July 17, 2012

DCCC Lies About Doherty & Beacon Mutual Role

Marc Comtois

As reported by GoLocalProv's Dan McGowan, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has a dossier on CD-1 Republican candidate Brendan Doherty that it compiled as opposition research. Creating such a report isn't surprising, nor does it contain anything new, but it does try to re-frame items to put Doherty in the most negative light.

As such, it isn't surprising when those opposed to Doherty start to take items from the report to try to undercut his candidacy. Case in point is RI Future's Bob Plain, who acts more like a parrot then a reporter in recounting some of the talking points from the DCCC report. One in particular caught my eye. According to Plain:

Did you know he was on the board of directors for Beacon Mutual when the insurance company was mired in a scandal for giving price breaks to choice companies?
This was plainly wrong. The DCCC report elides the timeline of Doherty's appointment and the exposure of the scandal (pages 45/46 of the report) with when the problems actually occurred. Doherty was put on the Board of Directors of Beacon by Governor Carcieri precisely because of the scandal. Doherty wasn't "mired" in it, he was brought in to clean it up in February of 2006. In August 2007, the findings of an investigation into Beacon were made public and Governor Carcieri said at the time:
“Last year, I quickly moved to overhaul Beacon Mutual’s leadership by appointing Brendan Doherty, now Superintendent of the State Police, and Sister M. Therese Antone to replace two board members who resigned in the wake of the scandal,” Carcieri said. “I also attempted to remove two other board members who had helped preside for years over Beacon’s mismanagement....I’m satisfied with my original decision to publicly reveal the scandalous behavior of Beacon Mutual executives,” Governor Carcieri said. “I am equally happy that I successfully opposed those same executives’ plans to change state law in an effort to reduce public oversight and to shield their misdeeds from public scrutiny.”

“With this report in hand, it is now up to the Attorney General and the United States Attorney to determine what, if any, crimes were committed and what prosecution might be, or might not be, appropriate,” Carcieri said. “The Department of Business Regulation is providing both those law enforcement officials with copies of all the background material that was compiled during the course of their investigation.”

And who were those board members that resigned? Well, to back up a bit, in June of 2007, Governor Carcieri attempted to sit Adelita Orefice (then the director of the Department of Labor & Training) on the board of Beacon, but he got word that she wouldn't be confirmed by the Senate for political reasons, so he pulled the nomination. Why the opposition? Because it was she who blew the whistle on the Beacon corruption and those she exposed had friends in the RI Senate.
Carcieri accused the Senate of planning to reject Orefice’s nomination in retaliation for her decision in 2006 to disclose the result of a damning internal audit at Beacon Mutual Insurance Co. That revelation led to a number of investigations and the expulsion of several union leaders, including George Nee, from the insurer’s board of directors. Beacon Board members, including Nee, were paid $20,000 per year.

The state labor chief has a seat on the Beacon Mutual board.

The governor vowed that he would not allow union leaders and their Senate allies to exact “political retaliation” against Orefice as payback for blowing the whistle on the illegal activities at Beacon Mutual.

“It is clear that the Senate planned to reject Director Orefice’s nomination as political retaliation for standing up to organized labor and defending Rhode Island taxpayers....This is just another indication that the union leadership is actually in charge of the Rhode Island State House...Unfortunately, the people responsible for the corruption at Beacon Mutual are using this confirmation vote to exact revenge,” Carcieri said. “In the last few days, we understand that George Nee — who lost his seat on the Beacon board in the wake of the scandal — has been actively lobbying against Adelita’s re-confirmation. He has even gone so far as to personally warn people not to testify on her behalf.”

“Elected representatives should not be taking orders from labor bosses. Senators should not be attacking a good public servant in order to pay off their union allies,” he said.

It was labor ally George Nee who was "mired in a scandal for giving price breaks to choice companies" not Brendan Doherty.

MORE INFO: "Beacon Mutual CEO, Underwriting VP Suspended Following Audit", Insurance Journal, April 16, 2006.

"R.I.’s Beacon Mutual Vows Cooperation With Subpoena, State Auditors", Insurance Journal, April 26, 2006.

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I don't have any reason to believe that Bob Plain intentionally distorts the facts, but this fits in with his pattern of not fully reading or fact-checking statements before posting them online to pander to his progressive readers. He often seems to read something that fits the progressive narrative, adopt it wholesale, and throw it online. Not good journalism. I suspect the format of some of his articles, which give superficial treatment to a number of different topics from the week, may be to blame for some of this. He would do well to do away with his "news-at-a-glance" articles and focus on more in-depth coverage of issues. In other words, do a few things well instead of trying to do everything.

Posted by: Dan at July 17, 2012 11:52 AM

In other words,he distorts the facts.
I spoke with Plain on air-I found him to be full of it.I'm sure he had a similar low opinion of me.He's just another RIF progressive party line robot.Even their Chairman,Ed Pacheco,sounds like a programmed android.Bill Lynch,like him or not,wasn't like that.

Posted by: joe bernstein at July 17, 2012 1:26 PM

Joe - I don't know that he necessarily intends to distort things. I think he just sees something that sounds good from a progressive standpoint and puts it on his blog without really investigating it or making sure to qualify it in a responsible way. I do like to give people the benefit of the doubt.

Posted by: Dan at July 17, 2012 2:48 PM

Bob Plain has all the credentials of a legitimate journalist but his professionalism is betrayed by his politics.

Posted by: Max D at July 17, 2012 5:26 PM

Perhaps Bob Plain might want to investigate who used to claim credit for creating Beacon, who used to be its regulator at DBR and later as AG but did nothing to rein it in, and who, in his earlier campaigns (for AG and Gov) received contributions from folks at Beacon who were later disgraced.

Any guess as to the identity of that person?

Hint: He's running for re-election to the U.S. Senate this year . . .

Posted by: brassband at July 17, 2012 8:00 PM

Brassband - Is it the same blue-blooded multi-millionaire who engaged in blatant insider trading immediately after a briefing from the Federal Reserve head, and who accepted a quarter million dollars from Hollywood to sponsor the most pro-corporate, anti-consumer IP bill in history, but progressives continue to lap up everything he says?

Posted by: Dan at July 17, 2012 8:11 PM

Dan --

Yep, the same one who was shocked . . .(SHOCKED!) to learn that U.S. Attorneys nominated by Pres. Bush were political appointees (after he, himself, had been appointed by Pres. Clinton when the Clinton admin. demanded resignations of all Republican U.S. Attorneys)....who called for full-throttle investigation of A.G. Gonzales on those appointments.....but hasn't raised a whimper about A.G. Holder's misleading accounts of "fast & furious."

Posted by: brassband at July 17, 2012 9:16 PM

Haha-the same inbred blueblood asshole who was hands down the worst US Attorney I ever encountered-and I worked with uS Attorneys' offices in Florida,Texas,Illinois,New York,Massachusettsand of course,RI.I worked in a number of districts in those states so I got a good overview ahd Sheldon was absolutely the worst-he put the best people on the shelf and had the fools running things-a real scumbag.

Posted by: joe bernstein at July 18, 2012 7:31 AM

inbred blueblood asshole

a real scumbag.

Nothing like thoughtful considered comments about the junior US Senator from RI. I think these comments say more about the author than the Senator.

Posted by: Phil at July 18, 2012 6:32 PM

"Nothing like thoughtful considered comments about the junior US Senator from RI. I think these comments say more about the author than the Senator."

Sorry Phil but that's what one says when one can't otherwise defend the indefensible.

Posted by: Max D at July 18, 2012 8:08 PM

Max D

I'm not trying to defend anyone. The Senator does not need any help from me. This blog may though if it continues to allow comments that are hateful and abusive like the ones written here by the one who has an increasingly long list of those he hates and abuses without any sanction from the administrator or the contributors.

Posted by: Phil at July 18, 2012 9:21 PM

Phil-the new rule maker around here-what a joke-he vomits up a defense of any left wing turd as reliably as a toilet flushing when the chain is pulled.
"The junior Senator from RI"-I love it when Phil sputters all pissed off-trying to make a useless fop sound all important and worthy.

Posted by: joe bernstein at July 19, 2012 1:03 AM

Hey Phil-maybe there's no sanction because I am telling the truth-you don't have to like my style-frankly I could care less what you like.

Posted by: joe bernstein at July 19, 2012 1:06 AM

BTW Phil-I was one of those who protested your removal here-you have a short memory.I always welcome adverse reactions from people who on the wrong side of things.

Posted by: joe bernstein at July 19, 2012 8:44 AM


If we agreed on anything both of us would be wrong. So that saying goes. There are many things that we could agree on. Second amendment rights could be a place where you and I could find agreement. I suspect that some labor issues would find us in the same place. People do tend to divide rigidly as conservatives vs. liberal and Republican and Democratic but I think there is always a possibility of finding agreement outside that structure. The language you use here sometimes makes it difficult to see the other side created by such a barrier. The test would be if the type of language used would be the type you would use in instructing your grand daughter.

Posted by: Phil at July 19, 2012 6:29 PM

Sheldon Whitehouse and Lincoln Chafee get me so angry with their sense of entitlement and Sheldon supposedly said he was "bred"to govern.How nauseating.You cannot seriously believe they give a tinker's damn about people like you and I.I really liked Claiborne Pell-he had none of those arrogant qualities.My experience with how Sheldon did his job as US Attorney infuriates me-and I blame the Republicans for not running a candidate who has a chance.I have a yard sign for a Democrat up now and am waiting for one for Doherty.I am an independent.I am not even angry with Roberts over his decision-it's a legislative matter.I am angry with him on Alvarez(Stolen Valor Act).Anyway,I like a lively debate-Russ loses me with his block quotes-I generally can't follow those arguments.
BTW I don't curse in front of my grandaughters.

Posted by: joe bernstein at July 19, 2012 7:15 PM
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