One of the larger post Katrina rebuilding stories here on the coast was then Governor Haley “Boss Hogg” Barbour and his economic development people diverting over $500 million dollars of recovery money meant to build housing for displaced storm victims to build “The Port of the Future” at the State Port in Gulfport. Wild promises of the port’s potential were made and I highlighted some of those promises in this post way back in 2008 where coastal residents were promised sunshine in the process due to the doubts many local area residents were harboring way back in 2008 when the money was diverted.
I mention all this because while I have been neck deep with my gabby cousin Slabb O’Leak, Anita Lee over at the Sun Herald blew the port’s BS out of the water this week because it turns out those plans Boss Hogg so publicly touted have been revealed to be BS and the locals are furious. This could well grow into a major scandal and it is my hope the OIG from HUD and possibly the Office of the Attorney General take a peeksie at how the recovery money was diverted, based promises that have since proven to be fictitious since the federal government may well have been misled.
That said I hope it is lost on no one the same political power brokers out of Jackson that brought us the port disaster have already annointed career politician and legacy political hack Billy Hewes as the next Mayor, almost a full year ahead of the election. Now for some links to various stories by the Sun Herald’s Anita Lee on the subject:
A bit over a week ago a print journalist familiar with Slabbed’s coverage of the post Katrina insurance wars sent me this link to a National Underwriter top 10 insurance living legends piece that featured Dickie Scruggs (one notch above true living legend Karen Clark) at the 7 spot. We used to feature the NU a good bit on Slabbed but that ended after they ignored the insurance industry getting its ass kicked in Corban v USAA where Nationwide Insurance’s lawyers made particular asses of themselves asserting wind coverage was properly denied if, after the wind 99% destroys the covered property, storm surge destroys the other 1%. The industry contends in such a scenario taxpayer provided coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program was the proper source of coverage and that is exactly the way they adjusted their claims here after Katrina tendering flood insurance policies pretty much sight unseen and denying any wind coverage that would come from their coffers.
For those of you folks still wondering why the country is broke after figuring out it is not the union pipe fitter that goes to work everyday for 6AM at the shipyard, or school teacher unions or Mexican ditch diggers, I’d submit if you multiply the above scenario 1000 times and you’d find the answer as most of the politicians that matter on any level are owned by some special interest. To illustrate the point allow me to update several insurance business world stories Slabbed covered in years gone by and start with that NU story I linked above.
A few weeks ago word filtered out the Rigsby sisters false claims act complaint against State Farm would be moving to trial on the exemplar claim known around the blogs as McIntosh v State Farm. State Farm is PR savvy and when that case heats up, invariably David Rossmiller, a partner at the Portland Oregon insurance defense firm of Dunn Carney pops up like a fly on shit regaling us with his knowledge of the minutiae of insurance contract law. Since Rossie, as he is known on Slabbed, surfaced blogging on Hurricane wind water cases of the type he has never tried in Oregon, it naturally aroused suspicions locally that he was an adjunct of State Farm PR, a view now widely shared in the local print media in South Mississippi. Back in the day Rossie was a darling in local insurance defense circles and on the Hard Line GOP political resource YallPolitics in the blogosphere, which still features the insurance litigation here on the coast in a section termed Scruggs scandal and it is indeed a popular insurance industry meme that the wind damage down here was all a figment of Dick Scruggs imagination thus the lumping. Scapegoating trial lawyers in still popular in GOP circles folks but that stands to reason since the GOP is the party of big business special interests but I’m getting ahead of myself.