August 2, 2007

Beacon Mutual Mess Redux

Marc Comtois

The State DBR (Department of Business Regulation) has released it's own report (300+ pages) concerning the Beacon Mutual scandal (before the Governor shook it all up). As the ProJo 7to7 blog summarizes:

Here are some of the report's specific findings, according to the DBR:

-- Certain employers related to board members and other favored employers were given unsupported discounts.

-- Charitable contributions were made to institutions related to board members and senior management with little or no evidence to support the efficiency of the contributions.

-- Commissions were paid to select agents, although minimum performance thresholds in their contracts were not met.

-- Management, favored agents and some clients enjoyed golf trips and other perks constituting unsuitable expenditures.

Probably nothing new, but it's always good to be reminded of the corruption, huh?

MORE: ProJo has more details here ("golf trips and pricing favors were the norm") and Mike Stanton explains some of the political connections that have been exposed.

Executives at the old Beacon Mutual Insurance Co. played politics in a number of ways, a state report alleged yesterday — attempting to “buy votes” at the State House, offering preferential treatment to companies connected to one lawmaker, hiring a state representative to do collection work, making questionable payments to a prominent political operative and orchestrating possibly illegal contributions to the U.S. Senate campaign of Sheldon Whitehouse.
More to come...

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Sheldon Whitehouse has completely skated on this . . . he helped create the Beacon Monster (remember that he "solved" RI's Workers' Comp. crisis when he was counsel to Gov. Sundlun?) . . . he failed to regulate when he was DBR diretor, and he failed to investigate when he was AG . . .

Now read the DBR report, and pay particular attention to the contributions that were made by Beacon folks, and note that the info in the report is drawn in part from Federal Election Commission reports. . . Sheldon's not the only pol. implicated here, but he'll probably be the only one not to have to answer questions about it . . .

Posted by: brassband at August 2, 2007 4:14 PM

i hope soemoen starts naming names

Posted by: johnpaycheck at August 2, 2007 8:51 PM

Dear Brass,

You realize that half those contributions end up GOP hands right? In fact most of them to a guy named Bennett (You remember, the original sellers of the "commatta" stories during the Primary season)

You sure you want to open this up?

Are you really sure you want to pin your hopes on fixing it on some Old Stone Bank crony?? (Most of it is unchanged at this point - just different faces)

Just things for you to think about - there are no right or wrong answers.

Posted by: Bobby Oliveira at August 2, 2007 9:51 PM

i looked up the contributions on the ricampaignfinace website,


why would he bother giving to gop, they have no power

Posted by: johnpaycheck at August 2, 2007 11:18 PM

Dear Mr. Paycheck,

Sheldon is by far not the only player here.

More than the Board of Beacon was made of Republicans.

Those non-performing agents that are listed: once again, Republicans. The firms that caught breaks while others did not were owned by?? Oh yes, Republicans.

Those whole Beacon mess was for the most part GOP on GOP crime. (Ok, let's more specific, Don Carcieri telling all the non family Chaffee supporters to get in line like Holmes, et cetera) Genius tool to drag out before a divisive primary. Way to go Donnie Boy . . . .

Posted by: Bobby Oliveira at August 2, 2007 11:31 PM

B.O. --

The answer is, "Yes, I do want to open this up."

Beacon was constructed by Sundlun-Sheldon. Did it try to buy influence in the GOP at the same time it was rewarding its creator? May be; if so let's get all those names out there and let the folks who got $$ do some explaining.

A critical problem here -- and one that seems to elude the media -- is that Sheldon CREATED this monster, and then stood back while DBR Director/US Atty/AG and let it get completely out of control.

Frankly, though, I don't understand your link between the commatta reference and Bennett. Dufault' little gaffe occurred in the lead up to the 2006 primaries. Wasn't Bennett knocked out by the Gov. in 2002?

Posted by: brassband at August 3, 2007 5:57 AM


Sheldon and Brucie had a history of creating monsters. Literally ruined lives through their incompetence in creating the credit union crisis. Joe Mollicone didn't create the CU crisis Bruce Sundlun did. Yes let's open up every aspect of Beacon's past practice for all to see. Funny how only Democrats scurry when the lights come on. Scurry like rodents.


Very weak and whiney! lol Your 'analysis' here is so amusing. The Beacon story is a who's who of dirty Democrats. A who's who of dirty pols and dirty union whores. Carry on Bobby! Thoroughly enjoying the comedy.

Posted by: Tim at August 3, 2007 6:41 AM

FYI --

ProJo's Mike Stanton has at least a portion of the Sheldon/Beacon scandal today.

Sooner or later maybe they will take a look at Sheldon's stint as DBR director . .

Posted by: brassband at August 3, 2007 7:01 AM

Dear Brass,

The "comatta" stories first appeared at a "public forum" at the little church on North Main Street earlier that summer.

Bennett people were pitching whomever they thought was a Democrat in hopes one of us would run with it.


John Holmes is a Democrat? He was the only guy to be "fired." The folks who own the firms are Democrats? This is news to many. You seem to have info that no one else has.

The only comedy here is watching the Governor screw up over and over. Nice job on the jobs reduction plan that won't use layoffs. Worst part is that you got suckered in again.

By the way, since he's such a great recruiter, you do have candidates for Congressional and Senate seats right?? No?? Do you have candidates for all the Assembly seats?? No?? Is Britt going to take all the money again??

Posted by: Bobby Oliveira at August 3, 2007 7:50 AM

B.O. --

Let's talk about anything except Sheldon's problems here . . .

Posted by: brassband at August 3, 2007 9:13 AM

Why is it that all these business/government/lobbyist scandals involve golf, from Tom DeLay on down? Maybe I should've taken my father's advice and spent a little more time on the range instead of at the beach - I could be living larger, partially on the public's dime. Golf seems like a game for whores (and not just the ones Bennett and Dufault tried to link The Don to, either).
If Shel were smart, he'd quickly give back the $15K in contributions (he's good for it) and his involvement would be little more than a one-day story.
Anybody think a certain group of Republicans knew about this last year, but let it slide because they were afraid Chafee would be re-elected?

Posted by: rhody at August 3, 2007 11:41 AM

Dear Brass,

Sheldon really doesn't have problems here. Some folks did some stuff on Sheldon's behalf that was shaky, that much is obvious, but Sheldon himself is clear.

Funny, GOP corruption rears its ugly head, here - the DOT - other contract scandals, and you would like to pretend it does not happen on both sides. Face facts: Don Carcieri is not nor ever has been the guy you pretend he is.

Stated another way (this is about to become a theme so be forewarned) As a member of the RIGOP, are you better off now then you were on election day 2002??

Posted by: Bobby Oliveira at August 3, 2007 12:01 PM

Bobby the spinning top,

John Holmes was forced to resign from that board by the object of your weird and creepy obsession Mr. Donald Carcieri. Bobby the very hysteria you're displaying in trying to change the subject here says volumes about how bad this Beacon Mutual mess is for your dirty boys. Do keep spinning. It's a very enjoyable and highly entertaining show!

Posted by: Tim at August 3, 2007 12:18 PM


I don't know where you get the idea that I would absolve GOP corruption . . . I certainly don't.

I also don't know why you would blame Sheldon's "staff." Read the report. Sheldon was personally corresponding by e-mail with folks at Beacon in 2005 (when he was out of office and did not have a staff) promising to sign an op-ed piece favorable to Beacon.

Sheldon set up Beacon. He can't lay this one off on his "staff."

Posted by: brassband at August 3, 2007 12:26 PM

It's a serious charge to suggest that Bennett was bringing up the "commatta" stories since there has never been ANY evidence that it's truthful and the first time it became a public discussion topic was after Dufault raised it.

You're saying Bennett brought the topic up in at a public forum in a church? What evidence do you have?

Beacon Mutual was formed by Democrats, run by Democrats and as the report shows, sold its insurance to union-run industry organizations run by Democrats. Carcieri cleaned it up.

Power corrupts. In RI, Democrats have the power.

Posted by: Anthony at August 3, 2007 1:44 PM


Was injured on the job 13 years ago. Employer was self-insured. Case ended up with Beacon. I tried to file fraud complaints on several issues and questioned why a $50,000 payment was paid by Beacon and not by my employer who was self-insurred. Went to FBI, State Police and Governor. They did nothing.

Posted by: Steve Stamp at August 18, 2007 6:07 AM


Was injured on the job 13 years ago. Employer was self-insured. Case ended up with Beacon. I tried to file fraud complaints on several issues and questioned why a $50,000 payment was paid by Beacon and not by my employer who was self-insured. Went to FBI, State Police and Governor. They did nothing.

Posted by: Steve Stamp at August 18, 2007 6:08 AM
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