Gary Baise

Most people would probably tell you that their notion of the American Dream is a house sitting in the middle of a lush green lawn that is surrounded by a white picket fence.  But acquiring that little piece of paradise, and keeping it, is fraught with obstacles.  The growing number of mandatory membership association nationwide is not the only challenge property owners face.  One of the least talked about obstacles to the free use of private property is the Federal and state environmental restrictions.   
On The Commons with us this week is Gary Baise.  Gary is a practicing attorney in Washington DC and a candidate for Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.  Gary was on the forefront of the environmental movement and has seen many changes implemented over the years.  His practice today includes protecting the rights of property owners.  Please join us On The Commons.  We’ll talk about the advances made over the decades to clean our air and make our communities healthier.  We’ll talk about property rights vis a vis some of the current restrictions and we’ll find out what made a successful farmer and attorney decide to throw his hat in the ring and run for public office.  You wont want to miss this one.



Julio Robaina

“Associations protect property values”, the headline grabbing horror stories are “isolated incidents”, “Zogby polls indicate that 96% of all homeowners in associations are happy”, homeowners voluntarily choose to live in associations, and if you are not happy with your board of directors, “toss the bums out” or “move”.  Embezzlement?  Fraud?  Take it to court, “it’s a civil matter” and the real government can’t get involved.  After all “you agreed,” you see.  You’ve heard it all.  But how much of it has any merit at all?  Or are these just sound bites that have been repeated often enough to have become part of the vernacular? 
On The Commons with us this week is Representative Julio Robaina.  Having traveled the length and breadth of the state, listening to horror stories and asking for ideas of how to resolve the many problems faced by his constituents, Rep Robaina has sponsored legislation that is starting to help tip the scales a little in favor of the homeowner.  In its infancy, his pilot program on using law enforcement to investigate allegations of fraud in associations is yielding dramatic results.  With several arrests already made, and more to come, the rest of the country is starting to take notice.  Please join us On The Commons. We’ll get the details of his program, find out whether they are in fact “isolated incidents” and we’ll ask just how, given all the fraud and mismanagement, associations protect property values. 
For detailed information about the pilot program go to