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News Release

Consumer Groups and Editorial Boards Say “NO” On Insurer-Backed Prop 33

$16 Million From One Auto Insurance Executive Is Behind Deceptive Initiative To Raise Rates on Good Drivers
Contact Info

Carmen Balber & Jamie Court

Phone Number:
Carmen: (310) 392-0522 x323; Jamie: (310) 392-0075

Santa Monica, CA -- Consumer Watchdog, Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, and Consumer Federation of California, are urging California voters to oppose insurer-backed Prop 33 along with the California Nurses Association and the California Alliance of Retired Americans.

As voters cast their votes by mail, the groups note that Prop 33 is backed by one insurance company billionaire and will raise insurance rates on good drivers. Just two years ago Joseph’s Mercury Insurance placed a nearly identical measure on the ballot, Prop 17, which was rejected by the voters 48 – 52.

“When was the last time an insurance company executive spent $8 million on a ballot initiative to save you money?” asked the groups in the official ballot arguments against Prop 33. Mercury Insurance Chairman George Joseph has since doubled his spending on Prop 33 to $16 million.

“Prop. 33 will raise rates on drivers with perfect driving records. This initiative unfairly punishes people who stopped driving for legitimate reasons—like going to college, recovering from a serious injury or taking public transportation—when they return to the insurance market,” note the ballot arguments. “California law prevents auto insurance companies from charging people more simply because they had not driven previously or were too poor to drive in the past. Prop. 33 will allow insurance companies to start surcharging millions of Californians.”

The broad coalition of civil rights, worker, consumer, senior and faith-based organizations opposing

Proposition 33 includes, in part:

  • American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
  • Berkeley-East Bay Gray Panthers
  • California Alliance for Retired Americans
  • California Church Impact
  • California Conference of Machinists
  • California Democratic Party
  • California Labor Federation
  • California Young Democrats
  • Consumer Action
  • Consumers for Auto Reliability & Safety (CARS)
  • Courage Campaign
  • Equal Justice Society
  • Friends Committee on Legislation of California
  • International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers (IFPTE) Local 21
  • Jericho, Voice for Justice
  • Lutheran Office of Public Policy
  • Older Women's League of CA
  • Public Advocates
  • Public Employees Union, Local 1
  • Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1000
  • The Utilities Reform Network (TURN)
  • United Policyholders

Nearly every newspaper editorial board in the state has also urged a No vote on Prop 33. Read the recommendations here:

Learn more about Proposition 33 at StopProp33.consumerwatchdogcampaign.org