News & Investigation
“The Bakersfield Association of Realtors went further and asked local officials (Kern County and Bakersfield) to kill their programs. The effort drew allegations from a clean-energy-backed group that the Realtors engaged in improper lobbying.
An attorney for the group, the Checks and Balances Project, said he suspects the Kern County Board of Supervisors violated the state’s open-meeting law, the Brown Act, when it voted last week to kill its PACE program in unincorporated areas.
The attorney, Karl Olson, said he believes the supervisors did so by meeting with the Realtors privately before the vote and agreeing to vote no. As evidence, Olson cited a grant application that the Bakersfield Realtor group wrote to the national Realtors organization seeking funds to fight PACE.
“We have held preliminary meetings with local elected officials that are willing to lead the charge on a moratorium of local PACE financing and commit the necessary votes, but are asking for political cover via a grassroots mobilization, media and arguments,” Kim Schaefer, the government affairs director for the Bakersfield Association of Realtors, wrote last year.”