Gov O’Malley’s pick for Insurance Commissioner – With qualifications like these, what could go wrong?
Posted by Ed C on Saturday, September 8, 2007
As reported in the Examiner (O’Malley’s insurance chief puzzles many) and in the Baltimore Sun (O’Malley legal counsel to be insurance chief), Gov. O’Malley has picked Ralph S. Tyler, an adviser with no experience in insurance to oversee regulation on Maryland’s $26 billion insurance industry.
Quoting from the press release.
Tyler served as one of the Governor’s closest advisors as Chief Legal Counsel and led the effort to reconstitute Maryland’s Public Service Commission with independent and professional regulators.
I guess the definition of a “professional regulator” does not require experience in that particular domain.
As Baltimore’s City Solicitor, Tyler successfully led the lawsuit against the Maryland Public Service Commission and a pending BGE 72 percent utility rate increase this past summer. The lawsuit is credited with allowing the Maryland General Assembly to pass legislation to keep utility rates affordable and give utility companies more flexibility in purchasing electricity.
Yea, that worked out soooo well. Okay, so other than giving O’Malley an election issue, he was able to turn a 72% increase into a 72.5% increase. How does this rate as an accomplishment to “keep utility rates affordable”?
The Sun article also quotes Sen. Thomas M. Middleton, a Southern Maryland Democrat and the chairman of the Finance Committee that oversees insurance issues:
“… the Ehrlich administration’s focus on increasing competition in the state’s insurance market was good but went too far.”
Could Sen. Middleton explain how increased completion has been detrimental to Maryland residents?
The Sun aslo quotes Howard County delegate Warren Miller:
Del. Warren E. Miller, a Howard County Republican, said that if the commissioner sides too heavily with consumers, insurance companies will stop writing policies in the state.
“I hope we don’t go back to the days where the regulator was wanting something for free,” Miller said. “You have to be fair and balanced.”
Let’s hope this appointment benefits Maryland consumers, not just members of the Maryland Bar Association.