John Oxendine apparently spent his last day in office as Georgia’s insurance commissioner bestowing licenses on himself to sell insurance and adjust claims.
Oxendine doesn’t see what’s wrong with that — and that should tell you what’s wrong with Oxendine.
“If 16 years doesn’t give you a little bit of insurance experience, I don’t know what does,” Oxendine said. “I think that’s (worth) a little bit more than taking a test and taking a class.”
See, in the real world, if you’re not John Oxendine, you have to pass several exams before you can qualify to sell insurance in Georgia. But Oxendine apparently thought he was doing all these applicants a favor by not taking the tests because he just didn’t want to bother all those other folks.
“We didn’t want to close down a testing center,” he said. “I didn’t want anyone getting a bad grade and saying the insurance commissioner was sitting next to them distracting them.”
No, you know what’s a distraction? A politician who’s low enough to enrich himself through the authority of his elected office. How can Oxendine not see that what he did was a flagrant abuse of power?
Remember, this man at one point was the leading candidate to become Georgia’s governor in the last election cycle. He was a leader in fundraising, and during his long political career he raised millions from people connected with the very companies he regulated while he was insurance commissioner.
If he could manage all this as the state’s insurance chief, what in heaven’s name do you think he would’ve tried to pull off if he had assumed the governor’s chair? ...
Apparently — incredibly — it’s legal for Georgia’s insurance commissioner to grant himself a licensing waiver. But Oxendine’s chicanery proves conclusively that this needs to be illegal.
Current Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens is absolutely doing the right thing by pushing legislation to keep something like this from happening again.
The General Assembly should waste no time in closing this shameful loophole — and when it is made illegal, it should be an imprisonable offense.