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Bush-Cheney Campaign Head to Address Young Agents, InsurPac




WASHINGTON, D.C., April 5—Ken Mehlman, Bush-Cheney re-election campaign manager and one of the foremost political experts in the nation, will speak to young agents from nearly all 50 states, along with the state and national InsurPac leaders at the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America’s (the Big “I”) 28th annual National Legislative Conference.


Mehlman will address the Young Agent-InsurPac Luncheon on April 21, the first day of the event.


Separately, Christie Mann of Roswell, N.M.-based Taylor & Associates, Inc. is the recipient of the 2004 Maurice Herndon scholarship. This scholarship was established by the Big “I” to help a young agent attend the association's legislative meeting for the first time.


The National Legislative Conference is the industry’s best-attended, most effective legislative meeting. More than 900 independent agents and brokers will be attending this year’s event, which will take place April 21 through 23 at the Capital Hilton hotel in Washington, D.C.


“Ken Mehlman is one of the nation’s top political professionals. When it comes to political strategy and running a campaign, he is second to none,” says Big “I” CEO Robert A. Rusbuldt. “To have the campaign manager for the President’s re-election campaign at our legislative meeting during an election year will present our young agents and state InsurPac chair people a great opportunity to hear from one of the leading political minds about the importance of the political process and the role they can play in it.”


Mehlman previously served as director of White House political affairs for President George W. Bush, and was national field director for the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign. During the 2000 presidential primaries, he was the Bush campaign’s Midwest regional political director. In this position, Mehlman managed the Iowa team and wrote and implemented the plan that produced Bush’s record-setting victory there. From 1996 to 1999, he was chief of staff for Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-Texas), and previously served as legislative director for Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) from 1994 to 1996.


Mehlman also worked on Bob Dole’s presidential campaign in 1996; the campaign of Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) in 1994; President George H.W. Bush’s 1992 re-election campaign; and William Weld’s successful 1990 campaign for governor of Massachusetts.


Mann, the Herndon Scholarship recipient, is president of the New Mexico Young Agents Committee and was an integral part of reviving the group after a hiatus of more than a decade. When she became president last September the group had 13 members. Through her efforts the New Mexico young agents group now boasts 65 members—an inspiring achievement in a short amount of time.


“I am truly looking forward to the National Legislative Conference and all the educational and networking opportunities it offers,” Mann says. “The information I will learn will be very useful to my state association in furthering the political education of young agents and all agents in New Mexico.”


Herndon directed the Big “I” Washington D.C. office from 1949 to 1976 and was known as “Mr. Washington” to independent agents across America. He was an extremely effective leader of the Big “I” government affairs and grassroots operations. The new annual scholarship fund was established in his honor after he passed away in January 2003.


Highlights of the Big “I” National Legislative Conference will include an in-depth issues briefing session; the annual Big “I” congressional reception on Capitol Hill; appearances by numerous high-profile speakers; and hundreds of meetings on Capitol Hill between Big “I” agents and brokers and their elected representatives in the Congress.


Other prominent political leaders speaking to agents and brokers at the Big “I” event are Sen. George Allen (R-Va.), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee; Rep. Richard H. Baker (R-La.), chairman of the House Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee; and Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), ranking Democratic member on the House Financial Services Committee. Also, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Don Nickles (R-Okla.) will address the Big “I” leadership during the annual Insiders’ Luncheon held on April 20, immediately prior to the legislative conference.


The legislative meeting provides an excellent opportunity for agents and brokers to discuss important issues with their congressional representatives, including insurance regulatory reform, tort reform, passage of a flood insurance reauthorization and reform bill, and changes in the tax treatment of intangible assets.


The Young Agents-InsurPac Luncheon focuses on the national political climate, lobbying and political action committees (PACs) while also providing insight about getting involved at the local and national levels. State chairpersons of InsurPac—the Big “I” PAC and the largest in the property-casualty insurance industry—will join young agents for the luncheon.


The Big “I” provides young agents a special $100 registration fee. All agents and brokers can register online at by clicking on “Events and Conferences.” For more information, young agents should contact Leslie Mularski at (800) 221-7917 or


Founded in 1896, IIABA is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of more than 300,000 agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life, and health—as well as employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address:



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