Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Causey Kiboshes Insurance Commissioner Forum To Be Hosted by the League of Women Voters

Lack of Causey Response Prompts Cancellation in Wilmington

On July 5th the League of Women Voters of North Carolina and the NC Center for Voter Education invited both Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin and challenger Mike Causey to be the headliner at an August 21st Wilmington public forum. The planned forum would allow opening statements from the two candidates for Insurance Commissioner and then both gentlemen would receive questions from a moderator and members of the assembled public for approximately one hour.

Goodwin immediately accepted.

On August 9th, the co-hosts informed Goodwin that the event was canceled. Upon inquiring the reason, an organizer stated that the lack of a response from Mike Causey caused the cancellation. This resulted even though Causey received the invitation more than a month before the event.

Though political candidate schedules can fill up quickly and events may conflict, it is especially interesting that Mr. Causey has accepted an August 22nd invitation -- yes, that's the day after the League of Women Voters event -- for the Wilmington Region Association of Realtors. The gaping difference between the two events is that Causey accepted this subsequent event where he gets only three minutes to speak and no questions. He ignored the League forum that was open to the public and where there'd be approximately an hour of head-to-head deliberations with his opponent plus questions from the public.

Not knowing why Mr. Causey didn't agree to the August 21st event, to the observer it appears that Mr. Causey just did not want to debate his opponent.
"I'm very disappointed that Mike has given no reason for ducking the debate and has caused its cancellation," said Insurance Commissioner Goodwin. "There are fundamental differences between him and me that the public needs to know. Not the least of them is that Mr. Causey worked for decades for the insurance industry special interests and I have a proven bipartisan record of saving consumers and businesses over $1.3 Billion and fighting insurance fraud."
Goodwin confirmed and accepted participation in both events.

Follow the campaign on Twitter: @WayneGoodwinNC
Campaign website: www.WayneGoodwin.org

Friday, August 10, 2012

Insurance Commissioner Goodwin Leads in First Public Poll

Incumbent NC Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin leads habitual challenger Mike Causey in the first public poll for this statewide race in the 2012 Fall campaign.

What is most amazing about this poll is that Goodwin has his lead even though (a) Causey has already been on the ballot himself twice this one year alone,(b) Causey has been on the statewide ballot four times for the same office, and (c) Goodwin hasn't even begun his media messaging in earnest yet.
"I'm pleased with these results, and look forward to advocating for why my proven record of saving consumers more than $1.3 Billion, obtaining more than 600 arrests for insurance fraud, and being a strong advocate for our firefighters are key to my re-election campaign," said Goodwin.
Stay tuned as the public begins to pay more attention to this important office and Insurance Commissioner Goodwin gets his message out to North Carolina's voters.

Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin Heralds New Report Confirming NC's Low Car Insurance Rates

A recently published independent study shows that North Carolinians spend approx 1.6% of income on car insurance, the second lowest spent in the country!

The report acknowledges that a large contributing factor to this particular metric is how North Carolina has regulated car insurance rates over the years.
"It's not a perfect system, but it has contributed to the lowest average car insurance rates from Delaware to Texas and some of the very lowest in the country, while also having the third-most-stable insurance market in the country," explained Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin.
Goodwin sees value in the system while still seeking targeted reforms.
"It is very interesting that some folks won't accept facts or evidence that our average insurance rates are among the very lowest. That's good for business and great for individual drivers and families," he said.

Follow Goodwin's ongoing discussion of this issue and other relevant topics by becoming a friend to his campaign Facebook page or following him on Twitter via @WayneGoodwinNC. Alternatively, stay tuned to the campaign website, www.waynegoodwin.org.

Goodwin Challenger Mike Causey Fires Himself As Campaign Treasurer

Following up on the previous post linked here, the State Board of Elections has published a document indicating that candidate Mike Causey has now fired himself as his own campaign treasurer.

Until a few days ago and various campaign finance irregularities arose, candidate Causey served as his own treasurer, which is lawful.

This news comes on the heels of Causey's admissions to certain campaign finance allegations.
"The job of Insurance Commissioner requires great attention to detail, oftentimes minute details. Nobody's perfect. But it is important to know that an Insurance Commissioner responsible for setting various insurance rates and making decisions impacting businesses, the insurance marketplace, and people's pocketbooks knows to watch those details and follow the law," said incumbent Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin.
Follow Goodwin's ongoing discussion of issues by becoming a friend to his campaign Facebook page or following him on Twitter via @WayneGoodwinNC. Alternatively, stay tuned to the campaign website, www.waynegoodwin.org.

Goodwin challenger, Mike Causey, admits to election law errors and violations

Much has happened within the last two weeks in the 2012 Insurance Commissioner's race here in North Carolina.

After habitual failed candidate Mike Causey (he's run four times now for the same office) won his hard-fought runoff primary election last month, incumbent Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin and his re-election team discovered some anomalies in Causey's campaign finance reports. Those apparent problems and alleged violations may be further analyzed in detail here at this independent link.

Now, the Raleigh News & Observer has printed an update wherein Mr. Causey admits to many of the errors, omissions, and violations. His defense is mainly "Oops."

Mr. Causey and some of his supporters have said that Causey's violations are no big deal.

That is further from the truth.
"The law is the law. I want Mr. Causey to play by the same rules and laws that the rest of us must follow," said Insurance Commissioner Goodwin. "He may think that his several thousand dollars of unreported expenses and contributions - that we know of - are not a big deal, but they are significant errors indeed. For some of Mr. Causey's supporters to actually question my right to petition the State Board of Elections for an independent review of these allegations is shameful. Mr. Causey's subsequent admission that mistakes were made in his campaign provides further justification for my complaint."
With less than 88 days to go until Election Day, voters need to know that campaign finance violations will not be tolerated.

A fair election requires that candidates be transparent, and follow the rules and laws on campaign finance.

Mike Causey worked for the insurance industry for approximately thirty years and as a paid lobbyist for ten years. In contrast, Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin has never worked for any industry or special interest regulated by the Department of Insurance, and has a proven record of consumer protection (more than $1.3 billion saved so far!) and is the only candidate running for Insurance Commissioner this year well-versed in applicable North Carolina law relevant to the Department.


UPDATE: The Raleigh News & Observer published an updated article by journalist Austin Baird on August 14 at this link here.

The Associated Press also ran a statewide article on the issue on August 14. One of many news outlets published this coverage of the issue.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin Aggressively Fights Fraud and Scam Artists

The only candidate for NC Insurance Commissioner Truly Experienced in Insurance Law Enforcement.

A paramount component of North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin's goals is to find, investigate, arrest, and seek the conviction of persons committing insurance fraud and other scams in his jurisdiction.

Described as "the Capeless Crusader" here and elsewhere, Goodwin and his team continue their never-ending battle against persons who embezzle, steal, and defraud.

In fact, you most often see news of individual arrests practically every week on the Department of Insurance website. For example, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

Over the last 3-1/2 years, under his leadership and that of the dedicated professionals of his Department, Goodwin's Criminal Investigations Division has arrested more than 600 persons that has thus far led to at least 330 convictions. During that same time period, he and his team have recovered more than $49 Million for victims of insurance fraud.
"As our Insurance Commissioner and the elected head of a law enforcement agency, I take protecting consumers and fighting insurance crime very seriously,” said Wayne Goodwin. “It’s not about partisanship, but right versus wrong, justice versus the lawbreaker, and competence versus inexperience, as well as protecting State-based regulation for the benefit of consumers and small businesses each and every day.”
It is interesting to note that Insurance Commissioner Goodwin has experience within a municipal Department of Public Safety in 1986, as retired SBI Director Robert Morgan's legal intern in 1989, as a sworn Special Deputy Sheriff in the 1990s, as a member of the General Assembly's Justice and Public Safety Subcommittee for at least six years, and as Assistant State Fire Marshal and Assistant Insurance Commissioner between 2005 and 2008.

Also of interest is that Insurance Commissioner Goodwin has already been described by an "Under the Dome" blogger for the Raleigh News & Observer in October 2009 as "apparently an action hero, by elected-official standards." And as every good action hero knows, it is a 24-7 job.

So, as the November elections approach, voters have a real choice: Someone like Wayne Goodwin who is tested, experienced, and has spent years fighting insurance fraud and other shenanigans, or, on the other hand, someone else who is untested, unready, and never been involved with insurance law enforcement.

If it is about who will best protect the public, the clear and obvious choice for Insurance Commissioner this year is Wayne Goodwin.

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Follow Insurance Commissioner Goodwin on Twitter @WayneGoodwinNC or on Facebook here at this link.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Wayne Goodwin Campaign Continues to Gain Re-election Momentum:

Has 20 to 1 Advantage Over His 2012 Opponent in One Key Area

There are several ways to measure a successful political campaign.

Most obviously would be to count votes.
But what about before the election – how do you measure success before the votes are cast?

It comes down to (1) money raised; (2) organization; (3) a ground game; and (4) supporters.

NC Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin appears to be winning on all fronts.

As for money raised, Insurance Commissioner Goodwin has raised more funds for this election cycle than any other person has raised for the office since its inception in 1899. Since he was sworn in, he had raised in excess of $520,000. As of the last campaign report, Goodwin had over $300,000 cash-on-hand and a few more scheduled fundraisers to go for the year.

His opponent, Mike Causey, had only mustered less than $30,000 total and had approximately $14,000 on hand as of June 30 before a costly run-off primary election.

At the organizational level, Goodwin has strong support among various constituent groups and keys in every county.

As for Goodwin’s ground game, the state’s elected Insurance Commissioner has been barnstorming the state almost non-stop since 2008 but has ultra-ramped up efforts especially over the last eight months. Every week he delivers multiple speeches to myriad groups, attends functions at fire departments or community gatherings, or is quoted in various newspapers all around North Carolina.

And then there are his supporters. His Facebook supporters alone outnumber his opponent’s list 3 to 1 and his contributors outnumber his opponent’s by 10 to 1. It probably also helps that Goodwin’s goals of consumer protection, fighting for low and fair insurance rates, and helping our firefighters are substantive – plus he has a significant, proven record to back it up -- while his opponent uses worn phrases like he’ll “bring more insurance companies to the State” and he’ll lower rates in certain areas of the State.
“To do what Causey is promising would mean many fewer consumer protections, insurance rates set at any level the companies wanted, and making the rest of the State pay more for insurance coverage than other areas,” pointed out Goodwin. “Voters need to listen closely to what he is saying and remember that Mr. Causey is the fox wanting to guard the henhouse.”
While Goodwin is running for re-election on a strong consumer protection record, his opponent – a retired insurance industry executive and paid lobbyist – is seeking the same office for the fourth time in 20 years. Unlike Causey, Goodwin has never worked for the insurance industry and has never been a lobbyist.
“We need an insurance commissioner with a successful track record and who knows how to fulfill the obligations of this office,” said Insurance Commissioner Goodwin. “I have bipartisan support and a team that champions consumer protection, saving $1.3 Billion during my term, and succeeding in the conviction of 330 persons for insurance fraud. This is not the time to change horses midstream and certainly not the time to try out this important office on someone who is untested and unready.”
Though his campaign continues to gain momentum, Insurance Commissioner Goodwin is aggressively underscoring the achievements of his administration and how he and his team both saved major money for consumers and successfully encourage companies to write insurance business in North Carolina.

Goodwin maintains that he is THE serious candidate for this very serious job.