No on Proposition 33 Election Night Update: New Spending – Over $17 Million – and Eleventh-Hour Dirty Tricks By Insurance Billionaire Behind Prop 33
Santa Monica, CA – Consumer advocates with the No On Proposition 33 campaign will be available for comment and election night reaction in San Francisco, Sacramento and Santa Monica tonight. Mercury Insurance Chairman George Joseph and his campaign to pass Prop 33 have pulled out some eleventh-hour dirty tricks and voter deceptions, said Consumer Watchdog Campaign.
As LA Times editorial board writer Jon Healy wrote yesterday:
“The campaign in favor of Proposition 33 has been so consistently misleading, it's almost pointless to keep criticizing the measure's supporters for warping the facts. Nevertheless, an advertisement Monday in favor of the measure makes a point that bears rebutting before voters head to the polls.”
“Today’s election is a referendum on the truth and the power of the voters to see through a barrage of Orwellian lies,” said Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog. “We trust voters to get who is really fighting for them.”
- In a half-page ad in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times, two people calling themselves “Insurance Commissioners” were touted as supporting Proposition 33. They work for the insurance industry: http://tinyurl.com/bx8wl7u
- 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 a law firm representing 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 for the Pacific Association of Domestic Insurance Companies. 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.
- Joseph has spent a total $17,345,797.48 on Prop 33, including $423,000 in the last 10 days that was reported as Independent Expenditures.
- The spending likely violates campaign finance laws requiring donor disclosure and prohibiting coordination of independent expenditures with a campaign: http://tinyurl.com/c8wpxgg
- An emailed political advertisement that was sent out this weekend on San Jose Mercury News masthead made it appear to be an endorsement by the San Jose Mercury News.
-The Mercury News issued a clarification to all voters who received the email message that it was a paid ad, not an endorsement. The Mercury News has editorialized against Prop 33: http://tinyurl.com/a25aeoc
Prop 33 is opposed by consumer, civil rights, student, faith-based and labor organizations because it:
- Raises rates on new drivers.
- Is funded by one insurance industry billionaire.
- Makes the roads less safe by increasing the number of uninsured motorists.
- Legalizes racial and economic discrimination.
- Surcharges seniors, new drivers and the unemployed.
- Voters said no to the same initiative two years ago.
- Overturns a 24-year-old consumer and civil rights protection.
- Raises rates on good drivers who stop driving for almost any reason.
No On Proposition 33 representatives can be reached on election night at:
Jamie Court, Consumer Watchdog (310) 874-9989
Carmen Balber, Consumer Watchdog (310) 403-0284
2701 Ocean Park Blvd, Suite 112
Richard Holober, Consumer Federation of California (650) 307-7033
Ignacio Hernandez, Consumer Federation of California (916) 302-1001
Sheraton Grand Hotel, Main Ballroom, 1230 J Street
For the facts and more reasons to Vote No on Prop 33 visit: http://stopprop33.consumerwatchdogcampaign.org/
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