Oxendine helps Hudgens in Georgia insurance race

ATLANTA -- Outgoing Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine is lending his name and other support to fellow Republican Ralph Hudgens, and Democrat Mary Squires is using the association to blast them both.
Although Oxendine placed fourth in the GOP gubernatorial primary, he raised the most money. Now he's chairing a fundraiser for Hudgens at a Macon home on Wednesday.
Squires issued a release Wednesday charging them both with the same lax ethical standards.
She pointed to a pending complaint against Oxendine with the State Ethics Commission related to contributions to his gubernatorial campaign from a group of Alabama political-action committees connected to a Rome, Ga., insurance company. Hudgens also had a run-in with the commission because he improperly transferred money from his legislative re-election campaign to his insurance-commissioner campaign fund, but he reversed it and received no fine or sanction from the Ethics Commission.
She also said half of Hudgens' contributions in this campaign come from insurance interests, and that as chairman of the Senate Insurance Committee he accepted $20,000 in gifts from insurance lobbyists.
"Ralph Hudgens is bought and paid for by insurance lobbyists," she said. "While Ralph is downing shrimp cocktails with John Oxendine, traveling the country to attend football games, eating at five-star restaurants, and staying in swanky hotels, I'll continue to talk to the people of Georgia about protecting their families and their pocketbooks."
Hudgens' campaign brushed aside the accusations.
"The suggestion that Ralph Hudgens is bought and paid for by lobbyists is laughable," said Hudgens' campaign spokeswoman Candi Sprague. "Ralph is a small businessman while Mary Squires is herself a lobbyist, a fact she conveniently leaves out of her biographical sketch."
Squires, a former member of the House and Senate, is a registered lobbyists for companies that administer private insurance plans. Her campaign website and materials don't mention her lobbying.

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Taylor B
Taylor B 10/21/10 - 09:17 pm
Walter, thanks for mentioning

Walter, thanks for mentioning Shane Bruce, who's running on the Libertarian side and not involved in any of this mess.

TANSTAAFL 10/21/10 - 11:19 pm
Greetings All, Kudos to you

Greetings All,

Kudos to you Taylor B for dropping my name.

The mental imagery of John Oxendine and Ralph Hudgens sipping whiskey on the porch in Macon swapping tales of derring do about shaking down insurance lobbyists and agents and brokers for campaign contributions warms the cockles of my Libertarian heart. The corrupt old guard republican ushering in the corrupt new guard republican and securing a tasty consulting gig in the process restores my faith in our cause. Against men such as these, Liberty will win out.

Aside from all the distasteful stuff that Mr. Jones cites in his article, republican Ralph Hudgens is poised to win the Insurance Commissioner's race clean. With Mary Squires polling at 37% and my humble efforts yielding 4%, there is no reasonable expectation that his campaign will run off the rails. Unless he does it himself. I intend to try to help him achieve self immolation this Sunday night at the Atlanta Press Club debate by posing an incendiary question to see if some sparks can be generated. Perhaps chairs will be thrown. I understand that Ralph has a bit of a temper.

Just for record, I intend to wear my iconic Hawaiian shirt to the festivities enough though many of my contemporaries think it a bad idea. During my travels throughout Georgia in pursuit of this campaign, I have been told many times that the shirt is a happy shirt. I agree. It speaks to a time when our nation was more relaxed, under less government duress and people actually had the money to go on vacation. Unlike modern times.

There is still prodigious work to be done for Liberty. I will continue my efforts until the fat lady sings on November 2nd and we see what the voters of Georgia decree. If they insist on selecting republican Ralph Hudgens over Libertarian Shane Bruce, if they insist on another 4 years of Oxendine Incarnate, they will get what they wished for. Hopefully they'll find solace in the fact that at least it's not democrat Mary Squires raising their insurance rates, licensing additional hordes of pay day loan operators or contaminating the Commissioners Suite at Road Atlanta.

I remain optimistic about this race. It is an American trait to root for the underdog, it's embedded in our collective psyche because every man and every woman identifies with David vs. Goliath. Can a first time part time Libertarian citizen politician achieve victory against a well funded, well connected, hand picked candidate from Georgia's Industrial Insurance Complex?

We will see.

Shane Bruce
Libertarian Candidate for Commissioner of Insurance

Insider Information
Insider Information 10/21/10 - 11:25 pm
Thanks for the help,

Thanks for the help, Oxendine. I now know who I will not be voting for.

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