Wayne Pettigrew and his Big Brother Budget Fixes

Kaye Beach

August 19, 2011

The revolving door is a descriptive term for the shuffling of roles between former lawmakers to industry lobbyists (or vice versa)

One of the main reasons the public disdains the those who trip through the revolving door is obvious. It provides a vehicle for public servants to utilize their office for personal gain at the expense of the taxpayer.

The most complete example of the revolving door is when the lawmaker rotates to lobbyist and back to lawmaker again.  That seems to be the trip that Wayne Pettigrew wants the Oklahoma’s Second District voters to send him on.

However, on occasion, the revolving door can hit a politician from behind.

From The Red Dirt Report;

Pettigrew considering a run for Boren’s seat

Posted: August 19, 2011

McALESTER, Okla. — Calling this a “crisis moment” in our nation’s history, former Republican state Representative and McAlester businessman Wayne Pettigrew today announced the formation of an exploratory committee for a possible bid for Congress in Oklahoma’s Second Congressional District.

The district covers most of eastern Oklahoma and is being vacated by Representative Dan Boren.
“We must chart a new course of fiscal responsibility for our country.  From the downgrading of our debt to wasteful and excessive government spending, the signs are clear that we have no time to waste,” Pettigrew said.

Read More

Mr. Pettigrew recognizes that our nation’s economic situation is dire and says he wants to help.  I don’t doubt the former Oklahoma Representative  and lobbyist has some ideas about how to pull us out of this mess.  I do, however, doubt that Second District voters will like his ideas about how to do it very much.

Pettigrew has lobbied all across this land for a company called InsureNet.

National Leader In Use Of Highway Camera Data Employs Former Rep. Wayne Pettigrew

Wayne Pettigrew, former Oklahoma House member, is the National Marketing & Government Relations director for the nation’s leading firm in administering data on vehicle insurance data gathered using controversial highway cameras, the firm’s website discloses. Read More

Paettigrew’s plan pushed for InsureNet  to keep states in the black hinges upon revenue generation.

InsureNet uses Big Brother Spy Cams to investigate every passing motorist and then fine the devil out of them.  Pettigrew has a plan for how to get them to pay too- by holding their driver’s license over their heads until they cough up the dough.

 “He [Pettigrew] said today there are no “escapes” and the days of ignoring a citation are over. Vehicle reregistration and drivers license renewal depend on paying and clearing any fines – including those regarding insurance – from any jurisdiction.” http://wwwtmrcom.blogspot.com/2010/05/pettigrew-switzer-tinker-owens-made.html

Wayne Pettigrew has given plenty of thought to how to squeeze the working class for more money and he seems quite certain that people won’t pay those fines unless you twist their arms.

Apparently that certainty is based on experience.

Pettigrew Faces $200 Fine In Nevada

The Nevada lobbyist registration of former Rep. Wayne Pettigrew, a national officer in the firm InsureNet, has been revoked for failure to file reports on time. He owes a $200 fine, a spokeswoman tells The McCarville Report Online.

Here is how InsurNet pitches its product to cash strapped cities;

Traffic cameras could help wipe out city’s projected deficit

March 16, 2009

BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter

Chicago could rake in “at least $200 million” a year — and wipe out the entire projected deficit for 2009 — by using its vast network of redlight and surveillance cameras to hunt down uninsured motorists, aldermen were told today. (That article has been removed from the Sun Times although plenty of links to discussions about it can be found)

Another report says;

The Chicago Sun-Times quotes InsureNet president Dr. Jonathan Miller on what the city might expect to earn with the system in 2009. “Certainly, it will be well in excess of $100 million,” Dr. Miller said. “We think at least $200 million. And the upward projections are far higher.” InsureNet would charge a collection fee of “just” 30 percent in exchange for its services. Clearly, this type of system—installed at no small cost—is all about making money.

Read more

Bob Feldman (36 years with insurance enforcement in Nevada and chaired the governor’s SAGE Commission Task Force on DMV) explains the InsureNet racquet;

‘Insure Net is attempting to get this item on the agenda via the governor’s office, an attempt to use their $100 million additional revenue source as one budget savior.   . . . . IMPOSSIBLE TO COLLECT AN ADDITIONAL $100 MILLION at the current registered vehicle count. . .  Aside from privacy and other issues and a powerful lobbyist, Insure Net’s program and projections have ZERO credibility

Is this the sort of “fiscal responsibility” voters can expect out of Wayne Pettigrew as their congressman?

InsureNet has earned a reputation nationwide for making inflated claims as to the accuracy, security and profitability of their system.

You may recall the uproar back in 2010 caused by Gov. Brad Henry’s Budget Proposal for FY 2011  which proposed installing some 200 new spy cams on state highways for automated enforcement purposes.

Oklahoma To Deploy Photo Ticketing Cameras Statewide
Private company to set up network of cameras to track Oklahoma drivers and issue insurance tickets to generate $95 million a year.

http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/31/3165.asp

Pettigrew also pitched the deal to Pennsylvania lawmakers on March 2 of 2010 telling them that Oklahoma (and two other states) were currently implementing the system.  (see the Pennsylvania House of Representatives transcript pg 30)

That statement was untrue.  -No state has contracted with InsureNet for this service described by one Nevada legislator as “wacky

As reported on June 16 of 2010 by the The McCarville Report Online;

Although InsureNet was among those companies that had submitted bids to the state, as of mid June ” a contract has not yet been awarded.”

From NewsOK Aug 2, 2010

[Jonathon]Miller said he is “mystified” by delays in awarding the contract and hasn’t heard anything from Oklahoma officials in a long time.

Read more: http://newsok.com/delay-in-contract-award-may-harm-oklahoma-revenues/article/3481349#ixzz1WwRlAof9

Feb. 24 2010, Nevada nixed InsureNet.

Senate Majority Leader Stephen Horsford said;

“The two problems with InsureNet are having cameras all over the state, so, a “Big Brother” type thing, that Nevadans will not like…and the fact that this company has no agreement with any other state.  Why should Nevada be a guinea pig on a risky scheme?”

Scarcely a week before the Pennsylvania committee meeting, in Nevada it was reported that InsureNet had no states implementing its system. The same article noted that InsureNet did verify medical insurance.

Big Brother gets Bipartisan Opposition

Pennsylvania Rep. Rick Geist, a Republican,  said that any such device should only be used  for safety, not financial reasons.

“The first thing you want to do is to protect people’s individual rights. The second order is safety,”

The chairman of the Pennsylvania state House Transportation Committee. Rep. Joseph Markosek, a Democrat,  expressed doubts.

“. . . the idea of using some of this technology strikes some trepidation in the public.  and asked “. . . how much Big Brother do we need in our society?”

Will Oklahoma’s Second District warm to the idea of Wayne Pettigrew and  his Big Brother budget fixes filling Dan Boren’s seat?

I gave my magic 8 ball a shake and here is what it said;

More about the Oklahoma “Spy Cam” deal

One response to “Wayne Pettigrew and his Big Brother Budget Fixes

  1. Thank you for this report. I was already uncomfortable with Wayne Pettigrew just because of the way he seems to pick nits in his favor like touting his second district roots and legislative experience.

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