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Campaign finance: Insurance, self-funding, Jerry

Three days before Californians for Fair Auto Insurance Rates announced it had collected and was submitting more than enough petition signatures to put the “Continuous Coverage Auto Insurance Discount Act” on next November’s ballot, insurance giant Mercury General Corp. – the measure’s sole benefactor – put another $1 million into it Friday, bringing its total ante so far to $3.5 million. Proponents claim the measure would make “continuous coverage discounts” portable so motorists can change insurance companies without losing their accrued time, something most other states already allow. Opponents say the measure would let insurers penalize people who’ve missed just one payment, or who decided not to drive for a time and let their insurance lapse during that period.

Former NFL player turned Southern California businessman Damon Dunn on Monday put $19,932.11 into his own campaign for Secretary of State. He’s the only declared Republican candidate so far, itching to take on incumbent Democrat Debra Bowen next November.

Down south, former Assemblyman Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, last week self-funded his campaign for the 40th Senate District seat to the tune of $100,000. He’s opposed in next June’s Democratic primary by current Assemblywoman Mary Salas, D-Chula Vista, for the seat from which state Sen. Denise Ducheny, D-San Diego, will be term-limited out at next year’s end.

And on the gubernatorial front, the past week’s fundraising was practically all Jerry, all the time, heavy with corporate and casino contributions. Among the bigger-ticket offerings:

    $10,000 from Newport Equity Partners LLC of Las Vegas
    $10,000 from Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreens
    $10,000 from Macy’s Corporate Services in Cincinnati
    $10,000 from KB Home in Los Angeles

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Bill B.

    Jerry Brown is one of the most hypocritical politicians in California history, shifting his position on big issues incessantly. Take “campaign finance.” As Secretary of State in the early 1970s, he sanctimoniously railed against the evils of campaign contributions to politicians. Then circa 1990 as California Democratic party head, he railed against the very reforms that he advocated in the 1970s, calling for increased campaign contribution limits and aiming to rake up as much special interest money as possible. Then, suddenly, in 1991-92 when he ran for President, he made a 180-degree turn and railed yet again against money in politics. A lot of “progressives” lapped this up and embraced him as a “reformer.” Now Jerry Brown is again in his “I love special interest $$$!” mode. His attitude now is a lot like Gray Davis and Richard Nixon — two California politicians who raked in as much money as possible from every special interest and dug their own political graves in the process. The “special interests” won and “we the people” were left to clean up their messes. Doesn’t the Democratic party have anyone else available to run for Governor than this flaky and mercurial “re-tread”?

  • Elwood

    This am’s CCTimes points out that CA now has the 3rd worst roads in the US. Our entire highway system, once one of the wonders of the world, has gone to rack and ruin.

    The blame for this can be laid squarely at the doorstep of Gov. Moonbeam and his transportation secretary Adriana the Giant Turkey. They slashed the highway budget and proposed to issue everyone roller skate stamps. The state has never recovered.

    God save us from Brown 2.0.