Patsy Brumfield steps in deep doo-doo alleging Hatch Act violations by Public Safety Commissioner – Sun Herald covers for the “homeboy” with “everybody does it” story

First, Brumfield’s story from NEMS360.com: Simpson says he’s ‘not a candidate,’ so no Hatch Act Violation:

Stephen Simpson, who is running for attorney general, says he is not a candidate yet and therefore can’t be in violation of a federal law prohibiting state or local appointed executives from political party campaigns, if they administer federally funded programs.

Simpson, a Republican, is the appointed commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. On Jan. 14, he launched a statewide tour to announce his intention to be a candidate for attorney general…

The Daily Journal’s questions about Simpson’s candidacy began with the appearance of anti-drunk driving TV ads prominently featuring Simpson and his voice several days after he launched his campaign Jan. 14.

Next, the deep doo-doo shoveled up by and reported on Y’all Politics in Anatomy of a press hit: Continue reading “Patsy Brumfield steps in deep doo-doo alleging Hatch Act violations by Public Safety Commissioner – Sun Herald covers for the “homeboy” with “everybody does it” story”

Jackson New Media and the effort to unseal records from State Farm v Attorney General Hood

In April 2009, Jackson New Media,  publisher of the Mississippi blog Y’all Politics, filed a Motion to Intervene in State Farm’s suit against  Jim Hood, in his official capacity as Attorney General of the State of Mississippi.  Three television stations joined Jackson New Media as plaintiffs in the case:  WLBT (Jackson), WLOX (Biloxi)  and WDAM (Hattiesburg), now collectively “New Media”.

According to the Motion, New Media had “no forum within which it may seek to protect its free press and free access rights…under the Constitution of the United States and Mississippi Constitution of 1890, and free access rights under the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983”.

SLABBED responded in a post supporting the removal of seals from all documents filed in Katrina-related litigation:

The public’s First Amendment right to access relevant court materials does not begin and end with State Farm v Hood. In fact, in the context of Katrina litigation, the case pales by comparison to the relevant court materials that have been sealed since the 29th of August, 2005, when Katrina blew apart homes and families, neighborhoods and communities…

Later in the post, SLABBED added, “Asking to unseal a single document will cause some to question the motives of this worthy effort…” and followed with a reference to State Farm’s use of sealed documents in a case current at the time the post was written. Continue reading “Jackson New Media and the effort to unseal records from State Farm v Attorney General Hood”

Insurance Reforms die once again in our special interest owned legislature

Having seen our do nothing legislature in action up close and personal I was not surprised to see this morning’s front page story in the Sun Herald which declared dead every meaningful consumer friendly insurance proposal introduced this legislative session including the basic policyholder protections contained in a policyholder bill of rights. Here on Slabbed we’re not nice in that we name names and point out broken promises unlike a typical newspaper which will rip a pol on page 1 while endorsing his re-election bid on the opinion page. For better or worse it is a reflection of my style from the finance boards where I post with money on the line. With that in mind let’s break down Michael Newsom’s report:

Several bills South Mississippi lawmakers submit annually in response to insurance issues discovered after Hurricane Katrina are poised to die Tuesday without debate in legislative committees.

Each year, Coast lawmakers submit various versions of the “policyholders bill of rights” designed to protect homeowners in the event they file an insurance claim and also measures removing the “anti-concurrent causation” clause, which insurance companies used to deny payment of wind damage claims in cases where they said water also played a role. Court cases and insurance law experts have said the clauses don’t apply to hurricanes because the two weather events cause different kinds of damages.

I don’t know if this is bad editing or bad journalism but once again we see anti concurrent causation slaughtered by a reporter. To understand the ACC all one must understand is the definition of concurrent:

1. operating or occurring at the same time. Continue reading “Insurance Reforms die once again in our special interest owned legislature”

Shake it up baby, come on, come on, come on and work it ALL out – not just Hood and State Farm

With the notable exception of MR-GO, nothing about Hurricane Katrina should be sealed; yet, State Farm has sealed so many Katrina litigation documents, the Company is the hands down winner of the “Duck tape saves the day contest“.

Y’allPolitics.com took a step in the right direction today with this announcement:

Jackson New Media, Inc., publisher of the political interest website YallPolitics.com, has filed to intervene in the 2007 federal court case of State Farm Insurance vs. Attorney General Jim Hood

Jackson New Media attorney Andy Taggart stated, “Hundreds of thousands of Mississippians were adversely affected by Hurricane Katrina. This was a watershed piece of litigation that tens of thousands of homeowners and all Mississippi taxpayers have a stake in. All we ask from the Court is to allow the press and the public their First Amendment right to access to relevant court materials and remove the lingering doubts as to what really happened in this matter.”

You know you look so good,
You got me going now.

The public’s First Amendment right to access relevant court materials does not begin and end with State Farm v Hood. Continue reading “Shake it up baby, come on, come on, come on and work it ALL out – not just Hood and State Farm”

No standing? Mississippi insurance law gives AG Hood standing

Perhaps Rankin County Judge John Grant really knows how to spell judgment and wasn’t violating Section 7-5-301-5 with his opinion dismissing the Attorney General’s lawsuit against the insurance industry filed in Hinds County Chancery Court. I’ll leave that to the folks at Y’all to figure out as I picked this decision up reading there.

Therefore, the Court finds that the Attorney General has no standing to assert claims on behalf of Nationwide’s or Allstate’s policyholders with regard to the subject policies, including flood exclusions. Judgement (sic) on the pleadings in regard to Defendant’s argument that the Attorney General lacks standing to challenge the private insurance contracts at issue should be granted to Defendants.

The standing of the Attorney General I found in the State Code.  Note the Attorney General has had this authority since 1998 and the date of the last amendment to this section was prior to Katrina.

7-5-301. Insurance Integrity Enforcement Bureau; creation; purpose.

There is created within the Office of the Attorney General an Insurance Integrity Enforcement Bureau. The duty of the bureau is to investigate and prosecute claims of insurance abuses and crimes involving insurance. The Attorney General may employ the necessary personnel to carry out the provisions of Sections 7-5-301 through 7-5-311. Continue reading “No standing? Mississippi insurance law gives AG Hood standing”