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Industry Giving Criticized in Calif Insurance Race

Sacramento, Calif. (AP) -- The insurance industry has given more than $1.5 million in indirect
contributions to support the Republican candidate for state insurance
commissioner, raising criticism among certain groups.

Both candidates say they will not accept direct contributions from the industry they would regulate.

The money is flowing instead to the California Chamber of Commerce
JobsPAC, which is airing advertising for Republican Mike Villines and
against Democrat Dave Jones. Both are termed-out members of the state
Assembly.

California Common Cause, Consumer Watchdog and the Center for
Governmental Studies in Los Angeles say it's a way for the insurance to
buy influence without being tied directly to the campaign.

The chamber says it backs candidates who support creating jobs.

Villines' campaign said its opponents are the trial lawyers and labor unions supporting Jones.