Saturday, June 18, 2016

Is Orange County Register Using WMD to promote the HOA Papers?

Posted By  CotoBlogzz

Coto de Caza, CA – Is the New and improved Orange County Register (OCR) using weapons of mass disinformation (WMD) to promote the HOA Papers?  It certainly looks like it.

The piece titled  Here's a legislative suggestion box to help California's HOAs, published online June 18, 2016, is authored by contributing columnist Kelly Richardson.  Mr. Richardson’s bio at the bottom of the piece states that “Kelly G. Richardson is a Fellow of the College of Community Association Lawyers and senior shareholder of Richardson Harman Ober PC, a law firm known for community association advice.”

What the OCR AND Mr. Richardson fail to mention, is that according to Mr. Richardson’s own website “Mr. Richardson is a leading advocate for the Community Associations Institute (CAI) and is currently serving as National Trustee for a second consecutive term. As an active member, he has served on the Greater Los Angeles Chapter Board for more than six years and was its 2004 Chapter President. He was also the recipient of CAI’s 2004 National “Rising Star” award. He is presently a member of the Board of CAI’s Orange County Chapter.’

Why is this disclosure important you ask?  The HOA Industry, represented by the Community Association Institute, like the Sugar Industry and the Tobacco Industry before it, makes use of self-serving research, such as the one conducted by Zogby Analytics .

As HOA advocate George Staropoli says "It seems that CAI needs to assert that it alone is the entity to turn to for information about HOA-Land, and nobody else. That's the view expressed by CAI in its CAI Manifesto. And anyone not in agreement with CAI's views just doesn't know anything and should be dismissed forthwith.  Might be just one reason why when we questioned the Zogby Methodology, its representative Frank Rathburn responded to with personal attacks, questioning not only my journalistic qualifications but also my qualifications to pass judgment on the Zogby Methodology. 

This is the pattern established by the Tobacco and Sugar Industry:  Discredit industry critics and cast enough doubt, that politicians such as the 2016 Politico HOA Weasel Award recipient Chad Maye will continue to support the status quo.

The unfair HOA boxing match

Let's be honest:  If this was a boxing match, the CAI and Mr. Richardson would be one one corner and homeowners on another one.  Most HOA boards should be neutral, but when money and power is involved, you can bet that they quickly line up with the CAI .

If pressed, I would say that I happen to agree only on two or Mr. Richardson's recommendations:  Abolish cumulative voting and expand conflict on interests.  All of the others recommendations help further promote the CAI's chock-hold on the HOA industry.

I should note that in the past, I have been very disappointed with the OCR as it has usually sided with HOA boards that do not have the best interests of homeowners in mind, including contacting the Freedom Communications board of directors and legal counsel as it was providing cover for wrong-headed  HOA public safety policies that eventually led to the first and second traffic fatality in the community withing a three month period.  In other words, that fact that the OCR is creating an echo chamber of the HOA industry is not that surprising


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