The insurance industry is regulated in each state by an insurance commissioner.

 

In many states there is a cozy relationship between insurance regulators and the

 

business they regulate.24 The Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit, nonpartisan

 

investigative media organization, found for example, that many regulators have accepted thousands of dollars in trips to conferences that are sponsored by insurance

 

companies. The National Institute on Money in State Politics found that insurance

 

companies and their employees were among the top donors to commissioner candidates in the several states that elect regulators.

 

a. Who wins and who loses when the industry being regulated by a state official

 

provides gifts and financial benefits to the state official?

 

b. Why are conflicts of interest problematic?