Insurance Money Makes a Face: Quackenbush's
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Los Angeles Times
Jan 21, 2002

by Patt Morrison

Insurance Money Makes a Face: Quackenbush's

Insurance Money Makes a Face: Quackenbush's

To commemorate a degree of cupidity rare even in politics, the name and face of discredited former state Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush have been bestowed upon the "Quack-O-Meter," a device to track the insurance industry's contributions to candidates for Quackenbush's old job.

Assembled by the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, the Quack-O-Meter's mission works like this: The more moola a candidate gets from insurance folks, the more of Quackenbush's mug is revealed.

By mid-January, candidates Tom Umberg--for years Orange County's only Democrat in Sacramento--and John Garamendi--who turned down some insurance contributions a dozen years ago as the state's first elected insurance commissioner--had zero dough from insurance outfits.

Fellow Democrat Tom Calderon has raised about half his money, roughly $800,000, from insurance sources, so the watchdog group filled his picture in about halfway.

Political junkies will remember that Calderon's brother Charles, a former state senator, got smacked with an $18,000 fine last month for breaking clean-campaign laws; among other indulgences, he used campaign money to rent a limo for the premiere of the movie "Liar, Liar."

Last word on the Quackster is that he and his wife are still in Hawaii, where she is campaigning against the state's required one- to four-month quarantine on dogs and cats coming over from the mainland.

FTCR note: The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights does not take any position on candidates for any elected office and does not promote or oppose the election of any candidate for California Insurance Commissioner.

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