Loveland's Independent News Source
Loveland - September 30, 2015

On September 3, the Loveland-Berthoud Association of Realtors (LBAR) candidate endorsement committee
interviewed all the candidates for Loveland's City Council in approximate time blocks of 30 minutes each one after
another.   At 11:10 AM they interviewed Buddy Meyers, a
candidate for Ward II in Loveland followed by his opponent
Leah Johnson just after 11:30 AM.

The issues discussed involved those of greatest concern to local real estate professionals.  The city's high CEF's (Capital
Expansion Fees), how the city might attract primary jobs, the city's unprecedented $2.2 million subsidy of Sprouts
Market along with general questions regarding each candidate's vision for the city and what they intend to accomplish
if elected to Loveland's City Council.

Following the interviews, the selection committee made-up primarily of brokers but also two finance professionals
voted for one candidate to endorse from each of the city's four wards.  The LBAR endorsement is a coveted prize for the
candidate endorsed as LBAR submits an endorsement letter to be published in the Loveland Reporter-Herald,
advertises their endorsement on the group's website and in the last municipal election candidate Dave Clark even
received a supportive mailer funded by the national association of realtors.

Following their interviews earlier this month, the candidate endorsement committee deliberated and voted.  As one
participant later explained the Ward II endorsement was easy and the group voted unanimously for candidate Buddy
Meyers over Leah Johnson.  He commented that candidate Buddy Meyers, a longtime member of the city's planning
commission, knew the issues and had very specific objectives, if elected, that aligned well with those of the selection
committee members.  His opponent, Leah Johnson, our source claims came across as "
touchy feely" and generally not
candid regarding her views.  He stated, "
she talked a lot about collaboration and working together but couldn't even
find the courage to share her positions on important subjects we know she doesn't agree with us on generally like

Cliff Johnson Reportedly On A Rampage Even Against Commercial Tenants

Once the decision was made using a long established process, that is when LBAR members informed LovelandPolitics
their trouble began.  Each member of LBAR's Board of Directors received a phone call from former real estate broker,
large commercial property owner and father of Leah Johnson, Cliff Johnson shortly after their endorsements were
decided on September 10, 2015.

According to one participant, who asked not to be identified out of fear for Cliff Johnson, commented,

"However, this is politics and he called everyone on the Board of Directors to say Loveland would go to hell if Buddy
is elected.   The Board will stand firm in support of Buddy and our process. It was just very unpleasant. I've never had
a phone call quite like the one I got from Cliff."

Despite the endorsement committee "standing firm" the LBAR board of directors over-ruled them earlier this week to
capitulate to the pressure reportedly coming from Cliff Johnson and did not publish their endorsements.  The Loveland
Reporter-Herald was notified the long tradition of publishing LBAR endorsements in a letter to the editor would be
suspended, no publicity and, of course, no expenditure by their national association.  In fact, only the candidates were
informed of the endorsement decisions.

Cliff Johnson is reported to have even been so unhappy with this decision as well that he is seeking nothing less than a
full and published endorsement of his daughter by LBAR in the Loveland Reporter-Herald.  According to one tenant in
his commercial building near the corner of 29th and Taft Ave., Cliff Johnson insisted each real estate broker who is a
tenant in his building working for Coldwell Bankers sign a petition in an attempt to over-turn LBAR's endorsement.  
One unhappy tenant of Cliff Johnson confided to LovelandPolitics,

"Leah Johnson is way too leftwing for most brokers in this community so I wasn't surprised.  Why should my
landlord dictate to me my politics and force me to fight with my peers in LBAR?"

While Cliff Johnson appears to have only been successful in gathering signatures from most of his tenants to protest
LBAR not endorsing his daughter but not enough to reverse their endorsement, he did succeed, according to our
sources, in securing a promise by the board that
"only Buddy Meyers will know he got the endorsement."   However
he did this, according to LBAR members, through threatening phone calls which they say is not how their process
should work.

Cliff Johnson's success in apparently intimidating the board of LBAR into abandoning their long established process for
informing the public about the candidates they endorsed has some members fuming.  The endorsement committee is
now demanding a meeting with the board and members this Thursday as some say their own credibility is damaged.  
Another source who quoted for LovelandPolitics what he was told second-hand Cliff Johnson told an LBAR
endorsement committee member,

"You will be responsible when this city turns to shit in two years and it will be on your hands and head."

Showdown Expected Thursday

LBAR members are being called to a meeting tomorrow morning at their offices in Loveland.  A number of members
have communicated their disappointment the organization's endorsement process has been turned over by what they
see as nothing more than old-fashioned intimidation.  Unfortunately, every broker we spoke to about the controversy
asked not to be identified in our story for fear of retaliation by Cliff Johnson.

While some endorsement committee members are also board members of LBAR, others are not.  We understand the
endorsement committee members who are not on the LBAR board, are furious over the board's decision to cripple the
endorsement out of fear of retaliation against the association members by Cliff Johnson.

Cliff Johnson is reported to be gathering a group of tenant brokers who may also storm and disrupt the meeting if the
group's endorsement of Buddy Meyers is not reversed in favor of his daughter Leah Johnson.  LBAR members have said
they will likely boycott the meeting if Cliff Johnson attends and is allowed to holler at them and intimidate them in
public the way they allege he has been doing over the phone.

Also endorsed by LBAR are Loveland City Council candidates John Fogle, Pat McFall and Don Overcash.  While their
endorsements will also be kept nearly secret if Cliff Johnson prevails in the discussion at LBAR tomorrow, we have no
information on whether the parents of these candidates will be calling LBAR members about their decision.
Realtors Fear Cliff Johnson
and daughter have a clear
conflict of interest

Speaking on the condition of
anonymity, one source informed
LovelandPolitics that Leah Johnson's
over-the-top" endorsement of the
287 Corridor Plan" which will greatly
improve the access and value of
commercial real estate along 287 is

Cliff Johnson, Leah's father who is
aledged to be causing so much turmoil
for realtors who failed to endorse his
daughter, owns the former "Penton
Media Building" in the Orchard's
Shoppng Center on 29th and 287.

Leah Johnson will be an heir to her
father's commercial real estate fortune
in Loveland.  By pushing public
spending plans that will benefit her
father's commercial real estate
holdings, at least one active member
of the Loveland Chamber of
Commerce told LovelandPolitics he
finds the connection more than

He claimed a number of "insiders" feel
Cliff Johnson's over the top
"intimidation" of anyone not supporting
his daughter isn't only a matter of
family pride but also family finance.

He also speculated that the broker's
who voted unanimously to endorse
Buddy Meyers did so out of a greater
concern that Leah's campaign appears
to be focused on issues they feel may
involve a conflict of interest.
Candidate's Angry Father Haunts
Realtors For Not Endorsing Daughter
see story
Sertoma Also Torn-Up
Over Election

Loveland's Sertoma Club, where Cliff
Johnson is a longtime member, hosted
Leah Johnson to speak about her
candidacy for Loveland's City Council
last summer on the insistence of her
father Cliff Johnson.

Since Sertoma is not a political
organization, some members felt it
would be appropriate to give equal
time to her opponent Buddy Meyers.

The conflict was finally settled when
members report Cliff Johnson failed to
keep Meyer's out of a meeting.

According to club members, they were
upset Cliff Johnson expected his role
with the organization would translate
into exclusive access for his daughter
and not her opponent.