Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Grooming 'Insurance Legislators'

The ALEC model for influencing state lawmaking is spreading, especially in the insurance industry. We're now seeing evidence on campaign finance reports that Wisconsin legislators are essentially being paid to be lobbied on insurance issues...getting "scholarships" to attend insurance industry conferences where they are educated on insurance-related legislation and regulation and given model bills to pass.

Get a load of the name of one of these outfits that has made payments to at least one Wisconsin lawmaker.... The Insurance Legislators Foundation is an arm of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators. A New York address is listed for ILF on the campaign reports we've examined. Also showing up on campaign finance reports are Griffith Foundation scholarships. This outfit sponsored an "Insurance 101" program for state legislators in conjunction with the NCOIL annual meeting in Alabama last November and is doing another one in Oklahoma later this month. Griffith is affiliated with another group called the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters, which lists a Pennsylvania address and is described as "the leader in delivering proven knowledge solutions that drive powerful business results for the risk management and property-casualty insurance industry."

Wasn't that long ago that state representatives would get ideas for bills from people they were elected to represent. Now they are being paid to travel across the country to be fed industry-approved legislation.

Good grief.

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