THE WEEKLY HERALD   EVERETT, WASHINGTON
Published: Friday, October 28, 2011

Bernheim decries Realtors’ independent spending in Edmonds campaign

By Evan Smith, Herald writer
Edmonds City Councilman Steve Bernheim, who will retire at the end of this year, says that the large independent expenditure on behalf of Edmonds mayoral challenger Dave Earling distorts Edmonds’ limit on campaign contributions.
Bernheim, who helped write the Edmonds law, sent this letter:
Dear Editor:
I read on the website of the state Public Disclosure Commission that the National Association of Realtors Fund in Chicago has spent $26,720.25 (so far) for electioneering communications in favor of Edmonds mayoral candidate Dave Earling.
I could not locate any information about this "fund" on the National Association of Realtors website at http://www.realtor.org/. However, I did learn from their website that the Realtors also have a political action committee which "has been promoting the election of pro-REALTORŪ candidates across the United States. During the last federal election cycle alone, RPAC contributed over $12 million to pro-REALTORŪ candidates to Congress, making it the number one trade association political action committee in the nation. Why has RPAC been successful? Because RPAC is not a charity. RPAC is a business."
Outrageous spending by out-of-state big business makes a mockery of Edmonds campaign finance laws, which limit contributions to a candidate's campaign to $500.
Outrageous spending by out-of-state big business discourages grass roots candidates from running for office because we can never raise that kind of money from local contributors.
The National Association of Realtors Fund is not spending $27,000 because they love the small-town charm of Edmonds. They are spending $27,000 because they believe electing Dave Earling would be good for their profits.
Outrageous spending by out-of-state big business is bad for the people of Edmonds. I reject candidates supported by outrageous spending by out-of-state big business and encourage all Edmonds voters to do likewise.
Steve Bernheim
Edmonds City Council Position 6
Evan Smith can be reached at schsmith@frontier.com