Let’s begin by stating the obvious for clarity. We are not your attorney. That said, there are over 15 million hits on Google this morning, with the top results citing laws and legal precedents that make it clear that conversations or statements made in public are subject to audio or video recording.
Legally, per the authorities, you can record, and so can others.
Odds are you’ve recorded before at a trade show at Louisville or elsewhere, walking through show homes, etc.
So, if they stand a peace officer up, MHI General Counsel Rick Robinson, or any other attorney or person stands up and tells you otherwise about recording, you can quietly record them trying to talk you out of your rights.
See the graphic further below with legal references.
That said, keep these points in mind.
- Before you or your colleague speak at the annual KMHI-MHI Mixer at Louisville,
- Before you speak or a team mate of yours speaks during a seminar or in the Exhibition Hall at the KEC at Louisville,
- Remember that what you say may legally be recorded.
- That means that what you – or anyone else says – could be played back in a courtroom.
- So be prepared to defend your words, choose your words carefully. You may hear your own words again in a court of law or on someone’s video.
- Put differently, before you praise MHI, Clayton or 21st, or before you blast any person or organization, recall that your words may be recorded and if so, that you will have to defend them.
- It is safest to ask questions, than to make statements!!!
- You don’t have to speak, or you can say, no comment.
- IT is better to record too much than too little. Some things that people thought where innocent at the time turned out to be significant later. Record, and you can provide the tips via Dropbox or by other means later, after the event is over.
MHI’s President and CEO Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison last year at the 2018 Louisville Show cancelled his own appearance on stage, apparently hoping to avoid any tough questions about MHI plans and performance.
That same legal principle would be true for 21st Mortgage Corp’s Tim Williams or Kevin Clayton. Or of any other MHI, Berkshire brand, or any other person at Louisville.
Have you ever felt that a rep mislead you? Do you wish you had their verbal statements recorded?
If you are at the Louisville MH Trade Show, or if a team member is at Louisville, this is your chance. Consider this screen capture, from this morning, below.
Suggested Questions to Ask
Here are some questions you can ask MHI staffers, Clayton leaders like Kevin Clayton (they may not answer, but the odds are good that they won’t bite you in public), Tim Williams of 21st Mortgage, or any of their lackeys on stage, in the seminar room, or on the KEC show floor.
1) MHI’s CEO Dick Jennison apparently did not want to face questions about the MHI backed so-called ‘new class of homes’ scheme. If they are correct on their plan, why are new HUD Code manufactured home sales sliding? Why do they avoid publicly facing MHProNews publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach in a video recorded discussion or debate over that issue?
2) Or why won’t MHI, Clayton, 21st, etc., defend the industry’s good name and reputation every time false or misleading reports are made by mainstream media or third party organizations? Recall, statements were made that the MHI PR person was going to be doing just that, defending and promoting the industry, so why has that routine defense of manufactured housing not taken place?
3) Or why a recent check of the MHI or Clayton websites lack any mention of the “Enhanced Preemption” that HUD Code manufactured homes enjoy under the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000?
4) Why are several federal authorities investigating Clayton Homes and their affiliated lenders (21st, Vanderbilt) about allegations of racism, predatory lending, fair housing violations and other concerns about monopolistic or possibly illegal behaviors?
5) Why were millions of dollars spent in backing a bill – Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act – that never passed, instead of earnestly promoting manufactured homes as the obvious solution to the affordable housing crisis? IF MHI’s promotions are so good, why are new home sales sliding instead of rising?
6) But almost any question you want to ask about their failure to achieve the 500,000 new manufactured home shipments that Dick Jennison said 4 years ago at Louisville was achievable is a good question. That could be at the KEC in a seminar room or in the exhibition hall. It can also be at the mixer for Wednesday evening. Each of those are public places.
You Don’t Have at Announce You’re Recording, But Don’t Lie if Asked – ALSO
If someone asks, are you recording, answer back with a question, ‘Are you afraid or concerned about having anything that you say played back at a later time?’ You can reply to a question, with a question of your own.
There’s a crude bit of humor that has several possible variations. One is this. If your enemy is about to hang himself, step back, watch, get pictures or video, and make sure they have plenty of rope.
Rephrased, don’t stop your opposition from hanging themselves.
Top staffers of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Kevin Clayton and Tom Hodges of Clayton Homes, Tim Williams, Nathan Smith of SSK Communities, are all among those who have been invited to discuss or debate the issues in public and on video. They’ve routinely declined. Why?
If they are right, and we at MHProNews are wrong, then why don’t they try to prove it in public for all to see? Why do they duck and run instead?
We are not into boycotts. They are quite possibly illegal.
So properly understand what follows, because we don’t call for boycotts. But before you buy or sign an agreement at Louisville with MHI, Clayton Homes, 21st or Vanderbilt Mortgage Corp, you will want to read two special reports that will be planned for tomorrow.
Closing point for now. There are obviously those who have ‘no choice’ but to do business with a Berkshire brand, for whatever reason. If so, you must still be prepared to defend yourself. Insider tips from within those brands are must reading for you and all in MHVille. Watch for that, planned for tomorrow.
You could have your purse or bag open, and record away. Ask questions. Reply with a question. What are they afraid of, if they are right?
Don’t be some big companies next victim. Now is the time to prepare for the next phase of the MH Revolution.
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