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Jindal's Pick For Louisiana House Speaker, Kleckley, Leveraged Insurance Committee Chair
Written by  // Tuesday, 08 November 2011 11:29 //

Political DeskIn his quest to become Louisiana’s next speaker of the House, Chuck Kleckley has learned how to leverage his chairmanship of the insurance committee — especially when it comes to fundraising.

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By JEREMY ALFORD

(Article was originally written for the new website thepoliticaldesk.com published by Lane Grigsby.  Bayoubuzz is publishing the article, with permission)

Before Gov. Bobby Jindal endorsed him for speaker last month, state Rep. Chuck Kleckley’s claim to fame was his chairmanship of the House Insurance Committee. In this position, he has been a prolific policymaker, authoring more than 30 insurance bills over the past four years that eventually became law.

Kleckley is also a member of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators. He’s chairman of the group’s Property-Casualty Insurance Committee and has traveled to different parts of the country this year to help develop model legislation regarding certificates of insurance and balance billing, among other issues.

That’s all to say Kleckley knows his way around the insurance industry. And the industry, for its part, seems to be a big fan of Kleckley, according to his campaign finance reports on file with the Ethics Administration.

Over the past two years, Kleckley has raised $75,600 through his political action committee. Of that amount, $58,850 — more than 77 percent — came directly from insurance companies, agents, underwriters, law firms with related practices and industry trade groups.

As of Friday, Nov. 5, Humana Health Benefit Plan of Metairie is his largest donor so far, with $7,000 in contributions handed over in 2010 and 2011. Then there’s the Texas-based USAA, which has donated $4,000 to Kleckley’s efforts. Allstate, Blue Cross, Farmers, Fidelity, AFLAC and many other recognizable names are on the contributor’s list as well. (A complete list can be found at the bottom of this story.)

In an interview with THE POLITICAL DESK, Kleckley said the money has no role whatsoever in his vision for the House. If lawmakers follow Jindal’s lead and elect him speaker in January, Kleckley said the insurance industry would be on the same footing as all others.

“I take contributions from all kinds of industries and, in this case, it’s just another example of people supporting my agenda,” Kleckley said last week. “Plus, I can tell you that the work we did on the insurance committee over the past four years was on behalf of the citizens of Louisiana. Not the industry.”

As insurance chairman, Kleckley has filed just about every imaginable type of legislation over the years, including bills that would increase rates on behalf of the industry. But on the other hand, there are signs that Kleckley takes his own stands. For example, from 2008 to 2011, he voted with the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry only 74% of the time.

He has also bucked the insurance industry on more than one occasion. In 2008, he passed a law forcing health insurers to provide at least $50,000 worth of coverage for prosthetics. A year later, he movedanother bill through the process restricting how insurance companies can use named-storm deductibles.

“I’ve never been shy about pushing legislation that’s more important to consumers than the industry,” he said.

Kleckley, however, isn’t just raising money in his bid to become the next speaker of the House. He’s spending it, too, mainly in the form of donations to members of the House. As of Friday, Nov. 4, Kleckley’s PAC has contributed $41,250 to lawmakers and other influencers. (For a complete list, scroll to the end of the page.)

Compared to a normal campaign, the overhead is minimal — his other expenditures add up to only $5,000 so far. As for what’s on the horizon, the giving may not be over. Kleckley’s PAC still has another $31,150 in cash sitting in the bank.

As for where his personal money comes from, Kleckley’s financial disclosure forms paint the picture of a self-made businessman with no clear ties to the insurance industry.

His income is derived solely from convenience stores — Four Corners Market in Lake Charles and Cajun Kwik Mart in Iowa — and real estate holdings. Collectively, they yield at least $300,000 annually for Kleckley, based on the broad value ranges used in the state’s disclosure forms.

Along with his wife, Kleckley also owns 25 percent of ACME Aviation in Sulphur, an aircraft club. In his spare time, Kleckley donates money and resources to the Profit and Loss Association, a charity that promotes Christian principles in business. While he lives in Lake Charles, Kleckley’s disclosure forms show he likewise maintains a secondary home in Baton Rouge.

Here’s a closer look at the contributors to Kleckley’s PAC that are connected to the insurance industry:

HUMANA HEALTH BENEFIT PLAN OF LOUISIANA INC.
Metairie, LA
$7,000

USAA
San Antonio, TX
$4,000

 ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY PAC
Northbrook, IL
$2,500

 BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF LOUISIANA
Baton Rouge, LA
$2,500

 GRAY & COMPANY INC. SPECIAL
Metairie, LA
$2,500

 PEOPLES HEALTH NETWORK
Metairie, LA
$2,500

THE TRAVELERS COMPANIES INC. PAC
Hartford, CT
$2,500

GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY PAC
Washington, DC
$2,000

 LOUISIANA CHIROPRACTIC PAC
Baton Rouge, LA
$2,000

 ACADIAN AMBULANCE EMPLOYEE PAC and COMPANY PAC
Lafayette, LA
$1,500

 AMERICAN INSURANCE ASSOCIATION PAC
Baton Rouge, LA
$1,500

 CHC OF LOUISIANA
Metairie, LA
$1,500

 FARMERS
Los Angeles, CA
$1,500

 LAMPAC
Baton Rouge, LA
$1,500

LOUISIANA DEALER SERVICES INSURANCE INC.
Baton Rouge, LA
$1,500

METROPOLITAN MANAGEMENT CORP
Metairie, LA
$1,500

VANTAGE HEALTH PLAN INC.
Monroe, LA
$1,500

ADAMS & REESE PAC
Baton Rouge, LA
$1,000

AFLAC
Columbus, GA
$1,000

HOSPITAL PAC
Baton Rouge, LA
$1,000

IIA OF LOUISIANA -PAC
Baton Rouge, LA
$1,000

JP MORGAN CHASE & CO PAC
Chicago, IL
$1,000

LA PROFESSIONAL INSURANCE AGENTS PAC
Baton Rouge, LA
$1,000

LOUISIANA ASSOC OF HEALTH PLANS PAC
Baton Rouge, LA
$1,000

MEDICINE LOUISIANA
Baton Rouge, LA
$1,000

UNITED HEALTHCARE SERVICES INC.
Minneapolis, MN
$1,000

MELANCON LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY
Carencro, LA
$900

FIDELITY INSURANCE
Metaire, LA
$750

LA LIFE & HEALTH INSURANCE PAC
Baton Rouge, LA
$750

LOUISIANA BANKERS ASSOCIATION STATE PAC
Baton Rouge, LA
$750

LUBA CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY
Baton Rouge, LA
$750

MARGARET SHEHEE
Shreveport, LA
$750

RICHIE RICHIE & OBERLE LLP
Shreveport, LA
$750

AETNA INC. PAC
Hartford, CT
$500

AMERICGROUP CORPORATION
Virginia Beach, VA
$500

BAKER DONELSON LA PAC
Baton Rouge, LA
$500

GILSBAR MANAGEMENT SERVICES LLC
Covington, LA
$500

HEALTH AGENTS PAC CORPORATION
Lafayette, LA
$500

LOUISIANA WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CORPORATION
Baton Rouge, LA
$500

PHARMACEUTICAL RESEARCH & MANUFACTURERS OF AM
Washington, DC
$500

UNITED EMPLOYEES PAC
Pineville, LA
$500

LOUISIANA LUPAC
Baton Rouge, LA
$250

BREAZEALE SACHSE & WILSON LLP
Baton Rouge, LA
$150

MULHEARN FUNERAL HOME
Monroe, LA
$150

RABENHORST LIFE INSURANCE CO.
Baton Rouge, LA
$150

WILLIAMS PROGRESSIVE LIFE & ACCIDENT INSURANCE
Opelousas, LA
$150

BENEFIT ADVISORY GROUP LLC
Metairie, LA
$100

Here’s a look at the politicians who have received money from Kleckley’s PAC:

A.B. FRANKLIN CAMPAIGN ACCOUNT
Lake Charles
$500

ALAN SEABAUGH CAMPAIGN ACCOUNT
Shreveport
$2,500

ANDY ANDERS CAMPAIGN
Vidalia
$2,500

BILLY CHANDLER CAMPAIGN ACCOUNT
Dry Prong
$500

CHRIS BROADWATER CAMPAIGN ACCOUNT
Hammond
$2,500

CHRIS HAZEL CAMPAIGN ACCOUNT
Basile
$2,500

DON MENARD CAMPAIGN FUND
Sunset
$2,500

DOROTHY SUE HILL
Dry Creek
$2,500

FRANKLIN FOIL CAMPAIGN ACCOUNT
Baton Rouge
$1,000

GREG CROMER CAMPAIGN ACCOUNT
Slidell
$2,500

H. BERNARD LEBAS CAMPAIGN ACCOUNT
Ville Platte
$500

JAY DARDENNE CAMPAIGN
Baton Rouge
$250

JEFF THOMPSON CAMPAIGN FUND
Bossier City
$1,000

JOE HARRISON CAMPAIGN ACCOUNT
Napoleonville
$1,000

JOHN A. BERTHELOT CAMPAIGN FUND
Gonzales
$500

KAREN ST GERMAIN CAMPAIGN ACCOUNT
Pierre Part
$2,500                                                                                 

NEIL ABRAMSON CAMPAIGN ACCOUNT
New Orleans
$2,500

PATRICK C. WILLIAMS
Shreveport
$1,000                                                                                           

RICHARD BURFORD CAMPAIGN ACCOUNT
Stonewall
$500                                                                                               

RICK NOWLIN CAMPAIGN ACCOUNT
Natchitoches
$2,500

ROBERT E. BILLIOT CAMPAIGN FUND
Westwego
$1,000                                                                                          

SAM LITTLE CAMPAIGN ACCOUNT
Bastrop
$1,500

SIMONE B CHAMPAGNE CAMPAIGN ACCOUNT
Jeanerette
$1,000

STEVEN E. PYLANT CAMPAIGN FUND
Delhi
$2,500

TIM BURNS CAMPAIGN ACCOUNT
Mandeville
$2,500

VALARIE HODGES CAMPAIGN FUND
Denham Springs
$1,500

WALT LEGER III CAMPAIGN ACCOUNT
New Orleans
$2,500

Editor’s note: We’ll take a look at the money in the Senate president’s race next week.

Monday morning update:
The Kleckley PAC filed another large report this morning that wasn’t included in this weekend post.

More than $16,000 in donations were collected by the PAC on Oct. 17 from the following sources:

AGRIPAC – $1,000

CCA OF TENNESSEE LLC – $500

CRPPA LOCAL PAC – $1,000

GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY – $1,000

HUMANA HEALTH BENEFIT PLAN OF LOUISIANA INC – $4,000

LAMPAC – $1,500

LOUISIANA CPA PAC – $300

LOUISIANA FEDERATION FOR CHILDREN PAC – $2,000

LOUISIANA WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CORPORATION – $1,000

MEDIMMUNE BIOLOGICS INC. – $500

METROPOLITAN MANAGEMENT CORP – $1,000

METROPOLITAN MANAGEMENT CORP – $1,500

SEAN REILLY – $250

SOUTHLAND CAPITAL LLC – $500

These new contributions from the Kleckley PAC were reported today as well:

HOLLY BOFFEY CAMPAIGN ACCOUNT – $1,000
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JASON BULLOCK CAMPAIGN FUND – $500

ROBERT E BILLIOT CAMPAIGN FUND – $1,500

STEPHEN LEONARD CAMPAIGN ACCOUNT – $500

PATRICK O JEFFERSON CAMPAIGN ACCOUNT – $250

SHERMAN Q MACK CAMPAIGN FUND – $500

WESLEY T BISHOP CAMPAIGN ACCOUNT – $500

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