislation happen. And these legislative White Knight champions, in order to be successful, must find outspoken support from the people and the media.


Advocates must find a media personality or reporter who can overcome the opposition from its editors and media owners to sally forth and expose the goings on and opposition from legislators. They must make news and force the opposition to defend its positions in public, using the statements and arguments of the advocates.


And, in order to accomplish the above, an advocate champion, preferable with many followers, must speak out with unassailable facts and arguments in the media, on the internet, and wherever he can have his voice heard. The best approach is to base these reform arguments in fundamental principles of democratic government, justice and in basic American values and beliefs. Remember that “maintaining property values,” or “no government interference,” or “HOAs are the voice of the people” are not fundamental values.


(As an important aside, one function of government is to maintain an orderly society by establishing justice where one faction does not dominate a weaker faction. See The Federalist Papers, #51. Who else can do this in the absence of legitimate public government? Vigilantes? Reliance on the goodwill of your HOA board that has no legal obligation to do so?).


Reform legislation can happen! Following the above guidelines will help make it happen, sooner rather than later, or never. Your state and your situation are not any different from all that that has gone before you across the country. As George Santayana wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Published in: on August 16, 2011 at 7:10 am  Comments (4)  
Tags: , , , ,

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. With respect; The halls and office meeting rooms are flooded with lobbyists. Each and everyone knowing from history this dictatorship form of controls over the ignorant home buyer, The developer’s propose and the legislators systematically act. They work to limit the costs of those developed on state budgets. Legislators approved associations full well knowing they will tax every property, but hold no responsibility for following law.

  2. I hope Rep Jack Harper knows that the rights of property owners is a concern for conservatives and liberals. It should be one of the more easily agreed upon issue. As a conservative , I am appalled that the legislature has given the HOA regime legitimacy. It would seem simple to me that private organizations should not have any governmental powers. Under the HOA regime there are no protections – Our government operates so well because of checks and balances between the branches . There are no checks and balances when it comes to HOA activities……. They ask no permission to usurp authority over citizens,,,,,and are assured that there is no punishment for any illegal behavior as it abuses the civil court system with lengthy drawn out defenses when it is challenged!
    It would seem that there are few that care about the abuses perpetrated- as our legislators won’t even stop them from taking ownership and control of our public streets. It would seem to me to be a simple issue …..the public bought and paid for our streets and the government should not allow a group to usurp authority over our roadways for profit. If parking on public streets is to be limited , then the appropriate public procedures should be implemented according to law! If it is illegal to park on a public street it should be illegal for all the citizens not just those who are unfortunate to be living in an HOA…..

  3. George,

    Where you lost influence at the Legislature is when you started attacking Conservatives over the Marriage Amendment to the Constitution. If you and Pat would just stick to the HOA issues, you would not be brushed off. Pat once attacked legislators over protecting the American Flag against burning-to-intimidate.

    Unfortunately, your pro-homosexual marriage stance in 2008 told me that no matter how much I listen to you on HOA issues, you will still be a tool for the Liberals.

    State Representative Jack Harper

    • Rep. Harper,

      You reference to the 2008 Arizona constitutional amendment for gay marriage is misplaced. My publishing of the events at that COW meeting
      “Partisan politics dominate AZ Senate final session: HOA reform bill SB 1162 not heard” (June 30, 2008) and “What Happened at the Arizona Senate” (July 9, 2008) did not have anything to do with that bill, HB 2723, but with the acts of the Arizona Legislators, namely the majority Republican Party.

      I was hoping for a hearing on SB 1162, which was an HOA reform bill to clamp down on HOA attorneys before OAH who were abusing the process. It would have ended ex post facto CC&R amendments, that are still permitted today in stark contrast to constitutional prohibitions on ex post facto laws. Because of events precipitated by your act as Chair of COW, this very important bill was not heard.

      Today, I and others, cannot comprehend the attitude of elected officials who allow the unconstitutional delegation, implicit by refusing to take action, of governmental powers to private organizations, violating, among others, AZ Const. Art. 2, § 9, “To protect and maintain individual rights,” and § 13, “Equal privileges and immunities.”

      This year, I could not, and still cannot, fathom Speaker Pro Tem Montenegro’s staunch and pervasive support of the atrocious HB 2441 bill, CAI sponsored, that made a mockery of democratic governance. I thanked the legislators for their overwhelming “last chance” vote not to pass this bill. The bill should not have even been allowed out of committee!

      Where are the champions, the many champions, to protect individual rights and freedoms?


      George K. Staropoli

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s