Monday, April 13, 2009

Lawmaker Lies

With approximately three weeks remaining in the Florida legislature's annual session, the Palm Beach Post is reporting that a dozen bills to "benefit the insurance industry... already have passed at least one legislative committee."
For instance, legislation proposed by Sen. Bryan Nelson, R- Apopka, that passed the House insurance committee earlier this month would, among other things:
  • Increase rates of state-backed Citizens Property Insurance by up to 20 percent for individual policyholders;
  • Allow private insurers to automatically increase premiums by up to 10 percent a year with minimal state scrutiny;
  • Prevent regulators from limiting how much insurers spend on advertising costs or insurance agent commissions; and
  • Allow insurers to require public adjusters hired by policyholders to represent them in claims disputes to take sworn statements under oath.
Not surprisingly, it turns out that state lawmakers like Nelson, who are promoting the corporate interests of insurance companies over those of home owners, already have received large campaign contributions from -- guess who? Insurance corporations!
Nelson tops the list of the two dozen legislators in insurance-related campaign contributions last year with $28,295, which is 17 percent of his total contributions.
The real laugher is that Nelson claims he doesn't even know how much money he's collected from the insurance industry.
"I'm a private market sector guy," Nelson said. "I've got no idea how much money I have from insurance companies."
So, we have a Florida lawmaker -- who is required by law to "certify" his own campaign contribution reports -- claiming he hasn't even counted the money he's raking in from the biggest lobbying industry in Tallahassee. Either he's lying to us or he's lying to the Florida Election Commission.

Should we forgive him just because he also claims "I'm a private market sector guy"?

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