Here’s video from the debate Tuesday on HB 917, the jury trial threshold bill by Rep. Ray Garofalo which died on a motion to table with a number of Republicans sticking knives in it…
Sherman Mack represents parts of Livingston Parish. You really can’t get a much more conservative district in Louisiana than Mack’s district.
And yet he comes off in that video as a grasping, money-grubbing shyster.
Understand that what was at issue on that bill was the right, should you be sued for, say, $45,000, which is anything but an insignificant sum, to have a jury trial. Louisiana doesn’t afford you that right unless you’re sued for $50,000.
Sherman Mack is a trial lawyer. He, like lots of trial lawyers, keeps his lights on to a large extent because there are lots of people who get in car wrecks or take a tumble at the supermarket, and generate lawsuits of under $50,000, and hire him to sue an insurance company for damages. And Sherman Mack knows that if he’s friendly with all the local judges in Livingston Parish where he practices he can hold a whip hand with those insurance companies because they’ll know they can’t beat him in front of those friendly judges, so he can grind out easy settlement after easy settlement.
Which works really well, except for the fact that all those easy settlements he chisels out of those insurance companies are ultimately paid by all of us, because the insurance companies pass the cost of them on to the rest of us in the form of sky-high car insurance rates.
We have those in spades. From a 2012 Forbes article…
Those living in Louisiana have had their share of hardships in recent years, with the most recent being tabbed as suffering with the most-expensive auto insurance premiums in the nation. According to a just-released study conducted for Insure.com, Louisiana residents were found to pay an annual average of $2,536 to insure their cars. That’s more than twice as much as a typical driver will pay in states like Maine, Iowa or Wisconsin.
The 10 states the study determined as having the highest annual auto insurance rates are:
West Virginia: $2,002
Washington, D.C.: $1,866
Rhode Island: $1,830
Has anything changed since then? Actually, yes. Insure.com’s 2014 rankings dropped Louisiana all the way down to 7th place…
Ranking the states: Average car insurance premiums
|2||West Virginia||$ 2,518|
|4||Washington, D.C.||$ 2,127|
|5||Rhode Island||$ 2,020|
|9||New Jersey||$ 1,905|
If you’re tempted to yell “Hallelujah!”, control yourself. There is nothing particularly salutary about having considerably higher rates than Texas (#14, $1,620), Alabama (#22, $1,529), Arkansas (#27, $1,399) and Mississippi (#30, $1,385). The national average is $1,503 per year, meaning that one way to explain this would be to say that dumb laws like the $50,000 jury trial threshold which make things easy on folks like Sherman Mack cost you about $468 per year in car insurance.
It’s almost like you’re involuntarily contributing $468 per year to his re-election campaign, given that in his campaign disclosures he seems to frequently dumps $275,000 or more into his campaign account as a loan. Why he’d want to do that is a question, unless it’s to show any would-be challenger how much scratch he’s willing to put into remaining a state representative.
But Sherman Mack sure is conservative. Why, his lifetime score with LABI is all of 59 percent. Isn’t that a great number for a “hard-core” Republican representing a right-wing district in Livingston Parish?
Not so much.
Don’t be fooled by this guy. He’s a fraud as a conservative. District 95 can do much, much better.