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Sink joins McCollum in demand for revamp of BP claims czar process

by Dara Kam | August 23rd, 2010

Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink wants oil disaster claims czar Ken Feinberg to revamp his process for paying individuals and business owners who say BP’s massive oil disaster caused them to lose revenues or suffer other damages.

Sink, who traveled frequently to the Panhandle to meet with Feinberg and business owners who’s claims languished in BP’s hands, and fellow Cabinet member Attorney General Bill McCollum both accuse Feinberg of creating a process that’s less friendly to oil spill victims than federal law.

Feinberg has “taken an extremely restrictive view as to who is eligible for recovery,” Sink, a Democrat who is the presumptive nominee for governor, wrote to Feinberg today, the kick-off of his Gulf Coast Claims Facility that will handle the claims.

“In my opinion, the GCCF rules must be rewritten in favor of those who were harmed by this catastrophe, as opposed to those who caused it,” Sink wrote.

BP and President Barack Obama hired Feinberg to take over BP’s botched claims system. The Boston lawyer will be paid out of the interest from the $20 billion account BP is paying into over four years to pay the claims.

McCollum, a Republican running for governor in a tight primary against political outsider Rick Scott, also criticized Feinberg’s system, calling it onerous for Floridians and saying it circumvents the federal Oil Pollution Act that is supposed to protect victims of disasters like BP’s.

Feinberg, who received high marks for his management of the compensation fund for victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, defended his process for giving emergency six-month payments to businesses and individuals and a separate system that will give one-time, lump-sum settlements to those who promise not to sue BP.

The GCCF is completely voluntary, Feinberg says, and anyone who thinks they can get a better pay out by suing BP and having their lawsuit tied up in the courts for years if not decades should do that instead.

Here’s some of the differences between Feinberg’s protocol and the federal OPA:

*Proximate causation. Feinberg requires that claimants prove a geographic connection with the oil spill, a higher burden of proof than OPA. Under OPA, claimants merely need to show that their damages “resulted from” the oil spill.

*Single final settlement. OPA gives claimants the ability to sue for additional damages not included in their paid claims. Feinberg’s process requires those taking final settlements to give up their right to sue.

*Period of limitations. Feinberg is giving claimants three years to get a settlement from the GCCF. The federal law sets a three-year time limit for lawsuits but is broader because it gives victims more time to figure out what the long-term impacts of their damages would be.

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4 Responses to “Sink joins McCollum in demand for revamp of BP claims czar process”

  1. Sink Also Joined McCollum In Giving $250 Million Dollars of My Retirment Funds To Their Crooked Friends Says:

    Alex Sink and McCollum, along with Crist give their crooked NYC political friends $250 Million of our retirement funds which they summarily lost every penny of! Now one of them wants to be governor! I don’t hink so!

  2. Sink Also Joined McCollum In Giving $250 Million Dollars of My Retirment Funds To Their Crooked Friends Says:

    McCollum, Crist and Sink plan to share more state pension funds with their friends. How much more will be lost?

  3. whasup Says:

    Feinberg is just another shyster lawyer from New York who is most interested in getting hurt folks bought off to protect BP and Obama–his masters.

  4. Alex Sink Wants Her Partner In Crime To Win The GOP Primary So She Won't Have To Face The Truth About Their Corruption Says:

    Why Alex Sink Wants Bill McCollum to Win Primary

    While Alex Sink is enjoying the boost in the polls she is getting from Rick Scott and Bill McCollum going at each other, she is also undoubtedly fretting over the probability of Rick Scott winning the Republican primary on August 24th. If Bill McCollum wins, she’ll be going up against a known opponent who has blown his war chest fighting Scott. If Scott wins, she’s going up against an outsider who is willing to spend tens of millions of his own money to defeat her. One might think that she would greatly benefit from being able to continue the job McCollum has done accusing Scott of Medicaid and Medicare overbilling, and double-bookkeeping fraud that Scott claims he didn’t know about while heading Columbia/HCA. After all McCollum has beat that old horse to death and trying to come up with other excuses to challenge Scott’s integrity!
    With Alex Sink, this path is fraught with danger. Scott has a secret weapon in his war chest that Bill McCollum would never use. In fact, both the Democrats and the Republicans, and the mainstream media they seem to have a lock on, have maintained a conspiracy of silence around the Florida State Board of Administration (SBA) $61.4 billion meltdown that was aided and abetted by its three trustees: Charlie Crist, Alex Sink and Bill McCollum. All three are to blame for ignoring 19 audits warning them of risking pension funds, municipal funds, state lottery, hurricane fund, and other public money. While Crist made matters even worse by signing FL Senate Bill 2310 allowing the SBA to make riskier investments, Sink has the most egg on her face because of her role as both Chief Financial Officer of the state and Treasurer of the SBA. To this day, Alex Sink is loathe to say the words “State Board of Administration” in public lest voters might look it up or ask her more about it. Instead, she talks about wanting to protect the “pension funds” without saying anything about how she put them at risk to begin with. Only after the meltdown did she finally agree to start following the most important recommendations of the auditors, but by then it was too late.
    McCollum won’t dare bring this up if he faces off with Alex Sink, because he’s to blame also. But Scott will be able to rake Sink over the coals portraying her as a Bank of America executive who got $8 million dollar golden parachute, and then turned around and helped destroy the state’s nest egg through incompetence. Rick Scott will be able to make hay while the sun shines by virtue of equating money with free speech, while assailing the culture of corruption and influence buying related to Sink’s acceptance of special interest money from people like Ponzi-schemer Scott Rothstein. It’s easy for people to see the corruption crosses party lines. The amazing argument of corrupt career politicians against a self funded candidate is that person is trying to buy the office! The argument on the side of self funded candidates who are willing to spend millions of their own money to break the cycle of corruption is that career politicians whose predecessors anoint them with statements like “its his turn” and such actually represents an untold number of persons who want to buy the governors mansion for the friend who is already and will be even more so indebted to corruption and special interests from unknown sources! One only has to look at the organization concocted by the Obama administration upon such short notice to realize the culture of corruption was already long in place! Thirty years of wheeling and dealing by McCollum has bought a lot of friends and connections! McCollum, Sink and Crists abuse of the SBA funds by literally giving their New York city friends $250 MILLION DOLLARS of our state retirement funds to invest in PETER COOPER VILLAGE which was summarily lost to bankruptcy is a crime! Then Crist signed Senate Bill 2310 allowing him. McCollum and Sink to get their greedy little paws on millions more for risky investments for their political cronies! How dare an organization of such multitude of ongoing corruption call a businessman a fraud with all the skeleton’s the corrupt career politicians have in their closets!

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