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Lawyers, Liars and Proposition 33

Before the hordes of lobbyists, lawyers, bloggers and PR hacks hired by Mercury Insurance Company’s billionaire Chairman George Joseph to pawn Prop 33 off on California voters crawl back under their rocks, let’s look at a few of their last minute lies.

  • In a half-page ad in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times paid for by Joseph, two people who claimed to be “Insurance Commissioners” were touted as supporting Proposition 33.

    One, Roxani Gillespie, was appointed to the post of Insurance Commissioner in the 1980s. She did such an infamously bad job of regulating insurance companies that the voters threw her out of office and made the position an elected post. She now works for the insurance industry.

    The other was never even the Insurance Commissioner, only one of many deputies at the Department of Insurance. Now he’s an insurance lobbyist. As the Los Angeles Times pointed out, his claim that the auto insurance surcharges Proposition 33 will impose were legal in the 1990s is false. The surcharges have been illegal since the voters banned them in 1988.

  • An article in an insurance company trade publication today quoted the Yes on 33 campaign as saying Consumer Watchdog sued the Mercury campaign in court last August and lost. Odd, since it was the Mercury campaign who sued myself, Jamie Court and other consumer advocates opposed to Prop 33 – and Mercury lost. Then it tried to appeal and its appeal was thrown out.
  • After denying it for months, Joseph last week finally admitted to the Los Angeles Times that he was sponsoring Proposition 33 to benefit himself and his company.

We’ve always said you can’t trust Mercury Insurance, nor George Joseph. If he’s willing to pay people to lie for him in a political campaign, imagine what his company might be willing to do to its policyholders.