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Dirty Money

Dirty Money

Consumer Watchdog fights to make your voice heard by calling out dirty politicians and attacking the influence of the special interests that keep them in power. From Sacramento to Washington D.C., we follow the money trail from special interests to policymakers and track bad public policy back from politicians to their donors. Our web site CapitolWatchdog.org is dedicated to pulling the curtain back on corruption in California's state capitol.  Our LA Watchdog project is now keeping watch on corruption in the City of Los Angeles's Department of Water & Power, Mayor's Office and City Council. 

Consumer Watchdog Applauds Governor Newsom’s Energy Commission Report Taking on Gas Price Manipulation

Los Angeles, CA -- Consumer Watchdog said today that the California Energy Commission under Governor Gavin Newsom is finally taking steps to confront artificially high gasoline prices in California by acknowledging the role of oil refiners' supply and retail price manipulation in sky-high pump prices.  

Consumer and Recycling Advocates Condemn Loss of Last Recycling Center West of 405 Freeway

Santa Monica, CA --- At the site of the soon-to-be shuttered Santa Monica Community Recycling Center, consumer advocates called on California lawmakers and regulators to rescue the failing redemption industry. The center, closing Saturday, is the last redemption center west of the 405, serving 200,000 people on LA's Westside. 

Appellate Court Holds Mercury Insurance Accountable for Phony Premium Overcharges

Los Angeles, CA -- A state Court of Appeal in Orange County has upheld $27 million in civil penalties imposed by former Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones against Mercury Insurance Company for falsely claiming premium overcharges its agents tacked on top of its approved rates were “broker fees.”

California Insurance Commisioner Ricardo Lara Receives “D” Average on Report Card

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Los Angeles, CA – California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, who has approved $292 million in auto and homeowners’ insurance rate increases since being elected, has received a “D” average from the nonprofit group Consumer Watchdog on his first four-month report card.

Ricardo Lara Puts Brakes On California's Climate Leadership

Los Angeles, CA — On Earth Day, California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara chose “collaboration" with the insurance industry over urgent climate action. Commissioner Lara rejected a petition from 60 environmental, consumer and social justice groups that sought emergency rules to make insurers disclose the fossil fuel projects they insure. The Commissioner's refusal to act allows insurers to keep their complicity in global warming secret and puts the brakes on the forward momentum on climate built by the previous Department of Insurance, said Consumer Watchdog.

Consumer Watchdog: Victims, Taxpayers and Ratepayers Shouldn’t Be Forced To Pay For Felon’s Negligence Under PG&E Bailout Plan

Los Angeles, CA -- Consumer Watchdog said today that a California wildfire victims’ relief fund could be important, but that the proposal put forth today by Governor Newsom, in legislative hands, threatens to take rights and dollars from wildfire victims, ratepayers and taxpayers without forcing PG&E to make tangible concessions.

Assembly Insurance Committee Members Vote to Strip Insurance Consumers of their Privacy Rights; Pass “Peeping Tom” Bill to Exempt Insurers From New Privacy Act

Sacramento, CA — The members of the Assembly Insurance Committee voted unanimously today to pass AB 981 and exempt the entire insurance and financial services industries from California’s new Privacy Act.

A troupe of mimes dressed as insurance company mascots tracked lawmakers and lobbyists outside the hearing room to dramatize how the bill, sponsored by Committee Chair Tom Daly, would allow insurers to violate their policyholders' privacy.

Push To Exempt Insurance Companies From California Privacy Law By Assembly Insurance Chair Tom Daly

Los Angeles, CA — Today Consumer Watchdog called on Assembly Insurance Committee Chair Tom Daly to withdraw legislation (AB 981) that would exempt insurance companies and banks from complying with the California Consumer Privacy Act.

The Privacy Act will take effect in January and empowers consumers to prevent their personal information from being sold to other companies, as well as allowing  consumers to sue reckless companies for data breaches.