The Northern Virginia Daily's Political Depot

A service for our readers outside the Northern Shenandoah Valley... a sampling of The Daily's political coverage, plus unofficial, 'reporter's notebook' stuff. And occasional dry humor...

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Location: Strasburg, Virginia

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Democrats offer to help former GOP insurance company

RICHMOND — The Democratic Party of Virginia has volunteered to help the state GOP’s insurance provider fight a lawsuit brought by the Republicans over the 2002 eavesdropping settlement.

Del. Bob Brink, D-Arlington, and other plaintiffs sued over the incident, in which the party’s former executive director listened in on a Democratic conference call.

The Republican Party settled the case for $750,000, and is now suing its insurance provider for $950,000 to recoup the settlement and legal fees. Democrats have cried foul, saying the only reason they settled is because Republicans said they didn’t have any insurance.

“This action flies directly in the face of RPV’s earlier representation that it lacked insurance coverage,” Democratic legislators wrote in a letter to the insurance firm.

GOP officials have said that at the time, their carrier had denied coverage, and the suit is just a business matter. But Democrats say it’s a “dirty trick.”

“We are anxious to assist in any way possible to ensure that RPV and the other defendants remain accountable for their actions by bearing the cost of the settlement,” Democrats wrote.

“It is important for justice to be served in the eavesdropping case,” Brink said. “A Nebraska insurance company should not bear the financial consequences for the dirty tricks that took place. That burden should rest on the shoulders of Virginia Republicans.”

Democrats also took the opportunity to try to tie the incident to Republican gubernatorial hopeful Jerry Kilgore. Brink pointed out that Kilgore’s campaign chipped in $125,000 of the final settlement.

— Daily Staff Report