Garamendi Returns $20,000 in Campaign Funds to Insurers

February 21, 2002

Politician John Garamendi recently announced that he returned $20,000 in political donations that he claimed he erroneously received from insurance concerns in two previous campaigns, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Garamendi, a current candidate for state insurance commissioner, told the Chronicle that he recently returned the funds to three different insurance interests that had donated to his unsuccessful run for governor in 1994.

Garamendi has already returned $10,000 to Zenith Insurance of Los Angeles, $5,000 to Transamerica Occidental Insurance and $5,000 to the Robert Plan of New York. All of the funds had been contributed to Garamendi’s 1994 governor campaign.

He also said he planned to return $2,000 to First American Title Insurance and $2,500 to the Association of California Life Insurance Companies.

Garamendi has assured voters in the past that he has never accepted money from the insurance industry.

Furthermore, Garamendi said he is considering the return of an additional $20,000 to other insurance concerns that were donated again to his campaign for governor, as well as to a political committee he maintained after he was first elected insurance commissioner in 1990.

Although the donations only composed a small percentage of the funds Garamendi has raised over the years, Garamendi has consistently claimed that he will not accept contributions from insurance companies to finance his campaign.

However, Garamendi stated that after a careful review, it was realized that some of the contributions were from the insurance industry. He further vowed to return the money to the donors.

Garamendi countered that the attacks were unfair, when rival Assemblyman Tom Calderon has financed his campaign with over $1 million in contributions from the insurance industry.

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