This special issue of NMHC PAC Update previews four key primaries in August with the possibility of impacting the apartment industry’s legislative agenda.
NMHC PAC has raised $681,027 so far this year. With funds carried over from 2011, year to date NMHC PAC has contributed $783,423. These dollars have primarily been spent to assist incumbent members of Congress who influence current legislation important to our industry. This Congress’ record low approval rating and redistricting have led to numerous competitive races.
Already, four Congressional incumbents have lost primary challenges this year. In addition, the Campaign for Primary Accountability, a Texas-based, anti-incumbent super PAC, has spent more than $1.8 million this year attempting to oust House incumbents in both parties. Complicating matters is the fact that 13 House races pit actual incumbents against one another. This is the most in at least two decades. These developments could have consequences for an industry, like ours, with legislative issues and pending challenges that require legislators that understand our business.
The largest number of “must-watch” Congressional primaries is coming in August. Here are three of the most important matchups for multifamily that we are following.
August 7 – Michigan’s 6th District
“Moderate vs. Club for Growth”
Moderate Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R) is facing a rematch of his 2010 primary. Former state Sen. Jack Hoogendyk (R) has not raised significant funds to mount a serious challenge, but the Club for Growth is providing the backing to keep this race competitive. The Energy and Commerce Committee has purview over energy, telecom, EPA, building codes and numerous other issues critical to the multifamily industry. NMHC has worked hard to establish a good relationship with Chairman Upton to ensure that he understands issues important to NMHC. NMHC PAC has maxed to Chairman Upton’s primary campaign.
August 7 – Michigan’s 14th District
“Urban vs. Suburban”
Redistricting forced Rep. Gary Peters (D), a suburban Detroit legislator, into a district with Ways and Means Ranking Member Sander Levin (D). A primary race against Levin would have been very difficult. Instead, in late September 2011, Peters chose the 14th district which encompasses much of his old state Senate district but pitted him against freshman Rep. Hansen Clarke (D) and two other Democrats. The race has come down to Peters versus Clarke with the advantage going to Peters. Peters, a member of the House Financial Services Committee and the Capital Markets and GSE Subcommittee, has won the fundraising and endorsement battles. While Clarke’s base is downtown Detroit, Peters bested him by winning support from the city’s mayor and other major church leaders. NMHC PAC supports Peters as a member of the Financial Services Committee and a key figure in the GSE reform debate. NMHC PAC has maxed to Rep. Peters’ primary campaign.
August 28 – Arizona’s 6th District
“Freshman vs. Freshman with a Pedigree”
NMHC PAC has maxed to the primary campaign of Rep. David Schweikert (R), a member of the House Financial Services Committee and Vice Chair of the Capital Markets and GSE Subcommittee. As the special guest for our most recent NMHC PAC update conference call, it was obvious to our listeners that he is very knowledgeable about the vast array of issues impacting multifamily, and his real estate background allows him a perspective few members of Congress have. Schweikert’s opponent, Rep. Ben Quayle (R), is supported by the Republican Party “establishment” because of his father, former Vice President Dan Quayle. Quayle sits on the Homeland Security, Judiciary and Science Committees.