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"The Republican Party has failed you"

So said Rep. Juan Zapata, R-Miami, who blames the political influence of the insurance industry for many of the problems in the insurance market. And he singled out one man: Rep. Don Brown, R-Defuniak Springs, who chaired the House insurance policy council and is an insurance agent who's "in the pocket of the insurance industry,'' Zapata said.

Zapata made the comments Saturday at a Coral Gables "idea raiser" event spawned by incoming House Speaker Marco Rubio, who left just before the wheels fell off in the room. Miami's WINZ 940 AM radio host Jim DeFede got a hold of the tape of the meeting from Miami Rep. Julio Robaina, played it on the show this morning and then phoned a confused Don Brown.

"His name’s Don Brown. And you know how we talked about the Panhandle exempting themselves [from the building code]. Well, that’s the guy who’s the chairman of the insurance committee, Don Brown," Zapata said on the tape.

"And I will tell you this much, on the record, and I hope he hears this: He is in the pocket of the insurance companies."

Robaina tried to stop him, but Zapata continued.

"I wish Speaker designate Marco Rubio was here. I hope he doesn’t chair an insurance committee because it would be a disservice to all of you."

Said Brown: "I can only tell you that, there is no question I have about 30 years experience as an insurance agent. I can just tell you in that 30 years on three different occasions that arbitrary decisions by insurance companies have almost bankrupt me and I would simply respond I am not a fan of insurance companies any more than any one else." He later said he didn't know Zapata had such feelings, but said, "I won't bring this up with him. At my age, I've learned some things are better left unsaid."

Not Zapata. Here's how he began his rant, agreeing all the while with incoming House Minority Leader Dan Gelber, a Miami Democrat: "The Republican Party has failed you, and not because we haven’t tried but I think we haven’t tried hard enough. And I think it’s obvious by the results. I think for far too long we created a system that really benefited the insurance companies. And we have been afraid."

Comments

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GOP Junkie

Is Zapata trying to committ Political suicide? Don Brown has far more influence in the legislature. Zapata would be wise to keep his mouth shut.

Herman

Gallagher's having a conference call today (Friday) at 4:45pm EDT.

The dial-in information is as follows:
Access Number: 1-866-200-9760
PIN: 348119#

Tune in!

Reagan Republican

I just checked the vote on SB 1980 -- the insurance bill from last session. Zapata voted in favor of the bill - a bill that Brown spoke for on the House Floor. I'm trying to figure this out. Does Zapata agree with Brown since he voted for the bill, too stupid to know what he thinks so he just voted, or has he flip-flopped because the heat is too hot in the kitchen?

If you go back and look at the bill, you will see that it is based on some basic economic principles that folks with risk prone property must pay their fair share up front, rather than having the rest of us pay taxes on the back end to bail out a risk prone property.

It appears that Zapata and Gelber want to a big government solution that relies on debt financing paid for by future generations. Sound familiar? Just like social security.

I would not want Zapata in the fox hole with me. I'll take Brown any day. Like him or not, Brown is a man of conviction. He says what he means and means what he says. We need more like him.

pat r.

Can't remember a time where the Republican Party has failed so miserably in their obvious exclusionist attitudes toward the American public.

The poverty of this nation can be due only to such vastly destructive management over the last 8 years that America may never recover from the harm done it. Certainly, who could trust a Republican now with national poverty affecting everyone with its rush to the bottom, turning even middle class folk into near beggars.

Raul Casas

Zapata is a Traitor to the Republicans and a lier to all, a real flip flopper. as he put it a convicted criminal like his parents. He confessed to the Herald on 10-8-12, now he wants to de Dade county commisioner, yea right, Detective Manny Machao is taking care of business Zapata wont be ble to run around his District 7 apartment when this is over. Machao has shown what hard work, dedication, and honesty can bring to a race and his community that he lives in and serves!

Manny Machado # 86 Disctrict 11 County Commissioner!!!

And Zapata stop lieing it wasn't Steroids as you claim open your sealed record, come clean you coward. Machado is the Man!! Dont compare him to Alvares, we would hve to ompare you to El Che!! Another criminal and killer of the innocent, look at your cuts on the ADA and voting to let Terry Shrivo died, going against the Govener and the parents!!, Yes you noted NO, its public record!!!

Anyone can end up like Terry or thounsnds of disabled, for you to say wht you said, let hem Die!!! Looser, traitor, killer, drug dealer, and fake!!!

lorenzito

Wow another FIU criminal gets immunity, law student ignorant of a crime, guess she worked for J.C. Planas before since he seems to represent this whole crew for years now, even running PAC's for Al Lorenzo, Herman Echaverria, Armando Guerra, you name it the list goes on and on. All these Pac's registered to Planas and made to attack candidates for these crooks, well don't worry she will seal her record even if the charge's are not sealable, she will then run for office and then expunge the record just like former Juan Zapata did years ago on his trafficing and selling drug charges, yes folks a drug dealer and turned politician. And even further his parents were drug money lauders who were arrested under operation Green Back in the eighties, guess Zapata's parents were close friends to all these now turned high profile ballots broker consultants and maybe even prosecuter's who seem to forgive these crimes and let us be defrauded and lied to. Zapata who after years of political corruption now runs for Commission Seat in District 11, with everyone of these criminal corrupted politician's involved from Jeb Bush, JC PLanas, Eddy Gonzalez, Bovo, Manny Diaz JR, Mayor Carlos Gimenez, and we can be here all day naming them, plus all the special interest in florida with lobbyist earning him almost 1 Million Dollars to run against first time candidate and police detective Manny Machado. An officer for more than 12 years and with no criminal or political ties, yes folks a true Statesman, a defender of the people. But again we see that big bucks and B.S backing Zapata can really cloud of judgements, I am with Machado , Mr. Zapata please open your record let us in to your life like all you crooks like to do to good people that challenge your ways, see the time is over for you go get a job and stop living and sucking us dry with your B.S. Go and wake up, you are done, we don't need guys like you anymore, I spoke to Machado this Saturday at Hammocks Library and boy that kid is right on point with what is really going on with this county, he has done his homework, Stadium deal, Wackenhut settlement, Tunnel, new train, and the kicker how you want to stop red light cameras but you have taken thousands and thousands from those who want to have them put up. I belong to the Kendall Federation and I was ready to vote for you but after seeing your free barbecue and hearing this young man who just wants to help his community, county, and our families prosper, I have woken up, I don't even want to vote on the 240 issue. He is for no kill thru budget not taxes, you talk a good game but your just a fraud, thank God Moses "Manny Machado" we now call him was the last guy I spoke to, his wife right by his side, he didn't even wear sunblock and you can tell the sincerity and his conviction how he can looks right into your eyes the whole time, can't say the same for you, you have this synical ora to you, why don't you stick to commercials after this cause your a good actor. I have reached out to my friends, family and neighbors cause finally we have a light on the commission and If I can help it It ain't you! What the hell is going on here in florida, can the Feds please take this place and clean house or are we just doomed? And by the way can the Herald report that Mr. Zapata and his PAC is just a lier putting out all that BS on Machado, if he were under any investigation as you claim he could not be running for office period.

Thanks LP

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