DCCC Lies About Doherty & Beacon Mutual Role
As reported by GoLocalProv’s Dan McGowan, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has a dossier on CD-1 Republican candidate Brendan Doherty that it compiled as opposition research. Creating such a report isn’t surprising, nor does it contain anything new, but it does try to re-frame items to put Doherty in the most negative light.
As such, it isn’t surprising when those opposed to Doherty start to take items from the report to try to undercut his candidacy. Case in point is RI Future’s Bob Plain, who acts more like a parrot then a reporter in recounting some of the talking points from the DCCC report. One in particular caught my eye. According to Plain:
Did you know he was on the board of directors for Beacon Mutual when the insurance company was mired in a scandal for giving price breaks to choice companies?
This was plainly wrong. The DCCC report elides the timeline of Doherty’s appointment and the exposure of the scandal (pages 45/46 of the report) with when the problems actually occurred. Doherty was put on the Board of Directors of Beacon by Governor Carcieri precisely because of the scandal. Doherty wasn’t “mired” in it, he was brought in to clean it up in February of 2006. In August 2007, the findings of an investigation into Beacon were made public and Governor Carcieri said at the time:
“Last year, I quickly moved to overhaul Beacon Mutual’s leadership by appointing Brendan Doherty, now Superintendent of the State Police, and Sister M. Therese Antone to replace two board members who resigned in the wake of the scandal,” Carcieri said. “I also attempted to remove two other board members who had helped preside for years over Beacon’s mismanagement….I’m satisfied with my original decision to publicly reveal the scandalous behavior of Beacon Mutual executives,” Governor Carcieri said. “I am equally happy that I successfully opposed those same executives’ plans to change state law in an effort to reduce public oversight and to shield their misdeeds from public scrutiny.”
“With this report in hand, it is now up to the Attorney General and the United States Attorney to determine what, if any, crimes were committed and what prosecution might be, or might not be, appropriate,” Carcieri said. “The Department of Business Regulation is providing both those law enforcement officials with copies of all the background material that was compiled during the course of their investigation.”
And who were those board members that resigned? Well, to back up a bit, in June of 2007, Governor Carcieri attempted to sit Adelita Orefice (then the director of the Department of Labor & Training) on the board of Beacon, but he got word that she wouldn’t be confirmed by the Senate for political reasons, so he pulled the nomination. Why the opposition? Because it was she who blew the whistle on the Beacon corruption and those she exposed had friends in the RI Senate.
Carcieri accused the Senate of planning to reject Orefice’s nomination in retaliation for her decision in 2006 to disclose the result of a damning internal audit at Beacon Mutual Insurance Co. That revelation led to a number of investigations and the expulsion of several union leaders, including George Nee, from the insurer’s board of directors. Beacon Board members, including Nee, were paid $20,000 per year.
The state labor chief has a seat on the Beacon Mutual board.
The governor vowed that he would not allow union leaders and their Senate allies to exact “political retaliation” against Orefice as payback for blowing the whistle on the illegal activities at Beacon Mutual.
“It is clear that the Senate planned to reject Director Orefice’s nomination as political retaliation for standing up to organized labor and defending Rhode Island taxpayers….This is just another indication that the union leadership is actually in charge of the Rhode Island State House…Unfortunately, the people responsible for the corruption at Beacon Mutual are using this confirmation vote to exact revenge,” Carcieri said. “In the last few days, we understand that George Nee — who lost his seat on the Beacon board in the wake of the scandal — has been actively lobbying against Adelita’s re-confirmation. He has even gone so far as to personally warn people not to testify on her behalf.”
“Elected representatives should not be taking orders from labor bosses. Senators should not be attacking a good public servant in order to pay off their union allies,” he said.
It was labor ally George Nee who was “mired in a scandal for giving price breaks to choice companies” not Brendan Doherty.
MORE INFO: “Beacon Mutual CEO, Underwriting VP Suspended Following Audit“, Insurance Journal, April 16, 2006.
“R.I.’s Beacon Mutual Vows Cooperation With Subpoena, State Auditors“, Insurance Journal, April 26, 2006.