Favorite

Smart Talk Dec. 8 

Car insurance: one-way street?

Tom Thrash, the Little Rock trial lawyer who has made something of a career of pestering the insurance industry, has a question. He’s filed a class action lawsuit in Union County that says insurance companies — which are quick to raise your car insurance rates when you get a ticket or get in a wreck — don’t lower them on renewals three years after the last reported incident.

What has Thrash perturbed additionally is this. State Insurance Commissioner Julia Benafield Bowman has filed an affidavit in the case, in support of the defendant insurance company. Her affidavit says rate-making is solely the job of her agency and that Thrash had never complained to HER about any ratemaking “alleged to be inconsistent with its regulatory filings.”

Says Thrash: “This is simply a clear indication that our Arkansas insurance commissioner works for the insurance companies and not the consumer.”





Just because Huckabee said it …

The following quote is from an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette article Aug. 24 about Gov. Mike Huckabee’s trip to New Hampshire to dip a toe into the presidential race with several appearances before Republican groups. The quote:

“Huckabee said ‘no tax dollars’ are being used for the New Hampshire trip. He said some of the expenses likely will be shouldered by the Healthy America Political Action Committee, which he formed in July.”

Reporting by the Arkansas Times has shown that 1) the State Police twin-engine aircraft and its taxpayer-financed pilot were dispatched to New Hampshire to fly Huckabee on to Georgia for a governors’ meeting in August, rather than having Huckabee fly commercial to the meeting in Greensboro, Ga., and 2) Huckabee has not reimbursed the state for that or any of his numerous other jaunts in the twin-engine King Air. It costs thousands of dollars in fuel, maintenance, plane depreciation and staff time each time it takes to the sky. Note: When other state agencies use the plane, they receive a bill and reimburse the State Police for use of the plane. There is no state law that puts the plane at the governor’s disposal for travel, official or otherwise.



Checking in

A reader/Wal-Mart customer from Rogers e-mailed us recently with a question sparked by a phone call she received on her cell business line from a Gallup employee who said he was doing a follow-up survey about her recent visit to the Neighborhood Market in Rogers. When pressed, the caller said Wal-Mart gleaned her name and phone number from a check she wrote — but no financial information, he promised. Aren’t there laws to protect such an invasion of privacy? she wanted to know.

Well, no. It’s perfectly legal for businesses to use their customers’ information for internal marketing purposes, said Matt DeCample, spokesman for the attorney general’s office.

For the record, Wal-Mart spokeswoman Sharon Weber said the company doesn’t take information from checks, but rather once a year asks check-Ah, cash. So simple, so anonymous.


Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated itsĀ 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Latest in Smart Talk

  • Better than Texas

    Arkansas's tax system is slightly more friendly to the poorest people, but only slightly.
    • Aug 24, 2011
  • Small-school champions

    Two Arkansas congressmen are among the 14 sponsors of a bill that would "correct" a provision of the federal school-funding formula they say favors large school districts over small districts.
    • Aug 24, 2011
  • Bipartisan race

    The rise of Republicanism in Arkansas has brought a rare two-party race to the state Senate in Southeast Arkansas, traditionally a Democratic stronghold.
    • Aug 24, 2011
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

July

S M T W T F S
  1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation