Statement of Congressman John Garamendi: Vote No on Proposition 33

DAVIS, Calif., Nov. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- California Congressman John Garamendi, the state's first elected Insurance Commissioner and former Lt. Governor, issued the following statement today concerning Proposition 33, the auto insurance initiative on next Tuesday's ballot sponsored by George Joseph, the Chairman of Mercury Insurance Company:

"Proposition 33 will repeal an important law that protects California motorists from arbitrary and unjustified auto insurance surcharges. Proposition 33 would allow insurance companies to raise auto insurance premiums for customers with perfect driving records, just because they had not purchased auto insurance at some point during the past five years or had a lengthy lapse in coverage through no fault of their own. Drivers must pay this unfair penalty even if they did not own a car or need insurance at the time. This includes people with serious illnesses; those who lost their jobs after the financial meltdown and have been unable to find work; people who used mass transit; and even military veterans or the partners of active military serving our country. It will result in more uninsured motorists.

"As someone who served California as Insurance Commissioner, I know that Proposition 33 will lead to higher auto insurance rates and legalize discrimination by auto insurance companies. That's why I urge all Californians to vote NO on Proposition 33. In this difficult economy, the last thing California needs to do is deregulate the auto insurance companies.

"There's one more reason why Californians should vote NO on Proposition 33. It's sponsored, and 99% funded by, George Joseph, the Chairman of Mercury Insurance Company. Over the past fourteen years, Mercury and Mr. Joseph have spent over $43 million in political donations trying to feather his own nest; this includes the $16 million Mercury spent in 2010 on an initiative nearly identical to Proposition 33, which the voters rejected. Joseph has spent another $16 million on Proposition 33. Let's just say NO to Prop 33 and be done, once and for all, with Mr. Joseph and his anti-consumer proposals."

SOURCE Congressman John Garamendi