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

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Insurance commissioner: Anderson is best

November 1, 2007

Had Hurricane Katrina not struck the Gulf Coast Aug. 29, 2005, there likely would be little opposition in this post that voters must decide Nov. 6.

It's likely that Democrat George Dale would be cruising toward a ninth term, merely awaiting the voters' routine OK to continue after 32 years in office as the nation's longest serving insurance commissioner.

But Katrina did strike, Dale lost the Democratic nomination Aug. 7 to Gary Anderson and, for the first time since 1975, Dale won't be on the ballot. Anderson faces Republican state Sen. Mike Chaney.

The post of insurance commissioner is virtually invisible most years. But Katrina changed the face of insurance in Mississippi and has put focus on this race.

Mississippians have long tended to want to elect their officials with the belief that an elected official is more responsive.

But Katrina revealed that state law renders the insurance commissioner less powerful than consumers seem to want.

No commissioner can force private insurance companies to do business in Mississippi or craft cheap insurance policies for those who wish to live in a hurricane zone.

There are no quick or easy solutions to the housing-insurance crises on the Gulf Coast. What a commissioner can do is enforce state insurance regulations and hold the companies accountable.

Anderson pledged early in the campaign to not take any funds from the insurance industry, as a promise to voters as to whom he represents.

At this critical juncture of rebuilding Mississippi, the state needs expertise in dealing with the complex issues regarding insurance. While Chaney, 63, has served in both the state House and Senate, Anderson, 51, has the better experience for the job, as the state's former chief financial officer.

Anderson is committed to making the office more user-friendly and consumer oriented. He knows government and understands the complexity of insurance issues. He also has the personal integrity and fortitude to independently serve consumers while ensuring insurance companies have a fair competitive market in which to compete.

Anderson is the best choice Nov. 6.

Return to A.M. in the Morning! Home

No comments: