Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Racicot: At least he's not a hypocrite
Matt over at Left in the West has a post about former Governor Marc Racicot's opposition to legislation that would help compensate the residents of Libby for asbestos poisoning. Racicot, now the head of the American Insurance Association, opposes the bill that would establish a $140 billion trust fund for people diagnosed with asbestos-related disease. The bill includes special provisions for residents of Libby. Racicot opposes the bill because he's worried it gives litigators enough wiggle room to still sue asbestos companies. This isn't the first time insurance companies have worked hard to avoid meeting their obligations. Anyone who's ever tried to fill a claim against an insurance company can attest to that. And it certainly isn't the first time Racicot has sucked up to big business over the health and well being of Montanans. To wit, Racicot, as governor: --Sold off state parks to cronies for commercial development --Spent $100 million for the construction of new prisons, built by political donors, and for a state that already had an overcapacity of prison beds --Funded Montana's failing school system with profits from clear cutting --Deregulated Montana's electric utilities, which resulted in skyrocketing energy bills for Montanans --Privitized Montana's mental health care system; the program "collapsed," sending many of the mentally ill onto the streets --Dismantled Montana's clean water laws --Exempted open-pit mining from Montana's Constitutional requirement that requires mining companies reclaim "all lands disturbed by mining" If that weren't enough, when Racicot became chairman of the Republican National Committee, he continued to work for a powerful lobbying firm in an obvious conflict of interest. And to top it off, he was accused, along with Delay, of money-laundering. So, no, I'm not surprised Racicot is siding with insurance companies against the asbestos-sickened citizens of his home town. After all, money is involved.