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Candidate Mike Villines Has Taken $66,950 From Insurance Companies Despite Pledge Not to Take Industry Cash

Santa Monica, CA – Mercury Insurance Chairman George Joseph and Progressive Insurance have deposited three hundred fifteen thousand dollars in a political action committee that has begun an advertising campaign attacking insurance commissioner candidate Dave Jones, according to reports filed with the Secretary of State yesterday.  The political committee, JobsPAC, reported spending $280,000 yesterday on an independent expenditure against Jones, who is competing with Mike Villines in the race for commissioner.  JobsPAC is run by the California Chamber of Commerce and is being used by insurance companies to deceive voters so they are not aware the campaign attack ads are actually funded by insurance companies.
 
"The insurance industry wants to pick its own regulator, and it will spend millions of dollars attacking Dave Jones, who insurance companies apparently fear," said Douglas Heller, Executive Director of the nonpartisan, nonprofit Consumer Watchdog.  "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."
 
Consumer Watchdog believes that the insurance industry is planning to spend between five and ten million dollars in its deceptive effort to defeat Jones and elect Villines under the cover of the JobsPAC committee.
 
Villines Has $66,950 From Insurance Sources In Campaign Account Despite Pledge to Not to Take Money From Industry
 
Candidate Mike Villines has reportedly pledged to refuse contributions from insurance company sources, but his campaign reports show that he has over $66,950 from insurance industry sources. 
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.  A full list of Villines's insurance industry donors are here: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/VillinesInsuranceContribs.xls

"The last insurance commissioner who was elected with insurance industry support was Chuck Quackenbush, and he had to resign in disgrace," said Heller. "Anyone running for this office should pledge not to take insurance industry money and, more importantly, they should live up to that pledge.  Mike Villines should return the sixty thousand dollars he has received from insurance companies."

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Consumer Watchdog is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that does not support or oppose candidates for election. Since the resignation of former Commissioner Quackenbush, Consumer Watchdog has reported on insurance industry money involved in electing the commissioner using its "Quack-O-Meter" to expose the industry's level of influence in the race. http://www.ConsumerWatchdog.org