2/23/2010 11:45 AM
Have tort reformers finally succeeded in exterminating plaintiff's attorneys?
The plaintiff's bar's arch-enemy Allstate Insurance Company just got a $1.1 million check of tax dollars from Gov. Rick Perry's Texas Enterprise Fund, and we haven't heard a peep of protest from either the trial lawyers, trial lawyer-friendly consumer groups like Texas Watch, nor the trial lawyers' subsidiary -- the Texas Democratic Party.
This is way out of character for these groups, who usually never pass up an opportunity to bash an insurance company. More importantly, it contradicts Rick Perry's anti-insurance rhetoric from his 2002 campaign. Remember the Rick Perry that got the Texas Department of Insurance to issue a cease and desist order against Farmer's Insurance or promised to crack down on high insurance premiums? Neither does Rick Perry.
Now, in all fairness, Perry cleverly made sure two Democrats -- San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff -- were present for the announcement, and trial lawyer silence may have been out of deference to them.
But is there really a need for corporate welfare? The civil rights cops basically make insurance companies provide customer service in Spanish, so Allstate needs a bilingual customer service center. Sure, there are other states with high Spanish-speaking populations. But Arizona has cracked down on illegal immigrants. And when it comes to the business climate, California, New York, and New Jersey leave a lot to be desired. So that basically leaves Texas and Florida. I'll take those odds.
Given the amount of campaign contributions that lobbyists representing insurance interests make to Perry, I would have thought Texans for Trial Lawyer Vendettas -- excuse me -- Texans for Public Justice would have a field day with this.
I guess the Democrats and pro-plaintiff's bar groups aren't as predictable as I once thought.