Governor Blunt dismisses concerns raised by the Federal Trade Commission and signs a real estate licensing bill backed by a high-priced lobbyist who used to work for his father. Blunt acknowledges he read the FTC letter that criticized the bill as anit-competitive, but says he was more swayed by the unanimous support the bill received by the legislature. Even with such legislative support, the Missouri Association of Realtors got nervous and paid Washington lobbyist Gregg Hartley $50,000 solely to lobby for the bill’s signing. Hartley was the longtime chief of staff to the governor’s father, US House Majority Whip Roy Blunt of Strafford. Governor Blunt says he talked with Hartley, but ultimately decided to sign the bill, because of the legislature’s unanimous support. The governor dismisses criticism of signing as without merit. The bill requires real estate agents to provide minimum services when they enter exclusive contracts with clients. Critics contend it shuts out budget realtors.
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