Friday, May 21, 2010

Dave Jones for State Insurance Commissioner

The race for insurance commissioner may not capture your attention the way it does mine. Having worked as a consumer advocate on health care and other insurance issues, I pay attention to it. The position was created as an elected position by initiative back in the 80's--a stunning upset for the insurance industry who was counting on keeping the commissioner a captured tool of the industry. Since then, we've had a mixed bag of insurance commissioners with the nadir probably being the reign of corrupt politician Chuck Quackenbush from 1995 to 2000. Quackenbush fled in scandal after it was revealed that he allowed insurance companies to radically under-compensate victims of the massive Northridge earthquake.

With the reality of climate change causing massive risks of flooding, wildfire and other disasters rendered "natural" by human greed and waste, I want to know that my insurance company will actually have to compensate me for any losses I sustain.

The guy to do that is Dave Jones, currently our Assemblyman in Sacramento, running in the Democratic primary. Initially for a lot of people who knew them both, this was a tough race to decide in. Jones' opponent, Hector de la Torre is also a smart, effective liberal Democratic assemblyman. And he's from Los Angeles, where most of the votes in the live. And he's latino.

If Hector de la Torre were running in virtually any other contest, I'd almost certainly vote for him, but in this race, against this candidate, the choice is clear, it has to be Dave. The reason? Dave Jones will run the insurance commission the way he has run his campaign, relentlessly. He is a tireless campaigner, a tireless advocate for consumers. His personality is absolutely that of a tough, never say die regulator. And he really doesn't care who he pisses off. You might not want Dave being a mayor or a governor (you might, but you might not), but you definitely want him for this job (and then for Attorney General).

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