Mississippi makes list of 10 top states – for highest auto insurance rates – but Louisiana roars in at #2!

According to a just-released ranking of state-by-state costs from the web site Insure.com, average rates in the most expensive state—Michigan—are two and half times as high as in the cheapest state, Vermont…

After Michigan, where the average rate is $2,541 a year, the second-highest rates are in Louisiana, where drivers pay an average of $2,453. Three other states had average rates above $2,000 a year: Oklahoma, Montana, and Washington, D.C.

No surprise to see Mississippi or Louisiana at the top of the list of states ranked by auto insurance rates – but it was somewhat surprising to see the reasoning in the story:

The high rates are roughly correlated with the proportion of uninsured drivers in a state, often in violation of state law. Uninsured drivers still have accidents, and their liability and personal injury costs are passed on to the rest of the state’s drivers through higher insurance rates. In Oklahoma, nearly one-quarter of drivers on the road are uninsured. Economically hard-hit Michigan had 17% of drivers with no insurance and Louisiana 12%. “It’s an economic problem. They just can’t afford the rates,” says Marc Eagan, president-elect of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of Louisiana. (emphasis added)

Continue reading “Mississippi makes list of 10 top states – for highest auto insurance rates – but Louisiana roars in at #2!”

Been there and done that: Michael Lewis explores the connection between Freddie Heebe’s Monroe Mansion and the subprime bust.

This link was posted in comments here too long ago to remember but financial writer extraordinaire Michael Lewis rented the Monroe Mansion pre-Freddie Heebe and thought enough of the experience to write a lengthy article on the experience of living there. Since I feel as though I practically know the Heebes on a first name basis I’ll add they most certainly should have stayed with that “shinyViking range” instead of that nasty ol’ Electrolux they replaced it with during renovations. (H/T Mr CLS for the memory jog).


Slabbed answers the question everyone has been asking: Who is Whitmergate?

‘Gate seemingly knows where all the bodies are buried and I can *see* this person’s identity has been the subject of great specualtion. So I’m giving a hint below the fold. Continue reading “Slabbed answers the question everyone has been asking: Who is Whitmergate?”

James Gill visits Fred and Jennifer Heebe’s secret garden and finds an economist in the woodpile…

What can I say folks except I think no one takes River Birch’s Loren Scott seriously. They take us seriously by golly and as proof I offer today’s column by James Gill at the Times Picayune. Now if they had only managed to snag a picture of Jennifer Sneed-Heebe in her million dollar Mardi Gras ball gown…..


How about a bit of workplace gossip from the Hive…..

Two quick notes from the birdies that have been chirping about the recent goings on at the Yenni Building.

The first is Peggy Barton and her new job in HR, taking over for Junior Mendoza.  Junior was let go along with Jimbo the Clown’s brother Clem Donelon a couple of weeks ago by Team Young in a move that flew under the radar.  Young is proving adept at manipulating the bureaucratic chess pieces and I’ll add there are still senior administrators on staff that are dead men walking at Yenni.

Back to Ms Barton, I opined in comments to the HR post that the only reason Ms Barton was on staff at all was a sense of gratitude for her stepping into the breech for the soon to be indicted Tom Wilkinson.  Our readers universally do not like the fact Ms Barton is employed by the Parish period given her proclivities to play around with public records responses. I hear from the chirping birdies that the feeling is somewhat mutual as Peggy sees her transfer to HR for what it is: a demotion.  I’ll add with Barton now in HR her ability to massage certain critical records is also now at an end.  New Parish Attorney Deb Foshee does not have a vested interest in protecting Barton that I can see but Foshee’s own track record with public records is frankly very bad, as we’ll explore in a future post.

Next up is deputy chief operating officer Richard Hart. Hart, John Young’s #3 man in the Parish pecking order came to the Parish from his gig as executive director of the state Department of Agriculture and Forestry and is credited for helping pick and poach Chris Cox from the US Attorney’s office for the #2 spot in Team Young. I mention Hart because some of the birdies are telling me he is the new administrator that most reminds them of Tim Whitmer in terms of being a ruthless snake in the grass. The birdies tell me that Hart has a checkered background that makes him a most worthy candidate for further exploration here on Slabbed so I’ll float the balloon and see if our readers can fill in some blanks.


Judge Wingate gets it – will Judge Biggers? UPDATED

“Minor and former Harrison County judges Wes Teel and John Whitfield must be resentenced because a federal appeals court vacated their bribery convictions in 2009. The appeals court upheld other convictions, including honest services fraud convictions against each of the men and Minor’s racketeering conviction. Now Wingate is considering motions to vacate the remaining convictions because higher courts have limited the scope of honest services fraud.”

The Sun Herald reports, “U.S. District Judge Henry Wingate delayed the resentencing Monday in Jackson so he can take more time to consider pending motions seeking to throw out all of the convictions in the case.

Judge Wingate gets it! I suspect a lot of others, including a lot of lawyers, don’t – or, more likely, don’t want the law applied in USA v Minor or USA v Scruggs. Minor’s attorney, David Debold of the Washington, D.C., law film Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher…said he knows it’s not easy for a judge to reverse a case this late but it’s the right thing to do in the wake of the high court decision limiting the honest services statute”.

Initially, Minor et al were also convicted of federal funds bribery under 18 U.S.C. § 666. Former Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice Edward “Chip” Robertson cited the reversal of those convictions in a brief recently filed on behalf of Zach Scruggs:

…contrary to the Government’s naked assertion, the fact that Judge Lackey was not an agent for federal grant is properly before the Court because that means that Petitioner is “actually innocent” of the 18 U.S.C. § 666 crime alleged in the Indictment See Petition, D.E. 303 at 10-11 (discussing Whitfield v. U.S., 590 F.3d 325 (5th Cir., 2009)).

Both of these cases were very painful for members of the legal profession.  However,  the legal profession’s deafening silence in the face of the 5th Circuit and USSC decisions is painful to those up us who believe none are above – or below – the law.  Equal justice is not a popularity contest!


UPDATE 3-24-11

Memorandum of Law in Support of Defendant Paul S. Minor’s Motion to Vacate Convictions (12/17/10)

Defendant Paul S. Minor’s Submission of Supplemental Authority Regarding Motion to Vacate (3/14/11)

Government’s Response to Defendant Paul S. Minor’s Submission of Supplemental Authority Regarding Motion to Vacate (3/17/11)