Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Thursday, September 18

Sep 18, 2008

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Note: The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America has created a new, weekly feature entitled “Decision 2008,” which is designed to provide news and information about key political races that could affect the insurance industry. For your convenience, Capitol to Courthouse News will reprint the entire “Decision 2008” newsletter below.

McCarty to AIG clients: It’s OK

State insurance regulators said Wednesday they are continuing to look into the potential impact in Florida from the financial crisis at insurance giant American International Group even as they sought to soothe nervous customers.

Florida Chief Financial Officer warns of unsound economy dangers

A day after calming taxpayer jitters over the latest Wall Street spiral, Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink hit the campaign trail to warn about the dangers of an unsound economy. ‘We have economic challenges that we have not faced since the Great Depression,’ Sink said. Talking to reporters on behalf of fellow Democrat and presidential nominee Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, Sink bemoaned Florida’s 6.1 percent unemployment rate, its 15-percent decline in tax revenue, its stalled housing market and the potential loss of 10,000 financial sector jobs.

Fla. attorney general sues for insurance fraud ring

The Florida Attorney General’s Office is suing 10 companies and 15 individuals for their alleged roles in a major mortgage fraud scheme.

Leon County adopts catastrophe fund

The Leon County Commission has established a $2.5-million catastrophic fund in response to flooding last month from Tropical Storm Fay.

Nine Insurers Compete To Be Chosen Cover Florida Health Care Access Program Provider

Speaking at a bipartisan national health care conference in Orlando today, Governor Charlie Crist announced the receipt of nine bid proposals by private health-care insurance providers seeking to offer Cover Florida health insurance policies to Florida’s 3.8 million uninsured individuals. This milestone marks a significant step toward offering Florida families and businesses more affordable options for health insurance coverage.

AG partners with school resource officers for cybersafety program

The state wants more students to protect themselves from online predators, and Attorney General Bill McCollum believes school-resource officers are key to getting the message out.

Nearly 300,000 New Florida Voters Sign On With Democrats

A significant Democratic lead this year in new registered voters in Florida represents a potential leg up for the party’s presidential candidate, Barack Obama.

Officials recover more ballots

Palm Beach County officials discovered Wednesday that 198 more people voted in the Aug. 26 primary than the 102,523 recorded on election night.

Rep. Schenck is shoo-in as challenger drops out

Democrat Joseph Puglia, a once highly touted challenger to incumbent state Rep. Robert Schenck, withdrew from the race Wednesday, citing his wife’s health.

GOP Election Mailers Mystify Hillsborough Democrats

Charles Hobbs is a Democrat who votes in nearly every election.

Feeney, Kosmas tangle over contribution

Suzanne Kosmas is one of four Florida Democratic congressional candidates being pressured by state Republicans to return campaign contributions from Rep. Charles Rangel, who chairs the House tax-writing committee and has admitted mistakes in his own tax returns.

Tax money used for Mario Diaz-Balart political posters

City officials said that Homestead spent taxpayer money on poster boards that were used at a fundraiser for congressman Mario Diaz-Balart.

City taxpayers in Homestead footed the bill for nearly $500 worth of posters touting federal projects Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart has championed, city officials acknowledge.

COLUMN: Posey’s donors OK’d by ethics panel

Sen. Bill Posey has been cleared of taking “gifts” in the form of campaign money from regulated interests while in session as chairman of the Banking and Insurance Committee.

Rangel contributions ‘tainted,’ GOP claims

Rep. Tim Mahoney is one of four Florida Democratic congressional candidates being pressured by state Republicans to return campaign contributions from Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., who chairs the House tax-writing committee and has admitted mistakes in his own tax returns.

OP-ED: Legislature should live in the sunshine, too

Every year, Florida celebrates Sunshine Week, and this year was no different. Gov. Charlie Crist proclaimed March 16-22 as Sunshine Week for the citizens of Florida and stated, “The role of Florida’s government is to serve the people of Florida, and open government gives the people the tools they need to hold their elected officials accountable.”

State senator wants budget increases tied to personal income growth

An amendment to limit city, county and state government spending to family personal income levels is in the works by two Florida legislators who are in line to be House and Senate leaders in 2010.

Duck and cover: Be wary when watchdog becomes a target

In July, after The Miami Herald published an exhaustively researched series of stories that documented widespread fraud in Florida’s mortgage industry — and astonishingly lax enforcement by the state office responsible for protecting consumers — the official who led the agency responded by taking the newspaper to task.

Polk Republicans Bash Drilling Plan

GOP pushed plan that backs rigs close to shore as states allowed it.

Polk County’s three members of Congress, all Republicans, voted against the energy plan put forward and passed this week by the Democratic-controlled House.

More than 2,400 fugitives wanted in Fla. captured

Thousands of fugitives – including accused murderers, gang members and rapists – wanted in Florida have been jailed in a multi-agency sweep over the past 90 days, authorities announced Thursday.

South Carolina Coastal Risk Conference Garners Insurer Support

The American Insurance Association is participating in this week’s conference “Out of the Storm: Confronting America’s Catastrophic Risk Crisis,” organized by the South Carolina Department of Insurance and the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

House Pulls OII Bill Off Floor, Okays NARAB

Legislation that would create an Office of Insurance Information at the Treasury Department has been pulled off the floor in the U.S. House of Representatives, although the House did pass a measure to set up a national agency licensing system.

AIG Crisis Highlights Pros & Cons Of Fed Oversight

Recent developments at American International Group are fueling both sides of the debate over federal regulation, with proponents and opponents each using the AIG mess to bolster their respective positions.

U.S. Looks to Former Allstate CEO Liddy to Run AIG

The U.S. government is betting former Allstate chief Edward M. Liddy is the safest pair of hands to oversee the dismantling of American International Group Inc. and prevent further unraveling of the world’s stressed financial system.

Hawaii Files for 11.6% Workers’ Comp Decrease

Hawaii’s Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ (DCCA) Insurance Division announced that the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) has filed a request for a decrease of 11.6 percent in the workers’ compensation loss costs. The filing would affect premiums beginning Jan. 1, 2009.

PCI Get Out The Vote Road Show Coming to a Town Near You

The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) is scheduling meetings with member companies to discuss the upcoming elections and encourage insurance professionals to make their voices heard this November.

“On election day you will be voting for candidates and ballot issues that will have a significant impact on our industry and the economy,” said David Sampson, president and CEO of PCI. “I encourage you to make your company among the first to hear from PCI’s government and political affairs experts on races and ballot initiatives that matter most to the insurance industry and business community.”

PCI expert staff will:


  • Preview legislative and regulatory issues on the horizon in 2009
  • Highlight the legislative chambers where political control may turn over
  • Summarize the issues that will drive the elections
  • Demonstrate how PCI can help your company get-out-the-vote and boost participation in the political process

In this 60-minute presentation, you’ll learn about the top 10 battleground states, the importance of this election cycle for the redistricting process that starts in 2010, and the possibilities for change as more than 75 percent of all state legislative seats are up for election.

For more information and to schedule a presentation, please contact Michael Gilhooly at 847-553-3870 or by email at

Voters in Several States Make Decisions in Primary Elections

The final primary elections around the country are being held. In this week’s Decision 2008 we are featuring news about primary elections in Delaware, Arizona and Alaska. “As you will read, the primaries have been full of surprises and cliffhangers, said David Sampson, president and CEO of PCI. “Today, Massachusetts is holding its primary elections and if you live in the Commonwealth, we encourage you to go the polls. Saturday, September 20 Hawaii will hold its primary elections. Louisiana closes out the primaries Oct. 4 as it holds elections that were postponed due to Hurricane Gustav.” More

Quick Takes: New England Election Outlook

PCI examines the political landscape in New England with summaries about Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. More

This Just In…Poll Shows Rossi Ahead in Washington; Nixon Runs Strong in Missouri

Insurers are closely watching the governor’s race in Washington. The latest Rasmussen Reports poll released Sept. 12 shows that Republican Dino Rossi with a 52 to 46 percent lead over Gov. Christine Gregoire. According to Rasmussen the latest numbers represent the first time Rossi has received over 50 percent from voters in Washington. More

Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon (D) continues to hold a double-digit lead over Republican Congressman Kenny Hulshof in the race for governor, according to a Rasmussen poll released Sept. 12. The poll showed Nixon up by 15 percentage points 54 to 39 percent. More

News Around the Country

Today on the presidential campaign trail

AP Online via NewsEdge: (IN THE HEADLINES) Obama, McCain blame policies, greed for Wall Street troubles … McCain acknowledges Obama didn’t really call Palin a pig, defends campaign ad anyway … Obama says McCain offers nothing new on the economy from President Bush … Biden: Ex-reformer McCain practicing ‘Karl Rove’ politics … Palin lays out her role in McCain administration, says government too often is the problem. More

Obama blames Wall St. crisis on Republican policy

AP Online via NewsEdge: (GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.) Barack Obama said Monday the upheaval on Wall Street was “the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression” and blamed it on policies that he said Republican rival John McCain supports. More

McCain: Wall Street woes point to regulation reform

AP Online via NewsEdge: (JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) Wall Street turmoil underscores the need to overhaul “the outdated and ineffective patchwork quilt of regulatory oversight in Washington,” Republican presidential contender John McCain said Monday. More

Election 2008 Tool Box

Make sure your voice is heard in 2008. Register to vote, learn how to vote early and find information on candidates seeking office across the country.

My Elected Officials

Do you need to look up the elected officials that currently represent you? Click here to access a list of your federal and state legislators, including full biographies and contact information.

My Candidates

Election Day 2008 features the Presidential Election, 33 U.S. Senate Elections, and 435 U.S. Congressional Elections. There are also 11 state gubernatorial elections. This year’s state legislative elections will bring inevitable change with nearly 80 percent of all legislative seats scheduled for elections. Finally, there are insurance commissioner races in Delaware, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, and Washington State. Click here to access state and federal candidate information.

Register to Vote

Don’t miss the crucial 2008 election! With the exception of North Dakota, every state requires eligible voters to register to vote before casting a ballot. In terms of methods and deadlines, registration procedures vary greatly from state to state. Click here for state specific information and forms you need to become a registered voter.

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