By Rod Duran
Dear Ms. Russell
I spent the last few weeks searching the Internet on the candidates running for office in my PG County counsel district and I am wondering why no major media newspaper have reported this story? Mr. Derrick Davis is running for office in my district, and looks like he is loose with the people's money too! How can the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund (MAIF) lose $19.6 million dollars in one year but still give $1.4 million dollars in bonuses? I just cannot believe this. Haven't we had enough of the excessive CEO pay with federal TARP (citizens) money? I also noticed he is running on a political slate with Rushern Baker which the Washington Post, Washington Examiner and the Gazette newspapers have covered in four articles regarding his inability to manage a $2 million non-profit budget and failed to file tax reports for since 2006. Looks like PG County is getting ready to jump out of the frying pan and right into the fire with these two characters.
I also see Mr. Derrick "Boogie" Davis is a Go-Go music promoter!! Is PG County ready for a "Hip-Hop elected official" like the former mayor of detroit, Michigan Kwame Kilpatrick? Detroit had their Hip Hop Mayor. He went to jail. Does PG County want a gogo county councilman? With all of the murders and negative messages that gogo is famous for, is this what we want in a councilman? How about having a gogo festival at the council administration building with all of the profanity, n-words, and b-words. They also have violent lyrics and glorify killing. I just think that we want better and deserve better.
Concerned Prince Georgian
Maryland Senate grills MAIF over bonuses, lobbying dollars
By Keith L. Martin
Posted: March 17, 2010
ANNAPOLIS — Comparing Maryland’s auto insurer of last resort to big Wall Street banks who used federal bailout money for bonuses and other extravagances, a state Senate panel grilled the state agency over how it uses its funding provided by policyholders.
The Senate Finance Committee held its first hearing on SB 238 March 16.
The bill would prohibit the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund from using its budget for specified bonuses, services, events and sponsorships.
The bill comes following an audit of the quasi-governmental agency where it was unveiled that $1.4 million in bonuses was permitted for 400 MAIF employees, following $19.6 million in losses. MAIF’s board decided to defer necessary rate increases and change one of its pay policies to enable employees to qualify for bonuses.
That move did not sit well with one of the 10 sponsors of the bill, Sen. John C. Astle (D-Anne Arundel). He questioned spending by the insurer, including a 2006 “producer party” with dinner and a speech by former Baltimore Oriole Frank Robinson, as well as $30,000 in charity donations and a five-year, $100,000 pledge to support the Maryland Highway Safety Foundation.
MAIF, created and governed under Maryland law, was established to provide coverage for those who cannot secure private insurance. But Astle said the agency has gone far beyond its statutory limitations.
“We have an agency that has gotten aggressive and stepped outside the lawful boundaries set up,” he said. “I want to ensure it is run in a way outlined in the founding statute…I’m concerned with the governance of MAIF.”
Legislators zero in on $1.4 million in bonuses
Derrick L. Davis
Derrick L. Davis, MAIF’s recently-elected board chairman, told legislators that the agency receives no state funds – yet is held to state standards, including state-ordered furloughs. It provides bonuses that “considerably less” than in the private insurance market, does not advertise through television and radio like its private counterparts and has no dedicated agents.
Davis also defended the use of $74,000 for lobbying services, adding that when legislation comes forward impacting the agency, “we need to let our voices be heard as well.”
Astle called the lobbying money “troubling,” adding that if there is a bill that affects MAIF, there is representation: state legislators.
“You take the direction of the General Assembly,” he said. “We decide how you operate and using premium money [for lobbying] is a little outside the pail.”
Davis added that the bonuses in question, which will not be repeated in 2010 and 2011, are based on a combined ratio – the amount coming in through premiums and out through claims – not growth, like other private insurers, since MAIF policies are mandated for drivers who cannot secure other coverage.
Sen. Nathaniel Exum (D-Prince George’s) asked Davis if he remembered the “outrage” by the American public over banks receiving federal Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funding, only to dole out big bonuses and lavish parties, asking how that relates to Maryland policyholders having their cash used for similar items.
Davis said he understood that MAIF is “looking forward” and later admitted “sure,” that perhaps the agency made a mistake regarding the bonus distribution when pressed by Exum.
Davis was also grilled by Sen. George W. Della Jr. (D-Baltimore City), who scolded the agency for changing its policy to allow the bonuses, asking repeatedly if it was MAIF Executive Director M. Kent Krabbe who suggested the strategy. According to data provided by MAIF to the Senate panel, Krabbe received the most out of the $1.4 million in bonuses at $36,706.
While Davis said the recommendation came from “staff,” Della continually pressed, asking “who” brought the idea to the board.
“The executive director would present that information to the table,” Davis said.
Astle offered several amendments to the proposed legislation, including limits on board members and adding language to the state statute that members must “act in good faith,” mirroring language the General Assembly used in redefining the mission of nonprofit health insurer CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield a few years ago.
No vote was taken on the proposed legislation, so the amendments could be reviewed.
Legislature looking to clamp down on MAIF
Posted: 6:12 pm Tue, March 23, 2010
ANNAPOLIS — Senators are working this week on legislation to clamp down on practices at the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund, including high bonuses and spending on marketing and consultants.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Thomas “Mac” Middleton, D-Charles, will convene a work group this week to hash out the legislation, backed by a majority of his committee.
The sponsors say the spending uncovered by an audit makes the independent agency too much like a private insurance company rather than an insurer of last resort for people who can’t get coverage.
“It’s an agency out of control,” said Finance Vice Chair John C. Astle, D-Anne Arundel, the bill’s lead sponsor. Astle, who has jousted with MAIF executives for years, said he’s trying to reform the agency.
“I don’t want to blow [MAIF] up. MAIF is extremely important,” he said.
MAIF can only insure drivers who have been rejected by two private auto insurers or whose coverage has been canceled. Most of its clients have bad driving records, and a third of its clients are from Prince George’s County. Other large segments are from the Eastern Shore and Baltimore City.
Middleton said the negotiations will be delicate.
“We have to do this in a very collaborative, non-threatening environment to put cool heads together,” Middleton said. “We didn’t set [MAIF] up to be a competitor with the private market,” but “we expect them to be a professional insurance company.”
MAIF has defended itself strongly against charges that it’s trying to be a private market competitor, noting that it has lost both market share and premium income over the past six years, according to testimony it gave the committee last week.
In 2003, MAIF covered 6.4 percent of the insurance market in Maryland, generating $221 million in premiums. That has steadily declined over the years, and last year MAIF only covered 2.7 percent of the drivers in the state and had under $100 million in premiums.
“It is simply wrong to suggest that MAIF is competing with the private market,” MAIF Board Chairman Derrick Davis said in written testimony to the committee.
(He is no relation to House Economics Matters Committee Chairman Dereck Davis.) “MAIF is doing exactly what it was set up to do… . We are shrinking as private industry insures more and more Marylanders. This is viewed by MAIF as a good thing, and a successful result of its statutory mission.”
But lobbyist Bryson Popham said the market share should be even lower, because MAIF keeps customers on even if they have no accidents and their driving record has improved.
Popham represents Agency Insurance Co. of Hanover, which also insures high-risk drivers. Jack Stansbury, who runs Agency Insurance, said MAIF was losing money by holding down rates, in violation of state law.
MAIF has admitted that it held down rates so more people could stay insured, and that was one of the reasons for their losses. The agency cited legislative direction from the 1990s to hold down rates.
The sponsors of the bill were particularly upset that MAIF’s board of directors handed out $1.4 million in bonuses in 2008 despite a $20 million loss, at the same time other state employees were taking furloughs.
“There would have been no bonuses” without action by the board to change the criteria for the awards despite the loss, said Sen. George Della, D-Baltimore City, another persistent MAIF critic.
In response to questions from Della, Davis said it was MAIF Executive Director M. Kent Krabbe who recommended the bonuses to the board. Krabbe got the highest amount, $36,000.
The bonuses will not be given this year and next because of language Gov. Martin O’Malley put in the state budget. As state employees, MAIF workers also had to take furloughs — essentially a temporary pay cut — saving the fund $792,000, according to budget analysts. But MAIF said the furloughs will actually cost the agency $1.2 million in claims, storage, attorney’s fees and slower collections.
MAIF gets no state funds and depends entirely on premiums from its subscribers.
The bill also seeks to prohibit MAIF spending on marketing, public relations and lobbying, on which it spent $96,000 in 2008. The spending also included unspecified “strategic consulting services.” But MAIF said it actually spent about $10 million on consulting services, including money paid to actuaries and advisers to manage its investment portfolio.
“To say that you can’t have any consultants I think would be a gross injustice to MAIF, and not a wise thing,” Middleton said. But he was not sure what would be appropriate for MAIF bonuses, given that the agency competes for staff with others in the insurance business.
But Middleton said MAIF should not retain customers who are not high-risk and can be insured by private companies.
MarylandReporter.com is a nonprofit news Web site covering state government and politics.
UpJumpedDaBoogie Music - MySpace
UpJumpedDaBoogie Music, llc is a full service music production and management company. Conceptualized in the late 90's while Derrick "Boogie" Davis was performing as the Tenor Sax Man for Experience Unlimited featuring SugarBear (E.U. "daButt"), UpJumpedDaBoogie Music was formally organized in 2003; and incorporated in 2006.
"Boogie", as his momma still calls him on occasion, envisioned DC's indigenous music, go-go, going worldwide and becoming an industry and culture like its distant cousin "hip-hop". Remembering back to the first live concert his parents ever let him attend at the Howard Theatre in Washington DC which featured two acts: Rare Essence (Local Legend) and the Sugarhill Gang (needless to say the forbearers of hip-hop), Boogie grew up in the D.C. Go-Go scene performing first with Maryland's Hottest Funk Band of the 80's, Ayre Rayde Band & Show, prior to heading off to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore on an Honors Scholarship and Music Scholarship performing in both, Jazz & Chamber ensembles.
It was during the 3rd year of his pursuit that he connected with SugarBear and began to tour stateside with EU, but had to make a decision in 1988-89 to complete his degree instead of touring the far east and London with EU doing daButt! Boogie maintains to this day, he has no regrets! The 90's bought an introduction to public and political management. Managing campaigns and political offices can easily provide a profound parallel to the business of producing and promoting music. Running for office and serving in a political office builds a new layer of skin unimaginable to the faint. But music is in the heart and always finds its way home.
During preparation for EU's Reunion at the Lincoln Theatre in Washington DC, Boogie stumbled on enough talent to make him revive the sentiment that welled inside since the Rare Essence/Sugarhill Gang show when he heard the group Y2K rehearse in the space EU used later that evening. They were looking for a manager, but Boogie was leery about getting back in the game. Talent is only the beginning, a work ethic of determination and persistence make for success! The persistence of the younger brother of one of his closest friends and his partner, he agreed to begin a mentoring process. Y2K has become a major Live performance act on the DC circuit and has begun its ascension and access into broader markets and along with DC's own version of Motown's Legendary, "Funk Brothers" UpJumpedDaBoogie Music is ready to propel the go-go swing into the stratosphere...
Y2K Band & Show comprises a 14-piece ensemble that emerged from the shadows in November 2002 performing as the opening act for Chuck Brown at the D.C.Tunnel. They come from a wide range of musical endeavors that has uniquely provided the footsteps allowing them a stage presence parallel that of their idols of the 70's. The days of the "big band" with a horn section that commands your attention, a killer rhythm section, and sweet R&B vocals has been revived! All that on top a hard driving, non-stop syncopated go-go thump usually found only in Washington D.C. makes you bop until you drop. All grown up & sexy styled performances, deep-rooted and well trained fusion precision has made Y2K a sound and sight to be reckoned with throughout the Live performance venues in the Washington Metropolitan area. The band has continued to enjoy success in the very distinct music market of Philadelphia, Pa taking their sound north of D.C. performing annually for events sponsored by the Men of Baca, whose 3rd Friday functions are a thing of legend in Philadelphia over the past few decades. In 2005, Y2K helped to launch the very upscale young urban professional events sponsored by Stomp & Clay Productions (formerly of the Men of Baca) at exclusive venues throughout the city of Brotherly Love.
You have my permission [to repost]. I attended two District 6 debates where Mr. Davis stated at both that he believes our problem began in 1978 when we allowed T.R.I.M. I have researched what Montgomery County residents pay and they only pay $0.75 per $100 of assessed value on their homes. We pay $0.96 per $100 on our homes, but Mr. Davis keeps saying that we need to re-evaluate our taxing formulas to include property taxes! I am sick of politicians raising my taxes to pay their cronies and for their pet programs and projects! How much property tax is enough for him and Mr. Baker. Obviously, they think we are not paying enough now. I just received my property tax bill and i almost got sick. Me and many of my family, friends and neighbors pay out taxes to PG County and also have to pay to send our children to private schools. We had to shovel snow on county streets because the county left us stranded. Maybe we should stop building so many houses and figure out what Montgomery and Fairfax county are doing to keep their property taxes lower but still be able to provide services to their citizens. I don"t know if I can take it anymore!