Thursday, August 5, 2010

Time For Politics - Holly Benson for Florida Attorney General - UPDATED!

Although Appraiser Active enjoys readers from across the United States and has visits from each continent (except Antarctica), I am a Florida State-Certified Appraiser and interested in the future of the Sunshine State. Since I'm "On a Quest to Improve the Profession" it's important to be involved in the political process. We appraisers and real estate practitioners have a chance to help elect a candidate with firsthand knowledge of our professions as Florida Attorney General.

As a member of the Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board (FREAB) from 2000 until early 2008, I had the opportunity to work with 5 different individuals that served as Secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). Not all of them were interested in real property appraisal and real estate brokerage. Holly Benson, appointed as Secretary of DBPR in late 2006, distinguished herself by taking an interest.

Although the DBPR is a huge state agency, responsible for licensing and regulating over 1,000,000 in the state of Florida, Holly made it a point to attend several meetings of the FREAB during her term as Secretary. Her attendance was not merely to update the members of the board on activities of the DBPR. She watched the board in action, listen to the discussion during rule making and the deliberation when disciplinary cases were considered. Holly Benson assisted the FREAB by assuring we were able to meet standards of performance required by the Appraisal Subcommittee. Our requests for action did not fall on deaf ears.

Because so many appraiser disciplinary cases involved mortgage fraud, Holly learned of many of the schemes and heard of the losses and consequences suffered by lenders and the public due to illegal behavior by real estate insiders. If elected Attorney General, she is ready to use this experience to prosecute the wrongdoers.

Florida has just passed a bill to regulate Appraisal Management Companies. There will be some conflicts with H.R. 4173, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. It includes changes to the Appraisal Subcommittee, and calls for more responsibilities and power to be vested in the Appraisal Foundation. Florida Real Estate Appraisers will benefit if the Attorney General has firsthand knowledge of the federal influence on appraiser regulation.

As Secretary of DBPR, Holly Benson was instrumental in reducing bureaucratic red tape, enhancing customer (licensee and public) service, and streamlining procedures. We need a Pro-Business candidate as Florida's Attorney General.

There are plenty of reasons I'm supporting Holly Benson for Florida Attorney General, and working hard to assure she prevails in the August 24, 2010 Primary. I hope you take the time to visit her site, Holly Benson for Florida Attorney General, learn a bit more about her background and join me in casting a vote for her in the primary.

Although an army marches on its stomach, political campaigns run on cash. There's a CONTRIBUTE button on that site. Every bit helps. Don't be shy about $25.00, $50.00, or $100.00. It will be worth it to have a friend of appraisers as Attorney General of Florida. She will help in our quest to improve the profession.

UPDATE 8/15/2010 --

Earlier today we proudly represented Holly Benson during the Pinellas County GOP Victory Picnic. We had an opportunity to talk to the over 300 people attending about Holly's plan for Florida as the State Attorney General. Here's my wife, Fran Strayhorn, ready to talk about Holly.

NOTE:  This is NOT a Paid Political Advertisement. It has not been paid for or approved by any candidate.