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Robert E Vagley    


• Was a Staffer for House Energy and Commerce Commission.

• Moved to support smoking cessation prgrams

• Robert E. Vagley, president. of the American Insurance Association,
    Salary $2,763,968.

1981 Oct 15: Kip O'Neill of O'Neill & Haase is meeting with TR Reynolds on the problem of Asbestosis and Commercial Union Insurance. Supporting him is Bob Vagley of Preston Throgrimson Ellis & Holman. The Insurance company was pushing for an excise tax on cigarettes to go into a fund to defray judgement on lung-related cases.

Commercial Union, according to Kip and Bob, is about to launch a major attack on the tobacco industry in an attempt to implicate us with regard to asbestosis cases. They seemed unsure or unwilling to say whether this would be a P.R. campaign or would just take the form of trying to rope us in to any asbestosis suits.

    They were, in my opinion, trying to feel out individual members of the tobacco industry to see if there is any room for negotiation on this issue.

1982: Worked for Preston Thorgrimson Ellis & Holman before AIA .

1986 /E: Revolutionised AIA. Shifted it to Washington and tripled the staff numbers before 1987 See Trade Associations.

1987 July 4: "The Best and the Worst." National Journal article on trade associations and their lobbyists.

The American Insurance Association, composed of firms that account for more than a fourth of the nation's property casualty coverage. Not long ago, it was considered bloated and ineffectual.

    Then last year, after its longtime president retired; the group's members took the opportunity to turn the place around. They hired Robert E. Vagley , an experienced Washington lawyer-lobbyist and gave him a mandate for change.

    Vagley acted fast. He moved the group's headquarters from New York to Washington — almost tripling, to 41, its capital staff. Many didn't make the move; some were told not to. "Clock watchers were replaced." Vagley said with "people for whom 5 o'clock is 5 o'clock and has no other material significance" — workers with "self-esteem."

    To calm public wrath over liability insurance, Vagley pressed insurers to visit Members of Congress from Florida before canceling some of the state's medical malpractice coverage and prevailed on a company to restore insurance to nurse-midwives, who'd had it yanked. To fight the coming battle over the McCarran-Ferguson law that regulates insurance, he formed a coalition with seven other insurance groups. He also pushed the group's directors toward consensus; a litigation issue that first drew a 7-6 vote was kneaded into unanimity. "Basically, people want to be led," Vagley said.

    Will the insurance group's influence revive? That will become clear as Congress works its will. But in the meantime, Vagley said, "this is a different place. The standard now is excellence."