Fasano: 'You don't have a clue,' Barney
Ouch. Barney Bishop, head of the influential big business lobby Associated Industries of Florida, just got a public lashing from Tampa Bay Sen. Mike Fasano, during a debate about property insurance reform.
It began when Fasano asked Bishop if he believed the CAT fund's multibillion-dollar deficit was a result of the economy and bond market problems - a factor cited by CAT fund head Jack Nicholson. When Bishop said no, the problem is the state trying to regulate insurance rates and expanding Citizens, Fasano went after him.
He challenged Bishop to explain how the people and small businesses would survive without the option of an affordable Citizens insurance.
"Have you ever been to Pasco? Pinellas? Hillsborough? Hernando? This crisis you refer to, Mr. Bishop, the 'mess', started years ago when insurers started dropping policies. If Citizens was not there, where would these homeowners go?"
Then Bishop talked about how AIF had been dropped at one point by its insurer, and Fasano laughed - sarcasm evident.
"But you were able to find insurance, weren't you? Because you've got members paying dues and you've got a pretty nice budget over there," Fasano said. "Barney, you're way off line. You don't have a clue. You're in this Tallahassee cloud up here."