Wayne Goodwin Receives Endorsement from The Independent Weekly; Indy Questions Smith's independence from the insurance industry

Insurance Commissioner
... we think [Jim] Long chose well in grooming Wayne Goodwin to succeed him. We liked the job Long did, and we trust Goodwin, a lawyer and former legislator with a progressive track record, will carry on in the same fashion.

Like his mentor, Goodwin promises to be a strong consumer advocate who will defend his department's authority to set rates for auto insurers—authority the industry and some influential legislators would like to take away—and will set them at levels that are fair to both sides. Insurers have a right to operate profitably; but since auto insurance is a mandatory product for drivers, such profits are properly subject to regulatory action.

Goodwin also pledges, like Long did, to fight any effort by Blue Cross Blue Shield of N.C. to convert from nonprofit to for-profit status, as well as to use the very limited powers available to his office to hold BCBS to its historic public-interest role in health care.

David C. Smith, a Durham attorney who is president of the Trinity Park Association, expresses progressive ideas. But it would seem that his role as president of the N.C. Association of Health Underwriters might hamper him as an industry watchdog—though he promises to resign if elected. And when he says to "stay tuned" for his plan for comprehensive health-insurance reform, a statement made on his campaign Web site, well, the voting's started, and we're still waiting.

John Odom is running unopposed in the Republican primary.

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Go to The Independent Weekly's website for this and all other endorsements for the 2008 primary. http://www.indyweek.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A256726

Below is the text of my posting on The Indy's website, in response to and in appreciation of The Indy's endorsement of my campaign:

I am very honored and humbled to have received the endorsement of The Independent for Insurance Commissioner of North Carolina. Time and again friends and supporters have heard me express how receiving this publication's endorsement, if it were to happen, would be vital in my campaign for Insurance Commissioner. Why? Because the title says exactly what I will be as Insurance Commissioner: Independent from the special interests and independent from the insurance industry.
On the theme of independence, I share Indy's concern about my primary opponent's entrenchment with the insurance industry and his being president-elect of that insurance organization. Unlike Mr. Smith, I have NEVER worked for and will NEVER be controlled by the insurance industry. I will work ONLY for the people of this State.

I encourage readers to visit my website, www.waynegoodwin.org, to see the depth, breadth, and diversity of the endorsements in my campaign. My endorsements list has many familiar names to Indy readers: Durham Mayor Bill Bell, Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker, The Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People, Rep. Mickey Michaux, Rep. Larry Hall, Sen. Floyd McKissick, Rep. Dan Blue, Insurance Commissioner Jim Long, the Raleigh-Wake Citizens Association (RWCA), and many other progressive leaders and community organizations all around the State, as well as firefighters in every county.

I am also very proud to have been the first in this Insurance Commissioner race to "opt in" to the pilot public financing program and be the first to surpass the minimum threshold requirements.

In closing, please know that your suggestions and ideas are all welcome as we move forward together to protect the watchdog and consumer advocate roles of Insurance Commissioner.

Thank you, again, for your endorsement!

Sincerely,

Wayne Goodwin
Democratic candidate for NC Insurance Commissioner