Friday, October 26, 2012

Fourth Poll Shows Goodwin Momentum Building; Causey Behind by Nine Points

The fourth independent, statewide public poll has now been released and it has North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin with a 9-point lead - his largest yet - over challenger Mike Causey.

As previously reported here, previous polls have shown Goodwin in the lead over the past four months.
The current poll results are probably an indication that Commissioner Goodwin's statewide TV and radio advertising have made their mark among voters.
"I'm pleased with this latest poll, but also very cautious because I recognize that polls are merely snapshots in time," said Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin. "I must remain vigilant and campaign doggedly until the polls close on Election Day, November 6th."
It does not hurt that six newspapers statewide have endorsed Goodwin, along with firefighters, educators, law enforcement officials, and multiple divergent advocacy groups, including business leaders from across the political spectrum.

Nationally-renowned Public Policy Polling (PPP) conducted the poll. PPP surveyed 880 likely voters from October 23rd to 25th. The margin of error for the
survey is +/-3.3%.

Goodwin Opponent Wants to Take NC Back to the 1830s?

Mike Causey, GOP challenger to incumbent NC Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin in this year's election, startled a Greensboro newspaper editor this week by specifically advocating for "nullification." Read the full article here.

Even North Carolina's native son, President Andrew Jackson, called such belief folly when he ridiculed it back in the 1830s.

This policy position by the four-time candidate for insurance commissioner, retired insurance industry executive and paid lobbyist has prompted his inclusion in a statewide press statement extolling his plans to take North Carolina "back in time."

North Carolinians have a stark choice between the 19th century Causey or the 21st century Goodwin.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Goodwin Message Reaches TV Audiences Statewide During Six-Week Run

This week incumbent North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin's third TV ad entered the rotation as the two-week countdown to Election Day began. In total, Goodwin's ads will have run over a six week period.

His first ad is a direct conversation by the candidate, looking straight into the camera to discuss the highlights of his term in office.

Goodwin's second ad features Buncombe County's Van Duncan, the popular Sheriff there. The sheriff, speaking on his behalf and for other law enforcement officers, heralds the state insurance commissioner's highly successful fraud-fighting efforts.

The third ad again includes Goodwin. This time the viewer is peeking in on a kitchen conversation between the state official and a coastal/eastern North Carolina resident. Insurance Commissioner Goodwin pledges to always fight for eastern North Carolina, just as valiantly and intensely as he did immediately after Hurricane Irene struck in 2011.

Meanwhile, the Council of State member has had ongoing short spots on NCSPIN, on social media, and on statewide radio.

To date, it appears that Goodwin's Republican challenger, Mike Causey, has gone on radio and purchased a small buy on NCSPIN but no broadcast or cable TV advertising that could be found.

Regardless of whomever the winner is on Election Night, it is fair to say that the candidates will have spent the largest sum of money ever spent on TV in a North Carolina insurance commissioner race. And it is also very fair - and accurate - to say that Wayne Goodwin is the only candidate for state Insurance Commissioner with a proven record of fighting for consumers.

Insurance Commissioner Goodwin Has Been Endorsed by Newspapers Statewide

With two weeks to go until Election Day, we are now at the stage when editorial boards of newspapers choose whether to endorse or not in certain races here in North Carolina.

It is now clear that incumbent Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin has received the clear and consistent support of newspaper editors across the Tar Heel state.

So far, Goodwin has received endorsements for re-election from The Charlotte Observer, the Winston-Salem Journal, the Asheville Citizen-Times, and The Independent Weekly.

It appears that opponent Mike Causey has only received endorsements from hyper-partisan Tea Party groups and Tea Party-related "news" blogs. Only Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin has received endorsements from bipartisan, mainstream North Carolina. (Keep in mind that Republicans have gone out of their way to support Democrat Wayne Goodwin, and not just former Congressman Barry Goldwater, Jr., but North Carolina GOP members all across the state.)

It is most interesting to note what some of the printed endorsements had to say in the race.

The Charlotte Observer stated that only Goodwin was capable of handling the "complicated" insurance law landscape for North Carolina and that only the incumbent commissioner has "a keen grasp" of the issues.

The Independent Weekly stated:
"We endorse incumbent Wayne Goodwin, who is running for a second term. We applaud his attention to insurance issues affecting coastal property owners. He is seeking greater consumer protections for these property owners, who may not be able to afford or even apply for insurance in these hurricane-prone areas. One way he is doing this is to stagger rate hikes over several years so that property owners aren't hit with sticker shock.

While Goodwin understands that insurance companies are businesses and thus want to make a profit, he is also aware of their power to tip the scales toward their interests. He recently persuaded the Legislature to require public comment periods after insurance company rate filings and is focusing on making insurance policies readable—reducing the legalese—for lay people.

His opponent, Mike Causey, a retired insurance professional, worked as a lobbyist for the insurance industry. He ran for commissioner in 1992, 1996 and 2000 against then-commissioner Jim Long. He worked as a lobbyist for several groups, including Citizens for Insurance Reform. He opposes ObamaCare and disagrees with the Supreme Court's ruling that most of it is constitutional."
In Winston-Salem the newspaper stated that Goodwin has "guided his department through a difficult era for insurance coverage and done reasonably well ..."

Meanwhile, the blogosphere has entered into the Insurance Commissioner race as well. The Greensboro News & Record's political blogger, Travis Fain, commented on Causey's federal tax lien, bankruptcy and campaign finance problems, while an interesting independent blog has focused on Causey's foibles and roadblocks to being a good fit for North Carolina.

UPDATE #1: The Greensboro News & Record endorsed Wayne Goodwin for re-election as Insurance Commissioner on October 23rd. Here's its basis for the endorsement:
"Goodwin, however, put down a potential storm two years ago when then-state Senate leader Marc Basnight tried to weaken the commissioner’s rate-setting authority. Basnight, from Dare County, attempted a legislative maneuver that likely would have led to lower property insurance rates in coastal counties, with inland policy holders paying more. Goodwin stopped it cold, as he has resisted rate increases while also trying to make North Carolina a place where insurance companies can still do business.

Goodwin also believes North Carolina should play a role in managing health insurance exchanges to provide low-cost coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Causey opposes the federal law. “Nullification” by North Carolina is “still an option,” he said. No, it’s not.

Goodwin is the better choice."
UPDATE #2: The Daily Advance of Elizabeth City, one of our beautiful eastern/coastal cities of North Carolina, has now endorsed Wayne Goodwin for re-election as NC Insurance Commissioner, based on its October 25th editorial.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

State Fire Marshal Goodwin: Remember Fire Prevention Week

One of the hats worn by NC Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin is that of State Fire Marshal.

As essentially the state's fire chief, he takes great pride and responsibility in working on projects with his 57,000 partners in the fire and rescue services in North Carolina.

This week is Fire Prevention Month, a regular project of all firefighters as they and Goodwin go about promoting fire and life safety measures.

The theme for this year is "Two Ways Out." It is important that homeowners and residents plan for two exits from every room, just in case one exit is blocked by fire or smoke. Also, Goodwin says, it is imperative that families create a home exit plan so family members know how to exit a house and where to meet up outside safe and away from a burning structure. And while on the subject of developing and practicing that emergency exit plan for your home, go ahead and get in the habit of testing your smoke alarms monthly and changing the batteries twice a year.

Commissioner Goodwin reminds folks that a great many fires begin in the kitchen, so be extra careful when cooking or preparing meals in or on your oven, or in your microwave.

WRAL-TV featured Insurance Commissioner Goodwin on its early morning show this week at this link.
And, countless newspapers and radio stations shared the state fire chief's message, doing their part to educate Tar Heel residents the importance of fire prevention.

# # #

Monday, October 8, 2012

Insurance Commissioner Goodwin Announces Historic Insurance Fraud Arrests: 600 Arrested So Far on Goodwin's Watch!

North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin announced that his team busted the largest single embezzlement and insurance fraud scheme in the history of the Department of Insurance.

In what appears to be at least $5.3 million, Goodwin's sworn law enforcement officers and criminal investigators worked and built the case so that the four arrests could be made and the most solid case could be presented to the grand jury.

"This is an instance where the insurance company reported something seemed to be amiss, and my team went in and rooted out what we believe is the largest multi-million-dollar embezzlement in state history. My thanks goes out to the company and to the local prosecutor for working as a terrific team," said goodwin.

On his watch Goodwin's administration has made more than 600 arrests and recovered more than $49 million for victims of insurance fraud.

Goodwin Widens Lead: Ahead in Three Statewide Polls for Insurance Commissioner

As a result of his intensified campaigning, his statewide advertising, and the public just paying more attention, incumbent NC Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin has led his challenger in all three public statewide polls.

The two most recent polls - one by Public Policy Polling and the other by Civitas - had Goodwin up by five and eight points, respectively. The first poll had Goodwin's lead at three points; the significance about that one is the survey concluded before Insurance Commissioner Goodwin launched his TV and radio advertising, and it was not too long after Causey appeared on a ballot for the second (runoff) primary. (For additional background, go to this link here.)

This news does not bode well for Republican challenger and perennial candidate Mike Causey, who does not appear to have raised sufficient funds to make a credible media purchase statewide.

Watch for Goodwin, who has ordered insurance rate cuts and refunds and rebates of over $1.4 Billion, to maintain and solidify his lead in the final weeks before the election.