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Prop 17

News Story
2/10/2012
Posted by Mark Reback
In California, the rule of politics is sometimes “one man, one ballot proposition.” Pretty much by himself, billionaire George Joseph is financing an initiative governing insurance rates. As the chairman and largest stockholder of Mercury General Corporation, an insurance company that does most of its business in California,...
News Story
1/27/2012
Posted by Mark Reback
UPDATE, Jan. 27, 2012: Mercury Insurance provided this response to questions about its record. The 90-year-old billionaire chairman of Mercury Insurance just won’t give up. George Joseph gave $8.2 million to put an initiative on the November ballot that supporters say would lower car insurance rates for consumers who maintain...
News Story
1/22/2012
Posted by Mark Reback
From the courts to the Capitol to the ballot, insurance magnate George Joseph and attorney Harvey Rosenfield, who wrote the 1988 initiative that regulated auto insurance, have been butting heads for a quarter century. They assure me it's not personal. There was nothing personal in 2009 when Consumer Watchdog, the Santa Monica advocacy...
News Release
1/19/2012
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Santa Monica, CA – The billionaire insurance baron-backed ballot measure to surcharge millions of California drivers by 40% has qualified for the November 2012 ballot, according to the California Secretary of State.  Mercury Insurance Chairman George Joseph, who has already contributed over $8 million to the ballot measure, will...
News Story
1/19/2012
Posted by Mark Reback
An automobile insurance discount initiative, more than 99% bankrolled by the chairman of Mercury Insurance, has qualified to go before voters on November's ballot. Officially sponsored by a trade group, the American Agents Alliance, the proposal would provide motorists, who switch insurance companies, with a discount if they had been...
News Release
1/18/2012
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Santa Monica, CA -- Mercury Insurance seeks to raise California insurance rates by 8.8% for approximately 300,000 homeowners and renters with Mercury policies. If approved, the increase would generate an additional $19 million per year for Mercury.  The insurer is seeking the increase even though it paid less than 50¢ in claims for...
News Release
12/22/2011
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Santa Monica, CA -- Consumer Watchdog Campaign has released a new video showing the 375th richest man in America, 90-year old insurance baron George Joseph, as the Grinch who stole Christmas. The video points to the devious attack by the Chairman of Mercury Insurance on auto insurance customers who will face dramatic premium increases if George...
News Story
12/22/2011
Posted by Mark Reback
A California consumer group is challenging a rate hike bid by Mercury Insurance because the group claims the company is trying to pass along the costs of its political campaigning. But the insurer says those costs are not included in the rate hike. Santa Monica-based Consumer Watchdog says the costs involve millions of dollars in political...
News Release
12/20/2011
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Santa Monica, CA -- Mercury Insurance is seeking permission to raise auto insurance rates by $89 million.  At the same time, the company’s Chairman George Joseph is spending $8 million on a 2012 ballot initiative that insurance billionaire claims will give “discounts” to some drivers.  The proposed initiative is...
News Story
12/19/2011
Posted by Mark Reback
In a sign the 2012 insurance wars have begun, a consumer group that routinely seeks to block rate increases has accused auto insurance giant Mercury General of illegally passing onto consumers the cost of its 2010 ballot measure campaign. Consumer Watchdog is seeking to block a Mercury subsidiary's request to raise rates on its auto...