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Reforming Politics

News Story
10/9/2011
Posted by Mark Reback
SACRAMENTO, CA -- California's initiative process was intended to give people a way to arm themselves against corruption, whether it was from lawmakers in the Capitol or the special interests that controlled them. But in the 100 years since former Gov. Hiram Johnson rallied against the corrupt politics that permeated state government,...
News Story
10/7/2011
Posted by Mark Reback
Noting (as I did on Monday) that Schmidt had basically recanted his contrite testimony before Congress in basically calling the government slow and stupid in a Washington Post interview, Consumer Watchdog said in a letter to Senate chairman Herb Kohl that Schmidt should be recalled to testify by the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee: “It...
Blog Post
10/6/2011
Posted by Jamie Court
Occupy Wall Street has now drawn the attention of the labor movement, political cognoscente and the White House.  It’s an authentic movement, born of genuine financial distress and betrayal, which is why it is resonating with Americans and is sparking protests in cities across America. But can Zuccotti Park, the occupiers’...
News Story
10/6/2011
Posted by Mark Reback
An intense political flap has left one of the year’s most important pieces of legislation stalled on the Senate floor and the removal of a consumer advocacy group’s disputed TV spot targeting the chair of the Senate Health Committee. The Democrat-on-Democrat fight between Senate moderates and the rest of the caucus also raised...
News Story
9/28/2011
Posted by Mark Reback
The Annuities Protection Bill (Assembly Bill 689) signed by California Governor Jerry Brown on September 21, 2011 is primarily meant to “help protect the hard-earned financial security of Californians, especially seniors, and end an alarming breeding ground for fraud,” according to the bill’s author Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield...
News Story
9/27/2011
Posted by Mark Reback
Auto insurance could become too expensive for some Californians if George Joseph, chairman of insurer Mercury General Corp., gets his way. He's proposed an initiative for the June 2012 ballot that would reward longtime insured drivers but could ultimately price out the people who haven't previously or consistently been insured. In a Sept...
News Story
9/26/2011
Posted by Mark Reback
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is something of an anomaly. Following the 2010 elections, which saw historic victories for Republicans across the country, Jones, a Democrat, came into office saying that he intended to be "an activist" who would "make the California Department of Insurance the...
News Story
9/26/2011
Posted by Mark Reback
A consumer advocacy group took on the chair of the Senate Health Committee at the end of last week, and it has stirred up Sacramento. The ad was in reaction to the legislative decision to delay a vote on AB 52 by Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) and Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), the proposal to regulate health insurance rate increases....
News Story
9/23/2011
Posted by Mark Reback
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Driven by opposition to the health reform law and Democrats who supported it groups representing agents and brokers have taken a leading role among political donors from the insurance sector. Of the 10 largest contributors to federal candidates in the 2011-2012 election cycle, five represent large numbers of agents and...
News Story
9/23/2011
Posted by Mark Reback
In these pages last week, we looked at recent attack ads against Sen. Ed Hernandez over his position on Assembly Bill 52, a bill that would mandate state regulation of health insurance rates. We talked to Consumer Watchdog, the group that paid for the television ads and is demanding Hernandez step down from his chair of the Senate Health...