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Insurers Set New Date for Luncheon to Benefit Thune

Lobbyists for the U.S. insurance industry have rescheduled a controversial fundraising luncheon that hopes to raise $100,000 to defeat Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) this fall.

Democrats were outraged earlier this year when industry lobbyists first planned the fundraising event to benefit Daschle’s opponent, former Rep. John Thune (R-S.D.).

But Democrats on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee — who were considered crucial to advancing the measure, which is a major priority for the insurance industry — said they planned to drop their support for an industry-backed terrorism insurance bill if the industry went ahead with the $1,000-a-plate fundraiser.

The insurance industry later canceled the event, but blamed a scheduling conflict.

Now the event is back on.

Insurance lobbyists have scheduled a luncheon for Wednesday at the Capitol Hill Club. It will feature Rep. Mike Oxley (R-Ohio,) who chairs the House Financial Services Committee.

The luncheon is being organized by the American Insurance Association and several individual insurance companies.

“The balance of the U.S. Senate could easily hinge on the outcome of this race,” said GOP fundraiser Julie Conway in an e-mail pitch to insurance lobbyists.

— Brody Mullins

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