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Realtors (Some Democrats) Want to Revisit McDonnell Endorsement

Anita Kumar

Six female Realtors are asking the Virginia Association of Realtors to reconsider its endorsement of Bob McDonnell following the release of his 20-year-old graduate thesis.

But it's unlikely that the women -- at least some of them -- were ever fans of McDonnell in the first place.

That's because three of them have given to Democratic candidates in the past, according to the Virginia Public Access Project and One of them donated money to Creigh Deeds, and another to his former Democratic rival Brian Moran.

The association represents 33,000 Realtors statewide.

McDonnell's campaign described the letter as a stunt. "I guess to counter this transparent stunt we should put out a letter with six Republicans not supporting Creigh Deeds, or a letter from 10 teachers asking the VEA to rescind their endorsement of Creigh, but frankly but we're not interested in wasting reporters and voters time," said Tucker Martin, a McDonnell spokesman.

John L. Powell, association president, said the endorsement process focuses on issues relating to the real estate industry and is unlikely to be restarted at this late date in the campaign. "This endorsement process is a pretty lengthy one,'' he said. "It involves scrutiny of voting records, policy statements -- we even do a detailed questionnaire that we send out to all candidates in advance."

Powell said he didn't know anything about the association members who asked for the review. But you can read the full letter from the women below:

John L. Powell, President VAR
Long and Foster
601 Southpark Blvd
Colonial Heights, VA 23834

Mr. President and Leadership Team:

As women first and REALTORS® second we respectfully submit to you this letter asking the Virginia Association of REALTORS® to reconsider its recent endorsement of Bob McDonnell for Governor of Virginia.

We understand and respect the process by which our professional association has chosen to represent our wishes in the upcoming election. However, the use of stringent criteria that is solely based upon "real estate" policy is very restrictive and does not do our profession or its participant's justice.

As REALTORS® we do not live in a vacuum. We are part of our community and interact daily with our family, friends, and clients/customers and our organizations' endorsements should reflect not only the specific stances on "real estate" policy but also who we are as REALTORS®.

Given the recent unveiling of the writings and thoughts put forth by Mr. McDonnell in his thesis and his subsequent statements - as published in the major news outlets in Virginia - that women in the workplace are detrimental to the family and that discrimination should be practiced against people who differ from his beliefs, it is therefore our opinion that he is unfit to receive the VAR endorsement for Governor of Virginia.

As REALTORS® we strive everyday to best represent our clients in a professional and ethical manner. To take people for who they are not what sex they are or where they are from. Article Ten of the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the National Association of REALTORS® states:

REALTORS® shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

We promise to uphold this and the other articles as our ethical duty to others and it is that standard that we feel our endorsee should reflect this sentiment.

Again, quoting the NAR Code of Ethics the preamble closes with:

The term REALTOR® has come to connote competency, fairness, and
high integrity resulting from adherence to a lofty ideal of moral
conduct in business relations. No inducement of profit and no
instruction from clients ever can justify departure from this ideal.
In the interpretation of this obligation, REALTORS® can take no safer
guide than that which has been handed down through the centuries,
embodied in the Golden Rule, "Whatsoever ye would that others
should do to you, do ye even so to them."

It is our firm belief that the VAR endorsement does not embody the ideals we adhere to and have consciously chosen to live by in our daily professional life.

We look forward to you as Board Members of the Virginia Association of Realtors giving this request prompt consideration.


Jeanne Bridgforth
Long and Foster Strawberry Street

Yvette Roots
Keller Wiliams - Richmond

Andrea Levine
One South Realty - Richmond

Malinda K Johnston
Johnston & Rhodes - Mount Jackson

Donna Goings
Charlotte Ramsey Realtors - Charlottesville

Annie Snipes
Snipes Preferred Realty - Richmond

By Anita Kumar  |  September 2, 2009; 2:32 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Next: Deeds on McDonnell Thesis: It's Relevant


How can this even be considered newsworthy?

Posted by: VABlogger | September 2, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Kumar, you deserve some credit for doing a bit of research on this.

It highlights an important point. If you were not inclined to back McDonnell in the first place, this ridiculous "story" is a smoking gun... that reinforces your pre-existing Deeds vote.

If, however, you are among the majority of Virginians that back Bob, you'd likely slough this off as irrelevant.

BIG "who cares". Can we discuss some important issues please? Economy, jobs, transportation, education..... ANYONE???

Posted by: SpotsySteve | September 2, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

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