Consumer Group Criticizes Calif. Insurance Commissioner Candidate Villines

October 7, 2010

A consumer group is criticizing Calif. insurance commissioner candidate Mike Villines for supposedly taking $ 66,950 from insurance sources despite a pledge not to take money from the industry.

Consumer Watchcdog says Mercury Insurance Chairman George Joseph and Progressive Insurance have deposited $315,000 in a political action committee that has begun an advertising campaign attacking Villines’ opponent, insurance commissioner candidate Dave Jones, according to reports filed with the Secretary of State. The political committee, JobsPAC, reported spending $280,000 on an independent expenditure against Jones, the group said. JobsPAC is run by the California Chamber of Commerce.

“Californians need an insurance commissioner who is independent of insurance industry influence and both candidates should call on the insurance industry to stay out of this race,” said “Douglas Heller, Consumer Watchdog executive director.

Heller’s group believes that the insurance industry is planning to spend between $5 million and $10 million to defeat Jones and elect Villines through the JobsPAC committee.

Candidate Mike Villines has reportedly pledged to refuse contributions from insurance company sources, but his campaign reports show that he has more than $66,950 from insurance industry sources, the group said. Most of those industry donations were made to the “Villines For Senate 2014” committee, which transferred virtually all of its funds to the insurance commissioner campaign committee. Among his top insurance industry donors are Allstate, Farmers and HealthNet. The group suggested Villines return the $120,000 he has received from insurance companies.

Source: Consumer Watchdog

Topics California Market

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