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May 24, 2000

CONTACT: Doug Heller - 310-392-0522 x309

Bill to Make Insurance Commissioner Appointed -- DEFEATED

Sacramento-- SCA 19, legislation which would have asked voters to return the office of elected insurance commissioner to an appointed position, was defeated on a bipartisan basis in the Senate Constitutional Amendments Committee this afternoon.

Senate President Pro Tem John Burton, Sen. Cathie Wright and Sen. David Kelley voted against the measure.

Consumer advocates hailed the vote. "The Quackenbush scandal has angered and outraged many people. But it made no sense to punish voters for what Mr. Quackenbush has done," said Douglas Heller, FTCR advocate. "While Mr. Quackenbush's conduct is a blemish on our democracy, making the post appointed would only have made it worse. As Winston Churchill once noted, 'It has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government -- except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.'"

"Now the Senate can focus on investigating the circumstances surrounding this scandal, as well as determining what further reforms are necessary to protect policyholders and strengthen the regulatory process," Heller concluded.


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