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Sessions holds big fundraising lead in House 105 primary

All 3 Republicans competing in Tuesday's special election have said that improving the cost and availability of coastal insurance was a top priority.

Each has endorsed the Property Insurance Clarity Act, a proposal initiated by HHII that would force insurers to publish a detailed, searchable online database of insurance premium rates and losses.  Each also said that the state should be able to force insurers who cover cars or upstate property in Alabama to write wind policies along the coast.

Burdine and Meredith rejected the idea of state price mandates, but Sessions said he would consider such a measure depending on what data made public by the Clarity Act might show.

Alabama Farmers Federation helped give Sessions unmatched resources to compete but the group’s donations could be a political liability in a coastal Alabama House district hard hit by rising home insurance rates. Alfa Mutual Group, the Montgomery-based organization’s insurance wing, is Alabama’s second-largest homeowners insurance company. It is also a frequent opponent of bills in the Legislature intended to improve the availability and affordability of coverage near the coast.

 Read George Altman's original 3/20 story in Press-Register

Posted 3/20/2011


With acknowledgement to Mike Marshall's Press-Register editorial
and J.D.Crowe post on 1/31/2013

Is anyone talking about insurance reform anymore? The one voice that championed insurance reform in the Alabama Legislature, Ben Brooks, has left his senate seat to become a state court judge. With Brooks gone, who will now speak to the issue? That job could fall to the winner of Brooks' seat in Senate District 35 - Bill Hightower or Jim Barton, both Republicans.

Less than 6% of eligible voters chose to vote in the special election held to replace Sen. Ben Brooks, who vacated his Senate District 35 seat to take the bench as a state court judge.

The stakes were high: Brooks championed the cause of insurance reform in the Alabama Legislature. He succeeded in passing several key bills, but there's much more work left to be done.

Affordable home insurance is hard to come by in District 35, which contains about half of Alabama's coastline as well as the Dog River and Fowl River basins. Residents of District 35 work and play a few feet above sea level.

Political neophyte Bill Hightower made it into the run-off to face runner-up Jim Barton on March 12.

Read complete editorial at
See Crowe cartoon & comments at

Posted 1/31/2013


HHII is alive and well and still very much engaged in the effort to find solutions for the homeowners' insurance crisis in coastal Alabama.  HHII continues to be ably supported by Al. Rep. Joe Faust and Senator Tripp Pittman, who was instrumental in shepherding the Clarity Bill through the legislature.

Come to any HHII meeting and find out what is really happening!

Posted 2/1/2013


Thursday night, 1/24/2013, a crowd of about 80 people showed up in Theodore to hear how the three candidates vieing to replace Senator Ben Brooks in District 35 would respond to questions they had received in advance from HHII.

 Brooks resigned following his election as a Mobile County circuit judge.  The three candidates for the position are Republicans Jim Barton (B), Bill Hightower (H) and Nick Matranga (M).  The Alabama Democratic Party will not field a candidate.

Barton is a state Representative who's held the House District 104 seat in Mobile since 2000. Matranga is a retired Marine colonel and commercial airline pilot. Hightower is a business consultant and board member of the Mobile County GOP.

Here are the questions and the candidates' answers

Question #1: If elected will you champion effective faithful enforcement of the Clarity Law?

B, H, M: yes

Question #2: If elected will you aggressively aid HHII in pursuing a multi-state solution?

B, H, M: yes

Question #3: In this present campaign, have you or will you accept contributions from the insurance industry, insurance companies or insurance lobbyists?

B – yes, but it won't effect me

H – no, only family and friends

M – no, especially not Alfa

Question #4: If elected will you make time to forge a creative, powerful relationship with HHII?

B, H, M: yes

Question #5: If elected will you meet w. HHII after you have been in office two months?

B, H, M: yes

Posted 1/29/2013


The Candidate Forum in Theodore Thursday night, March 10, hosted by The Quest for Justice, Alabama Christian Coalition, & HHII, with the  support of Senator Ben Brooks, focused exclusively on solving the hurricane insurance crisis. All of the candidates agreed to support the Clarity Bill and fight to significantly lower our premiums.

The Just Faith Class at Corpus Cristi Catholic Church took a leadership role in putting it together. The organizational mingling evolving around this crisis is significant.  Baldwin and Mobile counties share leadership; as do affluent and poor, black and white, Democrats, Republicans, and Tea Partiers. 

The candidates are running in a special election for the state representative position vacated by Spencer Collier who accepted a position in the new governor's cabinet. The district covers much of the southwestern part of Mobile County, but the race is significant to everyone because of the nature of the hurricane insurance crisis.

  Updated 3/12/2011

This page last updated 1/29/2013