What Gulf Coast Congressman Gene Taylor wanted the Easter Bunny to bring him.
South Mississippi Living 4/07

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Mike Chaney as 'Mini Me' in Miss. Insurance Race

by Ana Maria

Two weeks from today, Mississippi can make history in a good and positive way. We have an opportunity to elect Gary Anderson as our state’s insurance commissioner. In the August Democratic primary, Anderson defeated George Dale, a 32-year incumbent bought and paid for by the insurance companies he had been elected to regulate to the benefit and on behalf of Mississippians.

On November 6th, Mississippians like myself will cast their ballots choosing between Anderson and Republican nominee Mike Chaney—the George Dale stand-in candidate. See, Anderson beat out George Dale through pledging not to take money from Big Insurance. Chaney is the George Dale stand-in candidate complete with taking money from Big Insurance just as his good friend Dale had done. Chaney’s recent financial disclosure forms reveal the man sticking his hand out to receive well over $40,000 of Big Insurance campaign investments.

Now the political campaign is going to heat up, and we can write the script Chaney and his team will use. First, Chaney’s team will pretend that taking money from Big Insurance, which has royally screwed over tens of thousands of families and businesses here in Mississippi’s part of the Katrina-ravaged region alone, is the same as money from our legal warriors who successfully protect us from Big Insurance screwing us.

Let’s see. The Chaney campaign believes that the legal protectors of our property are the same as the bullies who steal our homes and businesses. That’s some kind of perverted logic. The Chaney campaign must be desperate.

See, Democratic nominee Gary Anderson had long ago pledged not to take money from Big Insurance.

That made Anderson stand out from George Dale who had raked in over $200,000 in Big Insurance contributions. See pledge here.

Chaney did the “me, too” pledge.

"I will not take money from big insurance companies," Chaney said in a recent telephone interview. "I have not taken money from big insurance companies. I have taken money from insurance agents and from smaller insurance companies that are domiciled in the state.
Of course, Chaney revoked his pledge when he began to take in the over $40,000 in Big Insurance checks. Not the $200,000 that his buddy George Dale raked in during the primary, but a substantial amount more than say, uh, $0. Chaney is doing his best to imitate George Dale whom he likes. Said so himself.
I like George. I’m just worried that he might not get the nomination.
Apparently, Chaney ran to keep the George Dale tradition of having someone in the back pocket of Big Insurance. Chaney is George Dale lite. Kind of the 'Mini Me' in the Mississippi insurance commissioner campaign.

Photo from here.

Just as George Dale did unsuccessfully in the primary, Chaney is banking on painting lawyers in a bad light. Well, a funny thing happened when corporate insurance giants began stealing homes and businesses from families and communities in South Mississippi. Folks looked around to fight Big Insurance with the biggest legal ammo they could find. Big Insurance treated Republican Senator Trent Lott and Congressman Gene Taylor so badly that even they brought in the big guns in the form of Dickie Scruggs of the Scruggs Katrina Group. Without putting the big guns to Big Insurance, Lott and Taylor—along with plenty of other Mississippians—would still be whistling Dixie, as the saying goes around here.

Since Insurance Commissioner George Dale wasn’t protecting Mississippians from Big Insurance, folks rightfully turned to the courts to protect their rights. That’s why Dickie Scruggs and other attorneys have stepped in. They offered to help get the money Big Insurance owed Katrina families and businesses.

Sure, Dale and his supporters such as Big Insurance and Mini were plainly agitated during the August primary. Scruggs gave $250,000 to a political committee named Mississippians for Fair Elections, which ran a fantastically effective ad campaign informing voters that Big Insurance was denying claims all over the state while giving $200,000 in campaign contributions to George Dale.

Big Insurance has already given at least $40,000 to Mike “Mini Me” Chaney. Now Mike “Mini Me” Chaney has his Big Insurance talking points, and the Chaney campaign is probably pleased that those talking points are echoing in various parts of the state. I wouldn’t count those campaign chickens before they hatched, Mini Me.

With Big Insurance’s $40,000, Mini Me is surely considering putting up a racist-tinged ad campaign reminding Mississippi voters that he, Mike 'Mini Me' Chaney, is the WHITE candidate. We know it is coming. This is as predictable as much as banking on Chaney continuing to hold out his hand for Big Insurance campaign money.

I hope that we see another round of ads blowing Chaney’s cover as the Mini Me of the race.

Look for “Mini Me” Chaney to pull out the racist card, to hide behind the color of his own skin as a rationale for our vote. He will do this to hide the fact that he is taking money from Big Insurance who screwed us regardless of our race, religion, ethnicity, economic status, educational background, or political clout.

The only colors that Big Insurance cares about are green and red. Green for the profits it makes and red for sticking us with the bills Big Insurance should pay. We have the opportunity to make our lives better than this.

Mississippi families depend on insurance as part of their financial security to protect their property—their homes and businesses. We depend on insurance for our financial security. As Mississippians, we depend on our insurance commissioner to protect us with fair regulation of the insurance industry. Mike “Mini Me” Chaney will do as George Dale did and protect Big Insurance. In two weeks, Mississippians have the opportunity to make history and elect Gary Anderson as our insurance commissioner the only candidate who has the financial background, integrity, grit, and backbone to protect us from Big Insurance taking advantage of us. We can depend on Gary Anderson to protect us.

In two weeks, we can show the kind of insurance commissioner we believe we deserve. Big Insurance is banking on Mike “Mini Me” Chaney. For me, I’m casting my vote Gary Anderson—the candidate on whom home and business owners, regular folks like you and I can bank on to protect us from Big Insurance.

© 2007 Ana Maria Rosato. All rights reserved.
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