Democrats try to make political hay out of GOP comment by Mitch E. Perry

08/25/06

The Florida Democratic Party is making hay out of an audio recording that has one Republican legislator calling another “in the pockets of the insurance industry�.

The tape surfaced this morning on the Jim Defede Show in Miami on 970 WINZ Am this morning. That’s when Miami Republican House representative Juan Zapata, speaking at Coral Gables High School last Saturday ripped into his own party on the issue of property insurance (roll tape#1 o.q.� out of fear�)

Then shortly afterwards, Zapata blasted Republican State Representative Don Brown of DeFuniak Springs in the Panhandle, considered one of the key players in this year’s insurance legislation passed by the Republican legislature (roll tape# 2o.q.�thank you�)

Brown later went on the same program to say that in fact, he’s no fan of the insurance companies.

But the recording was good enough for state Democrats, who have been bashing Republicans since the legislative session ended in May about the plan that resulted in $715 million dollars going to help out Citizens Insurance, the state run insurer of last resort.

Mark Bubriski is a spokesman for the Florida Democratic Party (roll tape#3 o.q.�with their own party�)

In a press release, Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Thurman said, “It’s so bad that some Republicans are validating what the Democrats, the media, and the people of Florida have been saying for a long time now. Florida’s property owners are hurting because of the Republican-created insurance crisis�.

Some but not all state Democrats have called for a special session to deal with the explosive issue of property insurance, which has catapulted to the number one issue in the state in the last year as premiums have shot up exponentially….In many cases, property owners have had their insurance companies drop their plans, claiming the 8 hurricanes in the state the past 2 years have made it too costly for them to do business.

The issue of who has a better plan to deal with it was a major part of this week’s Democratic gubernatorial campaign, and no doubt will become even bigger when the 2 candidates for Governor are decided in 2 weeks.

Again, Florida Democratic Party spokesman Mark Bubriski (roll tape#4 o.q.�to fix it�)

In recent days Governor Bush has strongly hinted that he wants the legislature to come back for a special session to deal with the property insurance crises, and probably before the November election.

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