Mike Causey Named "Tar Heel of the Year" by NC SPIN.
January 13, 2020
Mr. Tom Campbell
3605 Ranlo Drive
Raleigh, NC 27612
Re: “Tar Heel of the Year” Mike Causey
My name is Ronald Pierce and I’m running for the Republican Nomination for North Carolina Commissioner of Insurance. I’m contacting you to inquire why you have chosen to insert yourself, and the UNC-TV operation, in my Primary with your “awarding” my opponent for just minimally doing his job? I can only guess that you recognize, or understand, the level of corruption in the North Carolina Department of Insurance, which would make these actions “award worthy”?
You site two particular reasons for Mr. Causey receiving this “award”, both of which should just be expected in the normal course of him doing his job. Just to be clear, I have serious questions concerning the actual circumstances and actions, related to the first reason given. That would be the situation surrounding Mr. Lindberg and his campaign contributions, and Mr. Causey’s involvement in this situation. Do you believe that this whole story has been revealed at this point? I know it hasn’t.
The second reason you site, Mr. Causey’s “call for the resignation of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s CEO Patrick Conway for driving under the influence with his children in the vehicle shows the Commissioner’s commitment to ensure sound leadership for the state’s largest insurer”. Do you really believe this is “award worthy”? Are you kidding me? It appears that your standards for “award worthy” have reached a very low level.
In closing, I’m very concerned that you have chosen to use your program and your position to put your “thumb on the scale” in my Primary Election race, and I have to wonder why? I would ask that in the name of doing what is right, that you either allow me to appear on your show, prior to the start of early voting, to discuss what real action and reform at the N.C. Department of Insurance will look like. Or could you schedule a joint appearance for Mr. Causey and myself on your show in this same time frame? I await your response.
Mr. Ronald Pierce
4917 Cedarforest Drive
Charlotte, NC 28226
And Mr. Campbell's response-
Thank you for your letter concerning our naming Commissioner Causey as our NC SPIN Tar Heel of the year. We stand by that decision and feel that his actions warrant recognition.
He resisted the attempt that would have circumvented campaign laws, attempted to bribe a public official and remove a state regulator unfriendly to the donor’s company. His cooperation with the FBI in reporting and cooperating in the criminal prosecution of this action resulted in the removal and sentencing of a State Party Chairman and the conviction of the person making the contributions.
Further, his actions in calling for Patrick Conway’s resignation took courage. Blue Cross, the largest insurer in our state, attempted to cover up actions which, under any circumstance, are against the law but in this particular instance became egregious. Persons in high places who make poor decisions do not need to be leading large companies. Causey might not have intervened had the BC board not attempted to cover up the situation.
Let me assure you that this decision was made by Democrats and Republicans and his re-election was not discussed nor was it a factor in the decision. If there was any recognition that Commissioner Causey had any opposition in the March 3rd primary it was not spoken nor was it a factor in our decision.
As I said in my comments we hold elected public officials to higher standards of conduct than we do the general public. Mike Causey exceeded those expectations last year.
I do not suspect this recognition will adversely affect your campaign. I appreciate your concern but again, want to say that it was done not with any attempt to influence an election but to recognize conduct we felt deserving.
Thank you for your letter