Wayne Goodwin , Candidate for Insurance Commissioner, Live Blog 7 pm Tonight

Join us tonight for a live blog with Wayne Goodwin, Candidate for Insurance Commissioner, at 7 p.m. Feel free to leave your questions here throughout the day! See you tonight at 7!

Comments

Moved from another thread

What's up with Sen. Tony Rand?
Submitted by momoaizo on Thu, 04/10/2008 - 12:36pm.

Did anyone see this at WRAL?

Sen. Tony Rand, D-Cumberland, countered that the current system is unfair, with all drivers paying a surcharge that funds a coverage pool for risky drivers.

"There are many ways to look at this," Rand said. "One way is that it would be lower rates for some people who don't have to subsidize. What we're trying to do is get the subsidy out of this."

"This is very easy to make a lot of trite statements about 'we're protecting people.' But this is a very difficult problem to try to get straight," Rand added.

Thanks again Linda

for moving this over....

Tonight, from 6 to 9 pm I'll be in class at SCC (taking the 2007 excel class) and will only be able to come to bluenc during breaks. I'll certainly be visiting then but I really appreciate you walking my question to the right place.

I really would like to know more about Sen. Rand. Like Leslie I wonder who his friends are and why he is trying to enrich the insurance monster instead of looking out for his constituents.

Here is a copy of the email I received earlier today, (which is probably flying around the intertubes)...

Now that Jim Long(NC Insurance Commissioner) is out, the insurance co are trying to sneak this in by having(paying) a dem to propose a plan for THEM to set insurance rates.

Let me let the fox guard that hen house.

When will people wake up and get those bastards out of office?
I honestly believe the NC races are more important now than the national elections, for reasons like the one above.

I have just gotten off the phone with Chrissy Pearson, the public info officer for Jim Long and Wayne Goodwin and she may come to bluenc, register and leave a few observations about this too. She has been invited and I really hope she does. What she has to say is very interesting.

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

Reply to momoaizo and Linda

In answer to your question about Sen. Rand: I don't know.

What I do know is this: I'm the ONLY person in the race for Insurance Commissioner who has spent the last several years fighting vicious attempts by the special interests - the insurance industry, many of whom are from out-of-state and who dare to tell us what to do - who want to strip the Insurance Commissioner of his rate-setting authority and of his ability to stand up for consumers. As you may know, Sen. Rand filed the bill on this subject. It was the subject of several entries from me and was the subject of numerous and very helpful responses from the BlueNC community as we joined to together to oppose that legislation. That bill failed. There is now a study committee that is focusing on some of the some same subjects, but will have some potentially helpful amendments so long as they do not harm the public or the watchdog role of Insurance Commissioner.

Though I am open to reasonable amendments to the law that reflect changes in technology and which are directed towards protecting consumers and keeping rates reasonable while aiming for a competitive insurance market in NC, we do NOT need nor should we allow our watchdog, the Insurance Commissioner, to be weakened.

One other point: If rates for risky drivers go are too high, we have another dilemma ... Those drivers may choose and will choose to drive UNINSURED. That is very bad for many public policy reasons. If risky drivers drive uninsured, then that means you or your daughter, if an in accident, will have NO recourse against that driver but will have to rely upon YOUR OWN insurance policy for coverage and remedy.

We need an Insurance Commissioner that brings balance, but who will preserve the regulatory regimen AND who will promote a stable insurance market. That's good for families, individuals and small businesses ... and it's also good for the insurance industry. We do not want insurers leaving the State because of an inability to make a reasonable profit. That would diminish choice and competition for consumers, which would backfire on consumers and lead to higher rates.

We need an Insurance Commissioner who is NOT for the special interests but is for the People, which is the ONLY interest I will have if elected Insurance Commissioner.

Oh, and I'm very happy to be here with my BlueNC friends!

The live blog is a terrific way to engage both candidates and voters. I'm excited. I'll be here as long as I can, and will certainly take additional questions even after 8 pm. I am in Eastern NC for a meeting with 400 firefighters, and they have graciously given me an opportunity to be with you all as well. They know how important this evening's live blog is.

Tell them we thank them for

sharing you.

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

When I walk back into the auditorium, I will do just that!

Firefighters are true heroes, and they want elections to be voter-friendly, too. ... I'll suggest that they come over and visit us at BlueNC as well.

Wayne emailed and the live-blog might have to start a bit late

He has an in-district event and he plans to leave early.



***************************
Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

I worked things out and can start on time @ 7 pm after all

I'm down here in Eastern NC to meet and speak with approx 400 firefighters, and will be able to break away for 7 pm after all! Our firefighters are very accommodating and are extremely supportive of my Insurance Commissioner campaign!

I look forward to joining everyone in less than 30 minutes!

Terrific,

See you then, Wayne!

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

ok....thanks, Betsy.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Linda, I can start at 7 pm - maybe a tad early - after all!

Didn't know if you saw my message from a few minutes ago. I'm excited about the live blog!

Late is better.

Wayne,

What the hell does the Insurance Commissioner do?

Sincerely,

Robert

I Twitter, Therefore I Am.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

What does the Insurance Commissioner do? Excellent question!

The Insurance Commissioner does a great many things, a large number of which are not directly related to the regulation of the insurance industry. In fact, some of us like to say that the Department of Insurance should be called the Department of Other Things. I'll explain ...

First of all, Chapter 58 of the General Statutes empowers the Insurance Commissioner to serve as the agency head of the NC Dept of Insurance.

In that chapter, DOI (Dept of Insurance) regulates insurance agents, insurance brokers, and insurance companies. NOT one of those entities or persons can do business in this State without a license and without meeting lawful criteria and understanding the consumer protections our laws provide.

The COI (Commissioner of Insurance) and DOI regulate bail bondsmen, auto clubs (like AAA), premium finance companies, manufactured housing builders/dealers, and many other non-insurance lines of business.

The COI is also the State Fire Marshal. In that role he and DOI provide training and leadership from the State level, as well advocacy before the legislature, for each of the 44,000 firefighters and rescue/EMS workers. We work with injury prevention and administer up to $7Million annually in grants for most volunteer fire departments in the state. There are 1,500 of those.

The COI also is a leader on injury prevention. We have the Safe Kids program, which provides car safety seats and a myriad of training and workshops in counties and schools all across this State.

The COI also has the Seniors Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP), which helps senior citizens and their families navigate their way around Medicare Part D and choose the right prescription drug plan.

The COI and DOI are also LAW ENFORCEMENT. The Commissioner has the power of arrest. DOI has 20 sworn law enforcement officers who carry weapons. Why? When we fight insurance fraud, there are often some very bad people. When you have very bad people and the potential for tens of millions of dollars (or more) at stake, then those bad people can hurt you and our agents when we attempt and do take them in.

And, of course, the Commissioner is also a member of the Council of State, which along with other members, makes decisions on State property purchases, sales, leases, and other things.

There is much, much more. I recommend that interested folks go to www.ncdoi.com for more information.

Does this answer your question, Robert?

I know I've certainly wondered.

It sounds like a lot of work. I had no idea that the COI was part of the Safe Kids program. I've been working with that locally for about 10 years.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Safe Kids

Jim Long founded the NC chapter of Safe Kids! I regularly speak with county and regional chapters, and would certainly love to do so in your area (Moore County). In fact, your region of Moore County is in a coalition with Richmond, Montgomery and, I believe, Hoke County.

Yup, I think that's right.

I work with Moore and Hoke. I'd love to set that up - when you're not too busy!

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Something's Been Bothering Me

Thanks for joining us tonight, Wayne. I've got a tough question, but I'd be remiss if I didn't ask it because it really has been bothering me.

A few weeks ago, at the YDNC Convention, Jim Neal famously stood up and silenced James Carville by saying, "We have primaries here in North Carolina. We don't have coronations." But, in the case of the Insurance Commissioner race, that seems to be exactly what's happened.

From Under the Dome:

Jim Long will not run for re-election.

The longtime Democratic insurance commissioner will not seek a seventh term in office.

Wayne Goodwin, a former four-term state representative and failed candidate for labor commissioner in 2004, filed today to replace Long, shortly before the noon deadline.

He was accompanied to the State Board of Elections by Long and by his wife, state Rep. Melanie Wade Goodwin, a Richmond County Democrat.

When asked about his failure to file so far, Long spokeswoman Chrissy Pearson said Wednesday that Long intended to file for re-election on Friday.

A subsequent report from Under the Dome relays an incident from a recent Council of State meeting where Commissioner Long, essentially, "passed the torch" to you. I have a tremendous amount of respect for you, Mr. Goodwin, and for Commissioner Long's career of service to North Carolina, but, in my opinion, this whole situation stinks.

The collaboration between you and Commissioner Long in announcing his retirement and your candidacy seems unfair from where I sit. It's hard for me to imagine, given the widespread interest in other Council of State races, that the race for an OPEN CoS seat wouldn't draw more attention. Also, I'm troubled by the fact by what happened at the Council of State meeting, as you haven't yet won the Democratic nomination. Is this a coronation?

----
There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy

----
There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy

I'm actually glad you asked that question ...

Thank you for your question, nctodc!

I actually believe your question is quite appropriate and I'm glad you asked it.

There has been some misinformation about the Feb 29th filing - some created by the media, some actually created by my opponent in the Democratic primary, and some that's probably just a function of human nature always thinking there is more to a story than there is.

Commissioner Long's decision shocked me and my family, along with everyone else! Oh, how I wish he had made his mind up sooner!! ... Certainly it would be much easier and much less stressful to run and to campaign over a 6+ month period than over a mere 70 days. Also, I wish he'd decided sooner too so that it would be easier to meet the new law regarding public financing. (See my other BlueNC postings on that, as well as on my blog and my campaign website.)

Out of respect for Commissioner Long, many folks chose not to file for Insurance Commissioner until he made his final decision. (The media hasn't mentioned this but there has been a candidate seeking the office of Insurance Commissioner since last November 2007: That fellow is from Mecklenburg County and is working to be both a write-in and an unaffiliated candidate. He's been traveling the State for many months already.)

As for me, with the surprise of Commissioner Long's decision, I scrambled with very, very short notice to get my Board of Elections Director to sign my paperwork in advance of filing. I was working on the paperwork late the night before filing.

On the other hand, David Smith, my Democratic opponent who has worked for the insurance industry and still represents the industry's interests, ADMITTED to me and to others in candidate forums over the last 40 days that he had planned to run for Commissioner all along. Though he says he hadn't planned to run until 2012, he then admitted that he had ALREADY prepared his paperwork to file in 2008 in advance of everyone else, UNLIKE me. (Make you wonder.) He prepared it before travelling to New Orleans before the filing deadline. He didn't even file in person; he had someone else file his campaign paperwork for him. He also claims to have gotten a "heads up" about Commissioner Long's plans, allegedly in advance. That is untrue. He has pulled that out of the air. Ask Jim Long. He'll tell you how David apparently was calling on Jim's family up until Jim made his decision asking - insisting - to know whether Jim was going to file.

As for the Council of State meeting, that was Commissioner Long's doings. He has a unique personality, to say the least. As I recall, he wanted his Council of State members to know he wasn't dying and then he quoted JFK about "passing the torch to a new generation of leaders". To my regret, he mentioned me next. And then the Dome piece appeared. There's nothing I could do about that.

I would ask that you please not unnecessarily assign blame to me on the circumstances of the filing, but keep an open mind on what the truth really is on this. I agree that it doesn't look the best, but I had no control over that.

Please keep in mind, too, that there are people out there - the insurance industry and some insurance-minded legislators - who want you to think there was collaboration. Keep in mind, too, that Mr. Smith himself is President-elect of the Health Insurance Undwerwriters of NC and has a "special" interest in spreading misrepresentations about this.

This is not a coronation.

Folks who know me know that I love elections. It's what our system of government is about. I have never backed down from an election nor will I. I am my own man, and will campaign and will serve as my own person, if elected.

While I am honored to have Jim Long's endorsement, I encourage you to look at the deep, diverse, and broad array of endorsements and supporters I have in this campaign. (Go to www.waynegoodwin.org. You may want to note that my endorsements contrast GREATLY with those of my opponent.) All these folks have honored me with their strong support. Look at my credentials, look at my proven record, look at who is truly going to work FOR THE PEOPLE and NOT for the special interests. I respectfully request that you judge me not by how and when Jim Long made his decision but on me, my character, my record, my plan, and who will do the very best job.

thanks for the answer to a difficult question, Wayne

I know it's been on the mind of many voters - it works for me.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Hurricane insurance

Will you encourage hurricane insurance for everyone and not just deep water counties? The small number of people who have to buy insurance vs the number of people who are actually effected by a hurricane is not on par.

Katrinia proved that hurricanes go further and cause more damage then just the coastal counties.

Same with flood insurance. Almost every county in the state can be effected by floods but only perceived flood prone counties have to buy the stuff. Will you make either everyone buy flood insurance that has a river, stream, body of water or has had a hurricane impact them with flood waters or set a standard were individual plots of land over a certain height does not have to buy flood insurance?

Why I ask this, the more people who are paying the less the cost of the insurance in question is for everyone.

Where I live, it will take a flood of biblical proportions to flood me out, yet I have to buy it. I do not like that.

Double wide mobile homes, commonly referred to as trailers (FALSE!). Will you make mobile homes that are sitting on blocks, anchored down, and have a cement skirting have the same housing insurance costs as a stick or modular home? NC has a huge mobile/modular home factories and many people buy these homes, but this state feels these houses are higher risk and allows insurance companies to charge us more for our insurance. Will you force the insurance companies to stop this practice?

ALLSTATE has stated that they do not wish to insure double wide mobile homes in this state, or at least NE NC. Will you require ALLSTATE to either insure all homes and dwellings in this state or leave the state?

Thank you for your time.

Parmea

Hurricane insurance

There is not enough time to answer this question, but I will say this: North Carolinians have learned the hard way that hurricanes do not just strike the coast. They strike the Piedmont and, yes, even western NC's mountains.

I will work with our legislators to enact legislation that will provide further protections for our homeowners and businessowners. We need to spread the risk so that the cost is as low and as fair and as reasonable as possible.

We need partnerships with other states, and to follow any models elsewhere, that will help us on this subject.

Congress is also looking into revamping how we as a Nation and as States deal with disaster-related insurance.

And having grown up in a mobile home, I will use the authority of Insurance Commissioner to exercise to the fullest the laws we have on manufactured and modular homes, and will work with advocates and industry to provide more affordable housing for North Carolinians.

Maybe we could talk further by email after the live blog finishes? I want to answer your questions more fully.

Welcome Wayne!

Glad you're here. There are several questions for you already.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Why are you Running?

Hey Wayne, I'm new here, but I like asking this question of all my candidates...

1) What is motivating you to run for this office? Could you tell us a little bit about why you want this job?

Thanks!

Why I'm running for Insurance Commissioner

I am running for Insurance Commissioner because:

I believe that we needed someone to run who will continue the fight Jim Long has led for low, reasonable and fair insurance rates while ensuring a more competitive insurance market.

I am running because, with my legislative experience and my service as Asst Commissioner of Insurance (managing DOI offices across the State, working closely with DOI and leaders), I will be best prepared to help fight off the inevitable attempt, once again, by the insurance industry to strip the Insurance Commissioner of his authority to protect consumers from unscrupulous, unnecessary, unreasonable rate increases.

I am running because I believe that we need someone who truly understands that the post is more than about insurance. (See my answer to a related question for details.) My Democratic primary opponent is from and still is deep in the midst of the insurance industry. (He is president-elect of the Health Insurance Underwriter of NC; he's an insurance industry man through and through.) The GOP candidate owns 3 muffler shops. We need balanced, stable, consumer-friendly, responsible, competent, prepared, TRUSTED leadership. I respectfully contend that I am best suited to provide that leadership.

I want to fight insurance fraud, whether by insurance companies and agents or claimants.

I am running because of my love for public service. Having worked in DOI for years now, this is how I want to serve the public and help make our State a better place.

These are several of my reasons. Please go to my website, www.waynegoodwin.org, for more. Also check out my TV commercial, also available on the website. There are also various press releases that provide additional details.

Sorry to be late to the party

My day job has been acting up lately ... but please let me add my welcome and my question:

What's your take on North Carolina's overall posture with regard to business friendliness? Have you ever heard of a company wanting to leave the state (or not come to the state) because insurance rates are too high?

____________________________________

“Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value.”
― Joe Biden

My reply to the question from James

By all accounts I have seen, and by materials regularly provided to me, NC is already a business-friendly state.

I have not heard of a company leaving the state or not wanting to come the state because insurance rates are too high.

NC has very low to reasonably low insurance rates. Our auto rates are the 6th lowest in the country. The only states which have lower rates are ND, SD, WY, ID and, recently KS, states where you have to call ahead to schedule and accident! Our rates are so low that folks from NE USA (mainly, NJ and NY; yes, this is fact) are coming here, buying insurance because it's low here while claiming they live here and then going back up north. That's insurance fraud.

As for workers' comp insurance, we are between 20th and 25th in the country I believe, very much average in the USA.

And for homeowners, I will need to check. Because we have significant coastline and flooding out west, I'll need to see where we stand on those numbers.

Again, I'm not aware of businesses leaving here because of insurance. I'm sure there was another reason.

Another Question

And one more question I had...

2) After recently dealing with a frustrating insurance experience, do you have any proposals to make the complaints process easier and more effective?

Thanks!

Reply to another question

Yes. We're going to ramp up our reliance on the Internet and I'm going to initiate regional town meetings where DOI staff from the Consumer Services Division - and I - will go to where you and other folks are. I held regional town meetings more than 200 times when in the legislature. We need greater access for Insurance-related matters. I'm the only person running who has proposed this and who has a proven track record.

I also welcome your suggestions!

Wayne, is there anything

that Jim Long has been working on that you will need to continue. In other words, how will your experience pay off?



***************************
Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Betsy's question

I will continue his work on consumer protection, and improve upon it. (See some of my previous answers.)

I will continue fighting attempts to strip the Insurance Commissioner of authority. I'm the ONLY candidate who has stated that this is a priority.

I will grow the Seniors Health Insurance Information Program. We handle 150,000 calls a year, and have 900+ volunteers who work with us in prescription medication plans. As more folks retire,we need a stronger SHIIP!

I will fight insurance fraud.

I will - as I've done already - seek greater grants for our fire departments and EMS/rescue services. That translates into lower homeowners' insurance premiums.

I must continue to assure the public by word and deed that I am not a puppet of the insurance industry. I'm the ONLY candidate in this race who is NOT affiliated with the special interests.

There are many other things. Please go to www.waynegoodwin.org

Would the implementation of Universal Healthcare

change the job? How?



***************************
Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

great question

I was wondering the same thing, Betsy!

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Universal Health Care

Its implementation - which, by the way, is greatly needed, along with affordability - will lead to the need for additional staff at DOI. I anticipate that universal healthcare will still require a watchdog to assure that no one is being cheated or provided inadeqate or unlawful services.

I'd like to think about this question further and get back with you. Very good question, Betsy.

I figured there would be some things

we simply can't know about how UHC will change the DOI. It's this element of the unknown that makes it essential in my mind that we have someone who already knows the basics....and then some. Thanks Wayne. I will enjoy hearing / reading your answers.



***************************
Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Wayne, I know you have an advantage b/c you're a blogger

But I just gotta say....you're answers are excellent. If I had any doubts about your ability to do the job, your attention to detail, your sincerity.......I would certainly be comfortable with your candidacy now. I never had any doubts, though. :D



***************************
Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Agreed.

It's really nice to see such attention to detail.

____________________________________

“Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value.”
― Joe Biden

Thank you!

My attention to detail is a part of who I am. Even my Voter Guide submission has much greater detail than any other Insurance Commissioner candidate. Maybe it's the lawyer in me, but I believe that attention to detail is vital. When details are left out, trouble and uncertainty and skullduggery creep in.

awwww man

Im gonna vote for a lawyer? Dam, I was loving these answers till I got to that word!

Wayne, tell you what, I will forget that you mentioned ur a lawyer and vote for you anyways! OK? And you make ALLSTATE insure all the houses that people live in in North Carolina or kick them out of the state, DEAL??

Grin. not sure if thats a fair deal. Still gonna vote for you.

skullduggery: underhanded or unscrupulous behavior; also : a devious device or trick. Dang and he even used that $5 word correctly. scary.

Agree! Wayne is the best person for the job

Thank you for taking up where Mr. Long leaves off and continuing to fight for the people of North Carolina!

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

Thank you Wayne!

We've reached the top of the hour! On behalf of BlueNC, thank you for your extremely specific and thoughtful answers. I know you've got firefighters waiting for you, but as always, feel free to come back and answer questions. And BlueNC folks - if you think of a questions for Wayne, you can always contact him through BlueNC, or through his website.

Thanks again, Wayne!

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Thank you for having me and for your thoughtful questions

Your insights and questions again prove to the world that BlueNC is truly "The People's Think Tank!"

I look forward to additional questions and comments as the hours, days and weeks proceed.

If after Mr. Smith participates in the Live Blog you have additional questions or would like follow-up from me, then please let me know.

I am honored to be part of BlueNC, and this great experiment in blogging and in democracy. We are in a brave new world politically, and any candidate that doesn't see that is not a leader of today or tomorrow. Thank you again for having me! And have a great night one and all.