The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bennett bill a McCarty payback?

18

November

In politics, payback can be a real ...well, you know, female dog.

Sen. Mike Bennett insists his just-filed bill isn't payback, but it sure could affect the job security of Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty.

SB 740 would require that the Cabinet, acting as the Financial Services Commission, reconfirm the insurance regulation leader every two years -- and send their vote to the Senate for final reconfirmation. Right now the insurance commish is appointed and confirmed once, and that's it.

But we can't help noting that Bennett is no BFF of McCarty, after this past summer's fight over the proposed rate dereg bill for private, big-name insurers like State Farm. McCarty voiced objections. The governor vetoed the bill. Bennett, who sponsored the bill with Rep. Bill Proctor, blasted McCarty's criticism of the legislation and questioned the facts he used to back up his criticism.

Fast forward to this week, and here is Bennett filing the bill requiring reconfirmation. (It is not the first time
McCarty's been a target. CFO Alex Sink, you'll recall, is no fan, either...)

Bennett insists this isn't about revenge: "You know me, I'm as upfront as anyone can be," he laughed. "I just think all these people should be vetted. When we have people of that caliber, the new Cabinet should have a chance to look at it."

Oh, and who in the House might sponsor the bill? Why, Rep. Proctor.

"Oh, well, I've heard Mr. Proctor has an interest in this," Bennett said.

Indeed.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 2:06pm]

    

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