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Professional Insurance Agents Name Rep. Charlie Melancon 2010 Legislator of the Year

WASHINGTON, March 17, 2010 - The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) has named Louisiana Congressman Charlie Melancon its 2010 Legislator...
March 17, 2010

WASHINGTON, March 17, 2010  -   The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) has named Louisiana Congressman Charlie Melancon its 2010 Legislator of the Year. The award was presented March 17 during the 2010 PIA Federal Legislative Summit.

A conservative Blue Dog Democrat, Melancon represents Louisiana's 3rd Congressional District covering much of the southern part of the state. He is also a former insurance agent and a former member of PIA.

Melancon was instrumental in placing language in the House version of healthcare reform (H.R. 3962) that guarantees that licensed professional insurance agents will be able to sell health insurance policies offered through proposed health insurance exchanges. Prior to Rep. Melancon's involvement, licensed insurance agents would have been banned from participating and only unlicensed individuals would have been empowered to act as insurance agents.

"Charlie Melancon is someone who possesses a rare commodity on Capitol Hill: good old fashioned common sense," said PIA National Director Richard "Richie" Clements of Chalmette, Louisiana, a member of the association's Government Affairs Committee. "Throughout the protracted debate on health care legislation, Charlie has met with PIA repeatedly to seek out the views of professional insurance agents. As a former PIA member, he knows that professional insurance agents are part of the solution, and he believes in a free market approach that is fiscally responsible."

"Charlie knows that common sense exists on Main Street, USA - not on Wall Street and certainly not in Washington, D.C.," Clements said. "Charlie is a good guy. He shares our values. He's one of us."

Congressman Charlie Melancon is a successful small business owner and former PIA member. He joined PIA in 1982 and was active in the association until running for the Louisiana House of Representatives. Congressman Melancon is currently running for the Senate, challenging Louisiana's incumbent Republican Senator David Vitter.

A longtime supporter of PIA and independent insurance agents, Melancon is running for the Senate "because the people of Louisiana deserve a more bipartisan, effective, honest and disciplined approach to the big problems we face as a country. The partisan politics and over-the-top rhetoric we've grown used to in Washington aren't getting the job done."

"As a small business owner, my background has been about getting results and solving problems," said Melancon. "When you run a business, you either make your business work, or you're out of work. That's why I know that in these tough economic times, we've got to be a whole lot smarter.  We need to cut government spending and get the deficit under control while creating more economic opportunity."

Congressman Melancon and his wife of over 37 years, Peachy, still live in his childhood hometown of Napoleonville. They have two adult children and one grandchild, who live in south Louisiana as well.

Founded in 1931, PIA is a national trade association that represents member insurance agents and their employees who sell and service all kinds of insurance, but specialize in coverage of automobiles, homes and businesses. PIA members are Local Agents Serving Main Street America SM. PIA's web address is www.pianet.com.

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