Sunday, October 29, 2006

Following Florida's Insurance Money

Today, the final installment of the Gannett media series about Florida insurance reforms focuses squarely on who has the incentive to find them -- and who doesn't. In the latter category are a bunch of fast-talking politicians who are hiding the fact that they've already sold out to the insurance industry.

Top of the list is Charlie Crist. It's shocking to read in "The Money Trail" by Paige St. John and Aaron Deslatte that --
"Attorney General Charlie Crist, the Republican candidate for governor, has taken in $763,507 in insurance industry contributions through Oct. 6, the most among any candidate in the general election."
By contrast, his Democratic opponent, Jim Davis, has received only $74,450. That's 9.8 percent of Crist's total.

The mountain of money Crist has raked in from insurance companies and agents doesn't yet break the all-time state record. That dubious distinction belongs to Florida's current Chief Financial Officer, Tom Gallagher, who collected over $1 million during the primary while supposedly regulating them. That's a million dollars of our premium money passed through intermediaries like State Farm, Florida Peninsula, and other property insurance companies.

But there's still time. Charlie Crist almost assuredly will break Gallagher's sell-out record by the time final candidate campaign contribution reports are due, well after the November 11 election.

Crist, of course, says the money won't influence him if he's elected. But talk is cheap. As Bill Newton of the Florida Consumer Action Network says, "You need to follow the money. The money talks. I don't pay attention to what people are saying -- it's the money that talks."

Other articles in the final installment of the Gannett series include --


Anonymous said...

Here is the way it will work out. No insurance reforms will become law next year. Crist will claim it was the legislature's fault. The legislature will say it was the lack of leadership from Crist. Then they will both blame the Democrats while the insurance companies get richer.

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