It is so rare that we find a good guy (or gal) at the top of the ‘food chain’ in government and politics. Mike Causey (R) – the incumbent state insurance commissioner – has managed to stay above the sleaze and back-stabbing that dominates business-as-usual in Raleigh.
A few years back, someone attempted to bribe him. Causey went to the FBI and wore a wire to assist with the investigation and prosecution.
The insurance industry spreads money around generously at the legislature. So, the “honorables” tend to grant favors to the industry upon request. Causey stepped out front – all on his own – and called out an attempt by legislators to grant a sweetheart deal to a major insurance company in the state. That move – coupled with his cooperation with the FBI on the bribery case – put a big ol’ bullseye on Causey’s back among Raleigh’s political class.
Office space has been snatched from Causey. Legislators have inexplicably taken responsibilities – like the state fire marshal duties – away from Causey. Anti-Causey media leaks have been flooding into The N&O newsroom. Office gossip about some Causey hires earned headlines in The N&O. But we’re yet to see one mention of Balanced Nutrition. (I guess office gossip easily outranks possible misuse of six- to -seven figures worth of tax dollars or even possibly misleading the Internal Revenue Service.)
The latest media mischief attempted to smear Causey as trying to single-handedly and maliciously gouge homeowners on homeowner insurance rates. (Smears like ”Rate-hike Mike” circulated all over the place.)
The drive-by media reporting downplayed the fact that a process for the insurance industry to request a rate increase has been in place since 1977. The last time it had been enacted was 2020.
The industry – via The North Carolina Rate Bureau – submits their request for a rate increase along with any supporting evidence or arguments they have. That triggers a public comment period. Once that period is done, the commissioner (Causey) and his team review all of the input they’ve received and make a call. It’s been reported, with much less fanfare, that Causey has rejected the industry’s request for an average of 42 percent rate increase in homeowner insurance rates for the state.
Despite all of this, the wolves are still baying at Causey’s door. Causey is facing two primary opponents — former legislator Robert Brawley and fireman Andrew Marcus.
Robert Brawley was a good conservative legislator. He gave then-speaker Thom Tillis fits. Tillis and the gang tinkered with Brawley’s district and gave him a primary opponent to hasten his departure from Raleigh.
Interestingly, Andrew Marcus has the same last name as one of the two candidates in the Democrat primary – state senator Natasha Marcus. From browsing Andrew Marcus‘s campaign literature, it appears he is tied to Causey’s Raleigh political foes.
On the Democrat side, we also have activist David Wheeler – who led the effort to discredit and weaken Madison Cawthorn in the run-up to his final congressional race.
Personal, political grudges seem to dominate this particular race. Causey has been a consumer-oriented commissioner who has been able to draw on his personal experience in the insurance business. It’s been interesting to watch the anger grow in the Raleigh weasels as Causey continues to refuse to join them for a romp in the mud.
Mike Causey is knowledgeable, accessible, transparent, approachable, and appears to have the best interests of average Joes and JoAnnas across North Carolina at heart. Cut through all the campaign nonsense and garbage and send this man back to Raleigh to keep fighting.