A Letter to Proposition 33 Supporters


Aug 15, 2012, 21:00 ET from Yes on Prop 33

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Big Daddy, the compelling character from the genius of Tennessee Williams, said it well when he complained that "there ain't nothing more powerful than the odor of mendacity."

Big Daddy was talking of more personal concerns, but his sentiments apply to Consumer Watchdog.

Consumer Watchdog seems to be constantly on their heels for the sin of mendacity willingness to mislead is ingrained in their business plan. They have boasted in the past of their reliance on stunts and props to move their ideas and the end result is that in their world, the truth is elastic.

Consumer Watchdog is particularly defensive these days because we, the proponents of Proposition 33, dragged them into court and forced them to make a case under oath that they continue to make hysterically in public.

Specifically, Proposition 33 is a well-written, easily understood initiative that allows California consumers more options to obtain and maintain car insurance at a lower cost. In public, with incendiary quotes and the threat of disaster, Consumer Watchdog says in language written to frighten voters that it deregulates the insurance industry.

Really? No, not really.

In court, the lion turned into a lamb, as they plead before the judge that the frightening term of deregulation is really an elastic term ...parsed with the precision of what the meaning of "is" is ... and were compelled to tell the truth before the judge to say, "what I understand to be de-regulation may have a very different meaning to someone else. It's a very elastic concept...it's the kind of political rhetoric that, frankly, is permissible."

You don't hear Consumer Watchdog saying this in public.

When the Court said their argument was "hyperbole," Consumer Watchdog became increasingly tame and said in their elastic view of the term deregulation that Proposition 33 actually impacts Proposition 103 by allowing a new rating factor, there are presently 19 of them, and that new rating factor allows previous insurance to be considered.


In public, Consumer Watchdog agrees that Proposition 33 will give discounts to most Californians but then insists that insurance companies will set prices that hurt the most vulnerable. In court, however, there was agreement that the Department of Insurance approves all rates and that insurance companies can only successfully propose rates that are, in the words of Consumer Watchdog under oath, priced within the parameters of not being excessive and being adequate...again, the elasticity of truth that is so much a part of Consumer Watchdog's stunts and props.

Consumer Watchdog even argues that the term "good reason" is an elastic term and using the old chestnut of the dog eating the homework, says under oath that their definition is just another opinion.

The truth comes from the highly respected Greenlining Institute, a genuine consumer group and not corporate lawyers like Consumer Watchdog, when they say very clearly that Proposition 33 is good for California and helps those who have insurance keep it, and helps those who want insurance to get it at a reasonable price.

Another Big Daddy, Jesse Unruh, former Assembly Speaker and State Treasurer, would have been even more colorful in his assessment of Consumer Watchdog. The old Texan would have called attention to the shameless fundraising of Consumer Watchdog, and the rich lifestyle they've carved for themselves as activists on behalf of those they don't trust enough to tell the truth.

Mendacity is the smell of a watchdog left alone to indulge stunts and props.

Don't believe Consumer Watchdog. Read Prop 33 on your own and see why it is supported by a broad coalition, including the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, the American G.I. Forum of California, California Republican Party, Democratic Leaders Don Perata and Senator Juan Vargas, CDF Firefighters Local 2881 and PORAC.


Rachel Hooper

SOURCE Yes on Prop 33