Monday, April 7, 2008

Oxendine Slams Staton

The insurance industry sure does love Sen. Cecil Staton. Georgia's Republican insurance commissioner? Not so much. A check of Staton's filings with the State Ethics Commission reveals a number of significant contributions from insurance-related people and entities, but one in particular caught my eye. On December 11, 2007, the Independent Insurance Agents of Georgia, Inc., made an in-kind contribution to Staton of $1,887.26 toward the cost of a fundraiser at Atlanta's posh 191 Club. Let's call it an early Christmas present. Then, during the session, Staton was the first sponsor of SB276, a bill that passed, prompting IIAA to post this on their website.

Not everyone was quite so pleased. On the heels of a bitter, public battle between Speaker Richardson and Lt. Gov. Cagle, Georgia's insurance commissioner, John Oxendine slammed Sen. Cecil Staton for his allegiance to trial lawyers and insurance companies at the expense of his constituents, in print, in Sunday's Telegraph. (Oh, my God, he used the "T" word about another Republican.) Oxendine said the new law (assuming Gov. Perdue signs it) will increase insurance rates and allow insurance companies to implement new rates without checking in with the insurance commissioner. Here's quote:

Sen. Staton may try to confuse the issue, but the bottom line is that Senate Bill 276 is bad legislation, crafted in secret and passed with little notice or opportunity for public input. Georgians deserve better.

I agree with Commissioner Oxendine. Georgians do deserve better. It's time we had elected officials who will stand up for everyday Georgians. With the help of Georgia Republicans, who are continuing to perfect the art of the circular firing squad, we may just have a chance to elect some Democrats this November.

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