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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Scott buys full-page ad over insurance issues

15

October

Scott-SinkAD.jpg

Republican Rick Scott won't answer questions from editorial boards, but he'll buy full page ads in their newspapers.

The ad, entitled "What is Alex Sink Hiding?", is running in major newspapers across the state on Sunday. Inspect the entire ad here.

It opens by jumping off this story, which reports that Sink let ex-felons receive an insurance license despite her own call to ban ex-cons from selling mortgages.

It goes on to make a new claim, that Sink "maybe" let campaign contributions influence her decision to approve licenses for 14 agents despite "their" company, Cinergy Health, being under investigation for, ahem, deceptive advertising.

In the ad, Scott highlights a new 12 agents and asks why Sink would "grant permision" to these agents despite criminal histories AND being "from a company under investigation." (In a sidenote, the CEO for this "company under investigation" is Daniel Touisier who, like Scott, is against Obamacare.)

The permission Sink granted is a letter of consent, which is required under a federal law [1033(e)(2)] for agents who want to do business across state lines. In Florida, a consent letter is issued by request to an already-licensed agent who uses it show out-of-state regulators that he's licensed in the Sunshine State. That means a consent letter is not "permission" as much as it is to show an agent already has consent.

The dozen agents did all have their requests for a consent letter written c/o of a Cinergy Health address in Aventura on the same day (June 22, 2009). The 12 request were granted over six days in Aug. 2009.

The next question in the ad asks why Sink approved licenses for all 14 agents connected to Cinergy Health. She didn't. Documents obtained by the campaign show two were licensed before Sink took office. Here's what the licenses appear to have in common: 13 of the 14 agents now sell policies for, among other companies, the New York-based American Medical and Life Insurance. Cinergy Health sells AMLI's policies.

Tousier's Cinergy Health did give Sink's Florida Democratic Party $20,000 over three contributions this year: $5k on Feb. 12 and  March 22 and $10,000 on Aug. 5.

Before we finish up, let's jump back to the CFO's complaint against Cinergy Health, which the Miami Herald initially told us about in April. It sounds like it is settled, awaiting only Sink's signature. Cinergy has agreed to a $400,000 fine and will subject its future ads to state approval.

Here's the reaction to Scott from Sink spokesman Dan McLaughlin: "Ironically, he's someone who, because of his background of Medicare fraud, insider trading and other unethical business practices, can't be trusted with an insurance license himself."

[Last modified: Saturday, October 16, 2010 4:38am]

    

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