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Orange County Register
Sep 12, 2003

by Kimbery Kindy, OC Register

Mercury Insurance chips in for Davis

Gov. Gray Davis' anti-recall campaign received $25,000 from Mercury Insurance, a company that sponsored a bill the governor signed last month after vetoing a nearly identical bill last year.

Davis' support of the bill, SB 841, was criticized and the governor was accused of flip-flopping on the issue to curry contributions.

"This is a payoff," Doug Heller with the Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights said Thursday, the day the contribution was posted on the Secretary of State's website. "Davis is presenting himself as a reformed governor, but nothing has changed."

Heller's group attacked Davis last year when he received $25,000 from Mercury about a week after the bill landed on his desk. The group says the public pressure forced the veto, but Davis spokesman Steve Maviglio said the veto is proof the governor can't be bought.

"The governor received contributions in the past and vetoed the bills," Maviglio said. "What further proof do they need that contributions do not influence his decisions?"

Still, Davis signed the bill, which could help lower rates for drivers with long insurance histories.
Contact the author: 916-449-6685 or

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