John Wood and the Article V caucus

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They are not what you’d call shrinking violet conservatives. No, these brave right-wing souls – and truth be told, there aren’t many of them – are members of a merry band of less-government brothers who call themselves, “The Article V Caucus.”

And state Rep. John Wood is a member.

Founded on the premise that the D.C.-ists are running amok with all that big government stuff, they formed their caucus in the hopes of inspiring an Article V convention.

“The Caucus will encourage state legislators to uphold these principles of limited government.”

Ah, the sweet smell of limited government.

Limited government is what real conservatives – like the unwavering leaders of the Article V caucus – want for America. Limited government rocks!

Unless, of course, that government is your own and the limited government thing isn’t working out so well for businesses you care about. In that case, less government is bad and an over-reaching intrusive big-brother let-me-tell-you-how-it’s-done government becomes good.

What on earth am I talking about?

John Wood (R) – “R” as in “Realtor” – doesn’t like the fact that the free-market can sometimes cause some fees to go up during a real estate closing. These fees occur when a homeowner’s association needs to produce a thing known as an estoppel certificate.  These certificates are sometimes easy to create and producing one can often cost less than $100. But sometimes the HOA needs accountants and lawyers to figure things out to make sure they are accurate and are produced on short notice. They can be especially tricky when a homeowner is way past due on fees and there is a long complicated record to reconcile. And that costs money. That’s just the way the free-market works.

But that whole free-market thing can get messy, and the extra cost is something that Rep. Wood thinks Realtors or buyers or sellers shouldn’t have to pay.

So we have a “less-government” conservative pushing a bill to cap those fees. Yes, CS/CS/HB 611 gets right down into the nitty-gritty of a real estate transaction and has government – Big. Bad. Government. – telling folks what they can charge. Some call it price-fixing, while others call it … well, pretty much everyone calls it price-fixing.

So while the other members of the Article V caucus are steadfastly (one must presume) charging around the nation calling for less government, limited government, smaller government and a government that doesn’t set prices in private business transactions, caucus member John Wood is instead pushing a measure to have the State of Florida (still a government) stick its nose into a business transaction he knows all too well.

If the Article V gang finds out, I wonder if they will revoke his membership.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.