Consumer Advocate Speaks Out Against Insurance Industry 'Dirty Tricks' in California Insurance Commissioner Race

Oct 27, 2010, 14:23 ET from Campaign for Consumer Rights

Note to TV Producers: A high-resolution version of Mr. Rosenfield's remarks is available at: http://bit.ly/RosenfieldMessage.  Rosenfield is also available for interviews.

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Oct. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Consumer advocate Harvey Rosenfield has released a two minute video illustrating how insurance companies are running a stealth campaign to handpick their next regulator in California.  The video, available at http://www.StopTheInsurers.org, explains to voters that millions of dollars in television and radio ads supporting insurance commissioner candidate Mike Villines and opposing Dave Jones are funded by insurance companies, even though that fact is not disclosed in the advertisements.

Rosenfield authored the 1988 insurance reform measure Proposition 103, which made the insurance commissioner an elected office and led to more than $63 billion dollars in refunds and savings for California policyholders.  

In the video, Rosenfield says:

"I've seen a lot of insurance industry dirty tricks, but here's the worst part about their campaign to buy the commissioner's office: nowhere do the ads disclose that insurance companies are paying for them.  Instead, in an attempt to fool the voters, the insurance companies are laundering their money through a Chamber of Commerce committee called JobsPAC."  

Note to TV Producers: A high-resolution version of Mr. Rosenfield's remarks is available at: http://bit.ly/RosenfieldMessage.

To date, insurance company's have contributed $3.8 million to the campaign to elect Villines and defeat Jones, but the advertisements only disclose: "PAID FOR BY JOBSPAC, A BI-PARTISAN COALITION OF CALIFORNIA EMPLOYERS. NOT AUTHORIZED BY A CANDIDATE OR CANDIDATE-CONTROLLED COMMITTEE."

In fact, the campaign has been funded by several insurance companies that will be directly regulated by the next commissioner.  The industry donations to this campaign in just the last month include:

  • Allstate Insurance - $1,150,000
  • George Joseph (Chair of Mercury Insurance) - $1,000,000
  • Liberty Mutual - $640,000
  • Progressive Insurance - $390,000
  • Farmers - $225,000
  • Anthem Blue Cross - $150,000
  • HealthNet - $100,000
  • P/C Insurers Association of America - $74,000
  • American Insurance Association - $52,000
  • Personal Insurance Fed. of California - $25,000

Campaign for Consumer Rights has compiled a resource page with links to the official filings by JobsPAC revealing the insurance industry donations and the subsequent expenditures on the campaign to elect Villines and defeat Jones.  It is available at: http://www.stoptheinsurers.org/FollowTheMoney/

Campaign for Consumer Rights is the advocacy and campaign affiliate of the nonprofit organization Consumer Watchdog and is online at: http://www.CampaignForConsumerRights.org.

SOURCE Campaign for Consumer Rights



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