Are donations reason owners not penalized?

May 10, 2013

An error by Common Cause listed political contributions made by AstraZenca as the biggest election campaign donor from 2007 to 2012. If AstraZenca was not first on the list, then First State Manufacturing, the leased land community owners' organization, was Number One, with $134,000 in reported donations. The money came from the unlimited yearly rents charged to homeowners on leased land, an economically vulnerable demographic in the state.


By inference, Common Cause indicated contributions to legislators and support of the community owners interests were tied together in the defeat of SB 205, rent justification in 2012. In reality, the contribution list did not include "sweetheart" campaign headquarter rentals given by a New Castle community owner. None of those representatives voted for the bill.


It also may not have included direct donations by individuals in excess of $100. In 2012, one individual (Andrew Strine) whose family owns 12 communities in Delaware, donated in his name $7,300. Family members of another well known community owner (Tunnell) collectively donated $9,850.


The shame of the situation is if the new rent justification bill, SB 33, fails this year, not only will money keep flowing from these leased land cash cows, but law breaking community owners will still be able to pass along any fines and legal costs to victims of their law breaking via unlimited yearly rents. The Delaware way?


Fred Neil


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