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Another Warren Tompkins Scandal October 14, 2007

Posted by fitsnews in SC Politics.
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warren tompkins

INSURANCE SCAM LATEST EXAMPLE OF CONSULTANT’S UNETHICAL DEALINGS

FITSNews – October 14, 2007 – It’s shaping up to be quite a couple of weeks for veteran GOP consultant Warren Tompkins, the ethically-compromised lead S.C. strategist for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Only a month after Tompkins’ firm was busted operating an anonymous attack website targeting GOP presidential candidate Fred Thompson, Tompkins now finds himself at the center of another brewing political scandal, this one involving millions of taxpayer dollars.

Reporter Dan McCue of the Charleston Regional Business Journal has labored to produce a brilliant piece of investigative journalism highlighting Tompkins’ connection to a multi-million dollar state insurance contract that hasn’t been competitively bid in 19 years – a cozy backscratching relationship that has cost South Carolina taxpayers millions of dollars a year.

Thanks to the hard work of Rep. Murrell Smith (who initially exposed the problem) and the recommendations of a recent Budget and Control Board report, the financial particulars of this shady arrangement have been widely-reported by mainstream media in South Carolina in recent months. However, the extent of Tompkins’ involvement was not widely-known until McCue’s piece was published this Friday.

The controversy centers around the not-so-aptly-named Competitive Insurance Group, LLC, which is represented in Columbia by Tompkins and his lobbying partner, Graham Tew.

Tompkins and Tew both worked in key positions in the administration of former Gov. Carroll Campbell when the State Budget Board, which Campbell chaired at the time, twice renewed an Insurance Reserve Fund contract for the company (then known as the Thomas Brown Agency) without seeking competitive bids.

Using an exemption to the state procurement code, the board bypassed a competitive bidding process entirely, as it did again in 1993, 1996 and 2001.

Fortunately, after twenty years of waste (it turns out competitively bidding this sweetest of “sweetheart deals” could have saved taxpayers an estimated $2 million last year alone), the contract has finally been reworked and put out to bid, with the Budget and Control Board scheduled to review proposals on Nov. 6.

Count on FITSNews to be there … perhaps along with Tompkins and Tew, since their client was one of 11 firms to submit proposals.

Of course neither of the lobbyists was in a mood to chat with McCue about the contract this week:

Tew could not be reached for comment. Tompkins declined requests by the Charleston Regional Business Journal for comment and directed questions to Robert Kneece Jr., who said he could not comment.

Figures … we’re sure the whole thing is just a coincidence, right?

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Comments»

1. The Auditor - October 14, 2007

Yes, it darn sure is a corrupt system that should have been investigated many years ago. (refer to Gov. David Beasley’s flying around on an insurance company’s airplane in 98). The insurance company connected to then Gov Beasley had a no bid contract with the state of SC for auto insurance. Now, one of the agencies closely connected to these back room deals is on Romney’s FEC disclosure as a contributor. Go figure………

Nice to see Tompkins and the Romney team getting exposed.

2. Robert - October 15, 2007

If I remember correctly a good old boy Democrat Jack Lindsey was involved in this deal also. I could be wrong but I believe quite a few politicians had their hands in this pot.

3. Carolina Observer - October 15, 2007

Will,

If you had a inkling of what this entails, you would realize why this was not competitvely bid. We are talking about a $400 million dollar policy. Not even AIG or Zurich would underwrite something like that alone. It takes many carriers to come together and agree on something like this as to who has what level of insurance, should the state ever hit catasstrophic problems. So it’s not like bidding the for carpet or patrol cars…where best price wins. And if you really investigated, which is apparent you didn’t, you would find that Rep. Smith realized that this probably wasn’t a good idea once the facts were laid out to him and he wished he could borrow Doc Brown’s DeLorean. Some constituent in the insurance business wanted a piece of the action…so like any smart elected official, you see if you can help, which is what Rep. Smith did.

While I agree with you that we should have as competitive and as open a bid process on as much stuff as possible, cost is not always the objective and in some instances, you may get a bid a bid from someone who cannot produce the necessary results.

I realize that this is more your continuing battle with Tompkins…but to label it an insurance scam is a stretch. Please stop letting your hate for Tomkins interfere with accurate journalism…

4. FITSNews - October 15, 2007

Dear Observer,

We don’t hate Tompkins. In fact we don’t hate anybody who isn’t named Tom Brady or Richard Simmons … and truth be told we really don’t hate them either, we’re just jealous of their skills, yo.

Your explanation is remarkably similar to the on-the-record crap the State Budget and Control Board was spewing on this, well, with the notable exception that they can spell ‘catastrophic’ and you can’t.

We’ll be following up on this story in a couple of days with some updated information about this contract, at which point we look forward to reading the Tompkins talking points from you once again.

Seriously, man, it sounds to us like Tompkins could shoot your momma in the head and you’d post a comment saying we shouldn’t rush to judgment because as it turned out your momma was crazy and really needed to be put down.

-FITSNews

5. The Auditor - October 15, 2007

Carolina Observer,
Many of us are very familiar with the tiering of insurance. To include but not limited to, insurance syndicates, lead carrier and administration pricing, and the many tiers of liability. Would you like to talk about Zurich, Lloyds, and even the commissions built in to these deals by brokers?

The fact that it is no bid and I have seen the process, and I even tried to bid on the contract that was guarded by certain people. The competitive bidding process has been stifled and the whole process rigged for years .Many good firms have been dissuaded and even intimidated by certain folks guarding the fix. When some of the largest insurance brokerages in the world can’t get a fair chance but a locally held small firm can what does that tell you? I think it merits an investigation by the DOJ it is so corrupt!

6. SC strategist for Romney implicated in scandal involving millions of taxpayer dollars—what does it say about Romney when he capers and cavorts with thugs and thieves? « who is willard milton romney? - October 15, 2007

[…] estimable—well, we don’t know who wrote this—for FITSnews.com in a post titled Another Warren Tompkins Scandal; INSURANCE SCAM LATEST EXAMPLE OF CONSULTANT’S UNETHICAL DEALINGS Only a month after Tompkins’ firm was busted operating an anonymous attack website targeting GOP […]

7. Links for 2007-10-15 [del.icio.us] - October 16, 2007

[…] Another Warren Tompkins Scandal « FITSNews For Now […]

8. 1209 - October 16, 2007

Is there a reason that you do not have any Fits Girls of color?


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