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Jul 03, 2001

CONTACT: Doug Heller - 310-392-0522 x309

Cal. Assembly Committee Kills Insurance Campaign Reform

Insurance Industry Defeats Ban on Industry Contributions to Insurance Commissioner
Sacramento -- The Assembly Elections Committee defeated SB 798 (Speier) today; it would have barred contributions from the insurance industry to the Insurance Commissioner. The bill grew out of last year's Quackenbush-scandal, in which the Commissioner was found to have used insurance industry campaign contributions for personal purposes and allowed insurers to escape strict scrutiny of their conduct in the marketplace.

"The public knows that banning insurance company contributions to the Insurance Commissioner is a 'no-brainer' in light of the Quackenbush-insurance scandal," said Douglas Heller, consumer advocate with the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. "By killing this reform, the insurance industry secured their right to buy themselves another Quackenbush in the future. Any candidate for Insurance Commissioner should voluntarily reject campaign contributions from the insurance industry."

Elections Committee Chairman John Longville, a Democrat, and Republicans Aanestad, Leonard and Bill Campbell voted to defeat the bill. Assemblymembers Firebaugh, Kehoe and Shelley supported the bill.


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