Friday, May 27, 2011


Interesting little fund-raising letter sent out by Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney:


Anonymous said...

Soliciting contributions from the agents you are hired to regulate may be legal, but it sure smells bad.

Pete Perry said...

What do you find 'interesting' about this, KF? Chaney, the Insurance Commissioner, is soliciting campaign funds from those people in the state that are interested in the office. Most people just DONT CARE about the office, and therefore don't contribute. So, he goes to folks that do care to raise the money necessary for someone to run for public office. Check the Dept of Transportation Commissioners (and opponents) fundraising. Highway contractors have been contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep commissioners loyal to Butch Brown in office for years. Others have been contributing thousands to get new commissioners. But still, lots of highway contractors. And they have a direct benefit from that election. The Commissioners award construction contracts to these contributors.

While you are at it, check out the bond lawyers and bankers on the Treasurer reports. Oh, I forgot, the CPAs at the auditor and the ag interests in the Commissioner of Agriculture.

And I'm not just talking about this year's primaries. Check all those previous years with multi-term incumbents who raised money this way even when they didn't have opponents.

So - Chaney solicited funds from insurance agents by a letter. And he will report those contributions over $200. What's the news here? And why do you find it interesting?

Anonymous said...

Allot of us find this interesting.

Historically, the insurance claims process has conditioned many to bend over ,
"jelly down", grab their ankles ,...and accept what is about to happen to them .

Now the supposed guardian of the public's insurance interests is soliciting money
from the same people he regulates ?

Perception is reality .

bill said...

8:26, Pete is right and you are wrong. There isn't a politician in the land who doesn't seek out campaign contributions, and it's completely within the law for anyone who has in interest in what that politician does - which can be pretty much anyone - to contribute. Perception is reality? Please. Mike Chaney is an honest and good public servant, and he'll do the job we've elected him to do without any regard whatsoever to his donor list, which, in the interest of full disclosure, I'll be on. Bill Billingsley

Anonymous said...

He is so far above the 2 pirates who hijacked that office for the past 13 years that there is really no way to make an honest comparison. Chaney did keep some of the top people under the old regime though which is the only negative I have seen so far.

Anonymous said...

@8:26 For what it's worth, there is a big distinction between an insurance agent and an insurance company. I understand that many of the agents out there are "captive" agents (they sell for one insurance company), but many are also independent agents who sell a variety of different companies.

All agents, captive or independent, tend to have more loyalty to their customers than they do the insurance provider. They live in our communities and their livelihoods depend on a good reputation with local residents.

On the claims handling point, agents have little to do with claims handling or claims adjustment. They may take the initial phone call, but after that it becomes a contractual matter between the insurer and the insured. Anyway, I guess my point is to say that I wouldn't impute your concern about insurance companies to insurance agents.

As a caveat, though, I would say that there are some insurance agents out there who don't read or understand the policies they are selling and I do think grandiose/inaccurate promises get made on the front end sometimes that end up causing problems when a claim arises.

That's just my two cents. I've seen it in litigation on both sides of the coin.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Chaney is an improvement and that Pete wrote accurately about the " is".

But, the reason for 6:26's negative perception is given in Pete's answer " Highway contractors have been contributing hundreds of thousands to keep commissioner's loyal to Butch Brown....And others have been contributing thousands ...."

There's a reason one group has hundreds of thousands and the other group has thousands. And,"contributions" are not always in the form of money as you both know.

When some business entities are " favored" , it hurts competition and thus hurts business as well as taxpayers who end up paying more.

RFPs by government can be written so as to favor one bidder or information can be whispered as to how to best underbid the competition on a particular project or someone can be given an early notice so that they have more time to plan. Government contracts can be enforced more stringently for one contractor over another or make the contract more difficult to complete. Excuses to withold monies can be found.

Past Insurance Commissioners favored the insurance industry over the consumer in the ways they wrote regulations and/ or accepted insurance information only upon which to base decisions without checking to see what key data may have been omitted or glossed over.

The only difference between Robert Brown and Butch Brown is the former either lacked the " smarts" or couldn't keep his arrogance in check so as to pull off political favortism in such a way as not to be so obvious.

Capitalism doesn't work well when government favors one business entity over another or when " the guy with a better mousetrap" has little hope of bringing that mousetrap to market. Political favortism and the incestuous relationship between those who contract with government or who are regulated by government and politicians have nearly killed free enterprise. And, it sure as hell has overburdened the taxpayer.

The politicizing of the judicial system has made turning this around nearly impossible. What was a crime in my life time is now legal.When was the last time anyone went to jail for loan sharking?

Bill and Pete, we need more Gils and Teds. Guys who disagreed mightily on many things but who could agree when it came to what was best for Mississippi and our Nation. They actually paid attention to facts and could do arithmetic. I know you both know that.

Can't y'all and Jere find us some of THOSE kind of guys and gals and stop this us/them nonsense?

bill said...

I'm trying mightily to recruit good people to run for political office, and I spend a good bit of time trying to convince those already in office to act like good people. I keep preaching for citizen lawmakers who will get into office, do their job with honor and integrity and then go home and let someone else take a turn. We'll be a lot better off when we can sit in the gallery, and instead of looking down on a bunch of politicians, we can watch farmers and bankers and doctors and plumbers and business executives and even the occasional attorney work on the floor of the House and Senate. Bill

Anonymous said...

Believe it or not, most customers realize that the salesmen and the adjusters co exist in two separate worlds.

Overall. it makes no difference. Perception is reality.

The " happy Happy Joy Joy " neighborhood insurance salesmen all seem to vanish when an actual claim is filed.

Anonymous said...

6:41 The exist in the same world, that's why the salesmen keep their place in that world secure.

I had a hard time not rolling my eyes when the guy that damaged my car in an accident recently assured me that the matter would be " handled quickly" as the agent was "a friend of his". When I saw the name of company that insured him, I knew there would be nothing quick about it.

Anonymous said...

I believe you , Bill. You are one of the few remaining gentlemen in politics.
I just fear you are now out numbered by ill mannered egotists.

Anonymous said...

Jere Nash? You mean the convicted felon Jere Nash? The man who can claim a unique place in American political history as one of only a few to ever have been convicted of corrupting the Teamsters union, Jere Nash? Yeah, he's a shining example of what's right with politics.

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