Saturday, April 23, 2005

GTAR & Feathers

Michael Bates has an interesting post that references a CNN/Money story regarding an apparent federal investigation into real estate practices in Tulsa.

The most interesting item in the story, to me at least, is the following:
"An Antitrust Division spokeswoman confirmed the existence of the investigation but declined to provide additional details.

"Al Unser, executive director of the Greater Tulsa Association of Realtors said: 'We received a CID [civil investigative demand] from the Justice Dept. and we have responded.'"
For those of you that haven't been following the efforts of the misnamed Coalition for Responsible Government to recall Councilor Jim Mautino and myself, then the name Al Unser won't mean anything to you.

No, it is not the Al Unser that won several Indy 500 races. This Al Unser, aside from running the local real estate association, is one of the few names that we know is directly backing the recall effort. In fact, Mr. Unser circulated several of the petitions and signed the affidavit on the back attesting to having witnessed the signing of each and every signature on said petitions.

It should come as a shock to no one, that I am not surprised the local real estate industry is being investigated for bullying tactics. After all, we've contended all along that the recall is as much an attempt to intimidate future councilors who might want to question the "Good Ol' Boy Network's" activities. Now we're learning that the Feds suspect these same ol' boys (& girls) might not only be bullying elected officials, but some of their own members, too.

I have many friends that are realtors, and members of GTAR. Heck...even my wife is a dues paying member. My grandfather held a real estate license and I have often thought about acquiring one. There is nothing wrong with the profession as a whole.

However, it is apparent to me that the local real estate industry is burdened with some over aggressive and arrogant leadership. I would hope this investigation would serve as a wake up call for what I am sure is the vast majority of the GTAR members, to clean up their house. (I'll spare you the pun that I first thought of writing with regard to realtors and"cleaning house.")

If I may be so bold to suggest a starting point, the membership need look no further than Al Unser himself. If you're a GTAR member and you're unhappy with your professional organization's involvement in the recall effort, then this latest development should tell you that you are very likely in need of a new executive director.

There is nothing wrong with GTAR that firing Al Unser wouldn't vastly improve.

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