Incriminating Testimony Heard In Quackenbush Quake Hearings

June 7, 2000

Testimony before the California Assembly Insurance Committee revealed Tuesday that funds from the controversial non-profit foundation created by Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush were used to finance political polls asking residents to rate the department of insurance head’s job performance.

Joe Shumate, a Quackenbush political consultant, told the assembly that the earthquake foundation was set up not only to aid earthquake victims, but was also intended to promote the commissioner’s political career.

Shumate also testified that plans to feature earthquake victims in television ads funded by the foundation were altered after the department was unable to find anyone to appear in the ads. That inability led to producers giving Quackenbush more screen time in the commercials.

The testimony outraged some state lawmakers who have been investigating how millions of dollars from earthquake insurers were funneled to Quackenbush’s political allies.

The testimony was just the latest in a murky scandal that has rocked the state’s insurance department. For detailed background information, see

Topics Earthquake

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