Protecting those who protect us

NC has the 3rd highest population of military personnel in the country. These folks disproportionately fall prey to consumer scams. Servicemembers tend to be young, often 18 or 19 years old. In many cases, their move to NC's bases is their first time away from home. Also, servicemembers move around often. This means that every 2-3 years they are in a new and unfamiliar location. These and other factors make our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines targets for a variety of scams. Bait and switch automobile sales, pay day lending, predatory insurance sales from groups masquerading as government agencies, identity theft, and a host of other scams all have caused harm.

I'm proud to say that we're taking action in NC. Today I introduced HB 981, along with Rep. Alice Bordsen (D-Alamance), Rep. Rick Glazier (D-Cumberland), and Rep. Alice Underhill (D-Craven). This bill will create a military consumer protection specialist position in the NC Attorney General's office. The sole responsibility of this position will be to bring the weight of the Attorney General's office to bear against those who would seek to harm our servicemembers. Attorney General Roy Cooper does a spectacular job protecting North Carolinians from scams, and this position will significantly enhance his ability to provide this protection to our servicemembers.

I've also introduced HB 773 with Rep. Glazier, Rep. Margaret Dickson (D-Cumberland), and Rep. Marvin Lucas (D-Cumberland). This bill will outlaw many shady insurance sales methods targeting servicemembers. For example, some salesman will try to sell an 18 year old soldier with no wife or kids a life insurance policy that has an exclusion for death in combat. Or, a salesman will try to fool a sailor into thinking that the salesman is offering a product sanctioned by the military. These practices have cost servicemembers dearly and they must stop. I'm pleased to be working closely with Insurance Commissioner Jim Long on this bill.

These bills will be referred to committee and will, hopefully, move onto the House floor, and then over to the Senate.


Had friends

way back when who were military and those payday loans were hell to get out of once somebody got in. Thanks for getting these much needed bills in process.

I was curious ... didn't look like you had many Republican co-sponsors. Where'd they all run off to?

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Republicans have been very good about supporting these bills.

And, their support is sincere and appreciated.

But, it is important to note that a Democratic controlled House of Representatives has made as one of its top priorities looking out for servicemembers and their families. Both parties in the past have paid lip service to this sort of thing and failed to act. But Democrats here in Raleigh and in DC are taking the lead and actually getting things done.

Grier Martin


Glad to see this is a bi-partisan issue. I just don't know House names as well as I thought I did. After review I see both these bills are supported on both sides of the aisle.

Very glad to see that this is a Democratic priority.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Welcome back.

Now you've done it. You are officially a blogger. Does your wife know?

You did live-blogging with us (which was really good, by the way), but writing a whole entry for yourself is different. This is your first personal blog entry. Congratulations!

More important, though, thanks for these bills and this update. We'd like to think that the good old free market would work just fine and shady business practices wouldn't happen. But they do happen - and they especially target those who are uneducated and living on the edge.

Good stuff.

Let us know

who we need to call and when.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

What's the word I'm looking for....

ah, yes. Sedition.

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

Tough to get a read, but momentum is shifting to oppose.

We are very, very busy dealing with improving education, protecting the environment, and finding ways to provide new and better jobs. So, it can be tough to get a sense on where everyone is on the OLF. But, Speaker Hackney has weighed in opposing the OLF site. And, Governor Easley's opposition carries weight here. Plus, Republican Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler has said he is in opposition. This move will certainly influence Republicans in the House.

Grier Martin

Thanks, Grier

I sure could have used this when I was a young GI:
military consumer protection specialist

Once bitten, twice shy. It sure is painful to learn the hard way.

Any updates on the REPS bill?

I'm not very good at navigating the General Assembly's website yet. Please make sure you let us know when a barrage of emails and letters might be helpful.

REPS is moving forward slowly but steadily.

There are a lot of moving parts to the concept and a lot of groups that have an interest in the bill. There is an effort to try to get everyone happy. It ain't pretty, but I am still optimistic that the result will be a strong step forward for the environment.

As for emails and letters, it never hurts for us to hear from our constituents on issues of concern.

Thanks to everyone for your support on this.

Grier Martin

Thanks for the information -

Thanks for looking out for the ones who are looking out for us. And thanks for the encouraging words about the OLF. Maybe if all of North Carolina just goes up there en masse and says "hell no, you're not going to put it here", they'll get the message.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi