What Feces Sounds Like When it Hits the Fan



****Jim ****Bushart **couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

There he was last month crammed into the tiny third-floor office of state Rep. **Curt Dougherty **in the Missouri Capitol with eight other home inspectors.

Their aim: to fight legislation that they felt would undermine their independence as objective evaluators.

But Dougherty, an Independence Democrat in his final term, thought some education was in order. In short order, he laid out the facts of life under the dome.

As Bushart remembers it, Dougherty said: “You might as well put a ‘for sale’ sign in front of this Capitol building.”

Dougherty said that advocates for the bill were powerful and would “spend lots of money here,” and were planning to take the entire General Assembly out for dinner the following week.

Dougherty wasn’t done. According to Bushart, the lawmaker advised the group to hire a lobbyist who “gets things done for you.”
As some of the home inspectors exchanged glances, Dougherty concluded with a wallop.

“It is not about being right or wrong,” Bushart remembers Dougherty saying. “It is all about money. I hate to put it this way, but it’s the truth.”

Asked about all this, Dougherty admitted that he can be blunt at times, but said his comments were taken out of context. He said he was trying to be honest by underscoring the importance of hiring a lobbyist.

“Anybody who doesn’t understand that you need to have a hired gun who keeps their issues in front of legislators has their head in the sand,” Dougherty said.

Bushart, of Cassville, Mo., insisted that he got the conversation right. His account was backed by **Steve Wessler **of Lake of the Ozarks, and **Patrick Carter **of Kansas City, who said they were in the office with Bushart.

A fourth home inspector, **James Braun **of Jefferson City, at first confirmed the remarks, and then demurred, saying he wouldn’t go there.

Bushart said Dougherty didn’t hesitate as he laid down the way of the dome, acting as if he’d said the same thing many times before.

“I guess I had been pretty naive,” Bushart said. “I was shocked.”

Carter admitted he also was “kind of taken aback” by Dougherty’s words, but said he appreciated the straight talk.

“We all know that money runs politics,” Carter said. “He was just being truthful. If anything, I respected him more for telling us.”

The measure in question, H.B. 1714, would regulate home inspectors. The inspectors fear that a new licensing board the bill sets up might cause them to pull their punches to stave off complaints from real-estate agents.

The particulars of the bill are almost beside the point. What matters is the reality check that an elected member of the House blurted out in front of a group of citizens he hardly knew.

In essence, Dougherty was saying the Missouri House doesn’t represent the little guy or the consumer. What it does represent are those interests willing to pony up for a lobbyist, or make strategically placed campaign donations.

Dougherty’s comments are astonishing in another way: That he would talk so openly about the “for sale” aspect of the House at a time when it is so widely known that the FBI is sniffing around the Capitol in its ongoing “pay for play” probe is mind-blowing.

It speaks volumes about the culture inside the Capitol.
One of the inspectors present that day, **Steve Wessler, **called Dougherty’s admonitions deeply disappointing.

“I’m not naïve,” Wessler said. “I’m 56 years old. That is the way it is. I’m not blind to that fact. You can argue ‘till the cows come in, but money does talk.”

Yes, it does.

Dougherty understands that. Last year, he issued a fund-raising invitation which said: “Just remember you don’t gotta’ like me to donate, you just gotta’ deal with me.”

FBI investigation or not, that seems to be the way things still work in Jeff City. The most important element of any dealing in the state Capitol is writing a check.

Bushart said unfortunately Dougherty wasn’t the only lawmaker who delivered that message to his small band of inspectors.

Said Bushart, “When a representative can say these things to a roomful of nine people,” then state government “is owned by someone.”

Yes, it is.

From the Kansas City Star

Wow, James do you see this bill passing? And I would like to thank you guys going to fight for us Missouri inspectors!

We were told that the bill was not “very popular” and had little support to pass on its own merit…but to anticipate the possibility of it being attached to a more popular bill and passed in that manner.

We have to continue to fight.

As far as I’m concerned, the gloves are off. This bill represents a politician’s gift of gratitude to the lobbyist of a special interest group. We cannot outspend the sons of bitches so we have to take the battle from the backroom and fight it in the street where everyone can see.


What can I do to help?

We are keeping 80% of our strategy off the board. Send me an email and I’ll put you in the info loop.

cool thanks james

The Kansas congress has been informed. If Kansas has the mess, Missouri will have it too. Most all other states have issues with their laws, and most all state laws vary. Feds will move in soon, as they are doing in Missouri. Stay tuned.

When feces hits the fan, it smells like money.

While not everyone on the team that is fighting HB 1714 agrees with “going public” and letting the consumer of real estate and home inspections see how the greed of special interests control how laws are actually written…the consensus (not 100%, however) is that we will not follow the example of those who fought against…and lost…the rape of Kansas.

“Getting involved” in these fights can be a messy business. Just like a good septic inspection sometimes means taking the lid off the tank and sticking your head inside for a good look…dealing with the real estate lobbyists and politicians can be equally disgusting…even more so, IMO.

The facts are on the table, Missouri inspectors.

We cannot outspend the Missouri Association of Realtors, as Rep. Dougherty suggested we try. But we can bring more players to the table…like the general public who have as much at stake in this issue as we do.

By allowing the public to watch our battle…I truly believe we will find more people siding with us…against the lobbyists and their paid legislators. With them on our side, we have neutralized the spending power of the Missouri Association of Realtors.

I might be wrong…and if I am…the result will be no different than if we did nothing, so I am willing to go down swinging. I appreciate all of the public and private offers of assistance from fellow Missouri inspectors (whom we will certainly be calling upon) and to the brave guys who stuck their necks out with me and went on the record in this article.

Let’s fight for our profession and our private businesses, guys.

I followed the KC Star link, and posted the article to my FB page. May not help any, but at least more people will hear about the issue at hand.

It’s called politics and money is what keeps the wheels turning. You may not have enough cash to fight directly but I would get as much VERIFIED info as possible and turn over to the feds. Here in SW Fla the FBI is all over the place looking into everything and everyone. Mortgage brokers, appraisers, realtors EVERYONE. It took a little time for them to get started but there are a whole bunch of people staring to sweat right now and they deserve every year they will be sentenced to.

There were about 8-9 home inspectors from around the state in the Missouri Capitol last month that met with Representative Curt Dougherty.

Like Pat Carter another NACHI member present that day already said - I personally appreciated the straight talk from Curt. He did not tap dance around the flag pole like I’ve seen some Kansas Legislators do. He’s been an electrician himself and worked in the trenches with us.

In several other meetings with the states home inspectors in previous years, he’s already said he thinks the Bills they keep throwing at us are UNNEEDED / BUT he’s emphasized that the BIG interests have $$$$, lobbyists and political clout AND eventually the special interests will have their way with us - UNLESS we can try some of their own tactics. One of which is having OUR own lobbyist, etc to talk for us.

Representative Dougherty almost single-handedly helped fight the previous Bills off our heads for the past 2 years. I find this article to be a really cheap shot at somebody telling us whats really going on.

You’ve always thought it - But Curt just tells it like it is. Good, bad or indifferent - KINDA like a professional home inspector. If you don’t like the truth, go stick your head in the sand AND hope the tooth fairy comes by.

No one is denying the “truth” that money buys laws.

What we are doing is objecting to it…and bringing light to it.

Silence…compromise…playing all sides…gets you a licensing board with Jeff Barnes running it. We don’t want that in Missouri.

This was another bonehead move done by Bushart. He lied to me to get me to speak to the reporter. He assured me that no names would be named. He has betrayed my trust and most inspectors in Missouri. He is a disgrace to our industry.
I only agreed to talk to the now know lying bastard of a reporter because of Bushart’s assurances. After I realized what the reporter was up to I told him that this is not what me and Bushart agreed upon. I explained to the reporter and Bushart how running a story like this would harm the home inspectors of Missouri. It appears they do not care and just want their story. Well they got it and it showed us that they are no better than the special interests pushing licensing. I do not like it when I get lied to, Bushart lied to me and especially that piece of crap reporter. What in the hell ever happened to honor and keeping your word.
Also Curt Dougherety did not disserve his words to be twisted like this.
This is a sad day for Missouri inspectors.

I think you are lying and he never said anything like that or you would report this to the FBI rather than just bi-tch to the forum.

What do you say to that.:roll:

I am guessing I will hear…oh no then they will come after me…yet you say it here.

I do not understand what you are saying. Sorry. Try again.

Is the fact this country is not free or fair some big shock.
We all know it is run by lobby groups and justice is only for the rich.

Yet when someone like me complains we are labeled as liberal or crazy.

Hell even bikers in Illinois have a lobby group because they have the smarts to know that with out one ,the government would take away the right to ride by declaring it to dangerous for the public.

Money talks and people that buy and sell can buy and sell you because Looking at is not the same as owning.

Good luck, but you are scr-wed.

The only way to stop it would be to start a group for Inspectors that would compete with ASHI,NACHI, etc and use dues for the lobby effort,which I think we all know ,but it is not being done unless a charismatic person comes along and inspires it.

Troublemaker Elliott!!:stuck_out_tongue:

moan and groan
now lets watch TV.:mrgreen:

Long as we have TV and food they can pass anything they want and blame it on the other party like a ping pong ball.

Laws are for the poor.

In the end, you might be right.

But the fat lady hasn’t sung yet…and I’m hanging in here until she does.

Less talk more action.
Problem is knowing where to swing the first punch.:neutral: