The Whole Truth--Really!
By Carol J. Loomis

(FORTUNE Magazine) – Want an unvarnished look at how Georgia's Republican insurance commissioner, John Oxendine, 41, views the businesses he oversees? Here, courtesy of a newsletter company, Risk Information, is what Oxendine said at a recent conference it held for auto-insurance managers.

First, Oxendine said, those managers ought to be wary of the 12 states in which the insurance commissioner is elected--Georgia is one of them--because "we are different." Details: "We are a pain in the butt. We are very high-maintenance.... I am not a professional regulator, I am a politician.... I'm going to do what I think is going to get me reelected."

Oxendine does believe, he says, that insurers are entitled to a fair and reasonable profit: "I am not one of these Socialists never ever going to give out a rate increase." But, he said, "you need to realize that you have to find a way to always make me look good in front of the voters." As for campaign contributions, he noted he wasn't allowed to take them from insurance companies, but money from individuals is entirely acceptable. And gettable: "I'm the incumbent. You all are going to give me money because you're afraid not to."

Maybe this man had a mother who told him never to lie? --Carol J. Loomis