Lara had campaigned on a pledge not to take any money from the insurance industry. However he later broke that pledge and accepted insurance industry money, taking $50,000 from people affiliated with the industry.
Why are SoCal Gas Prices so High?
If you use a car to commute in SoCal, here’s some news you’ve already felt: gas prices have reached their highest level in five years in California, and have hit 17 straight days of increases in L.A. County.
If you have friends in other states, here’s some more news your friend has probably hipped you to: California’s gas prices are about $1.50 more per gallon than the national average ($4.13 a gallon compared to $2.67).
We’ve heard about those Saudi oil strikes at the heart of Trump administration tensions with Iran, but why is SoCal in particular seeing such dramatic spikes?
This is the sort of thing Jamie Court tracks as President of the consumer advocacy group Consumer Watchdog, and he joined Spectrum News anchor Amrit Singh for a conversation on the “Golden State gouge,” the reasons it exists, and whether independent gas stations are slinging the same quality gas as the more expensive name brands (spoiler alert: they are).
A statewide ballot initiative was filed by families of injured patients that would raise the compensation cap on medical negligence set by politicians in 1975 and never adjusted.
Californians living in high fire danger areas are facing an insurance crisis as companies are drastically increasing their rates or dropping their policies completely.
Consumer Watchdog President Jamie Court says Insurance Commissioner Lara can do more to prevent discrimination against people and protect Californians in high fire risk areas with his regulatory powers.
RePlanet which runs the largest chain of recycling centers in California is shutting down. Consumers will have even less options on where to redeem bottles and cans to get their deposits back. The State needs to mandate that retailers accept recyclables and provide redemption as recycling centers are shutting their doors.
More and more cars are connected to the internet and are therefore vulnerable to dangerous hacking interfering with the engine, brakes and other critical safety systems. Hackers could access entire fleets of connected cars leading to catastrophic injury and fatalities. Manufacturers are aware of the problem and have done nothing to resolve this potentially catastrophic vulnerability. A 50 cent kill switch would allow the driver to disconnect safety systems from the internet, preventing malicious interference.
Developed with the help of car industry technologists, the "Kill Switch" report from Consumer Watchdog finds all the top 2020 cars have Internet connections to safety critical systems that leave them vulnerable to fleet wide hacks.
The experts warn that a fleet wide hack at rush-hour could result in a 9-11 scale catastrophe with approximately 3,000 deaths.
The report recommends cars come with a 50 cent "kill switch" that can disconnect the safety critical systems from the Internet.
Consumer Watchdog's new Kill Switch report warns that there is a serious risk of hacking with cars connected to the internet. Hackers are able to access the entire network of cars and interfere with the engine, brakes and other crucial aspects of the car. These hacks could lead to thousands of fatalities and must be addressed by manufacturers who are aware of the problem but have done nothing about it.
Consumer Watchdog's new report called 'Kill Switch' shows that 2020 cars with internet connections are vulnerable to potentially catastrophic hacking. Millions of cars could be hacked leading to interference with crucial safety systems including the brakes and engine that could cause thousands of fatalities and injuries.
Consumer Watchdog President Jamie Court speaks on the recent FBI raid of the LA DWP offices and how consumers are being left behind.
"When City Hall and the City Attorney cannot clean up their own DWP mess, this is what happens, the FBI has to do it. These raids are almost certainly related to what appears to be a fraud on the court and ratepayers in the DWP billing error case that led to tens of millions of dollars of taxpayer money spent on contracts to a company controlled by the city’s outside attorney in the case who has already taken the Fifth Amendment.
The court documents have already proven with witnesses under oath that there was fraud on the ratepayers and the Court, the only question is how high the fraud goes and how much it costs. The FBI warrants will protect evidence and make sure that prosecutors know if the head of the DWP Commission Mel Levine and City Attorney Mike Feuer, both of whom were fingered in depositions on being in on fraud, were in fact aware of the conspiracy to defraud the court and the DWP ratepayers.
These warrants are the result of the Mayor and City Council turning a blind eye to corruption at DWP and in the City Attorney’s office that has been well documented over the last few months in sworn testimony in the Superior Court of Los Angeles."
In a letter to Governor Newsom, Consumer Watchdog and FracTracker called on the Governor to freeze all new oil and gas well permits until a top-to-bottom ethics review is completed, all conflicted regulators within DOGGR are removed, and the Administration can guarantee regulatory decisions are based on public safety, not pecuniary gain.
“For too long the health of our community has suffered from dirty oil wells at the Inglewood oil field,” said Deborah Weinrauch, a resident of Culver City. “We cannot afford to keep having more drilling and fracking. In order to protect our health we need Governor Newsom to stop issuing new permits.”
Consumer Watchdog President Jamie Court explains what three things to know before buying or selling your home online.
Consumer Watchdog and civil rights groups call on the California Insurance Commissioner to end occupational price discrimination in auto insurance policies.
Consumer Watchdog cries foul as it is revealed that there was double dealing and trickery during a settlement over LADWP's over-billing scandal.
New Consumer Watchdog report shows how consumers are being ripped off and how recycling centers are closing at record rates.
Carmen Balber, Executive Director of Consumer Watchdog, says new nonbinary gender identity choice on California drivers licenses will have unintended consequences in preventing gender discrimination in auto insurance rates.
Consumer Watchdog President Jamie Court comments on insurance rates being raised for vape users. " I'm no fan of the insurance industry but I think they're probably right in this circumstance," Court says in reference to the long term health effects.
Gas prices have gone up every day for the last 13 days in California. Jamie Court discusses the increasing prices in California and suggests filling up at independent gas stations rather than the big chains, saying they get better deals from refineries. "It's a lot of profit for the oil industries," Court says, "they treat us as a cash machine, they treat us as an ATM."
The City of Los Angeles is dropping its lawsuit against the software company PricewaterhouseCoopers, accused of being responsible for the LADWP overbilling scandal. City Attorneys accused of conflicts of interest are refusing to testify which the city has made it difficult to pursue the case. Jamie Court says this is a cover-up and that the city wants to shut the case down to prevent public awareness of the level of fraud in LADWP and the City Attorney's office.
A newly filed proposed CA ballot initiative would give injured patients more money in med-mal lawsuits.
Gas prices have jumped again in Los Angeles and could go up even more soon. Jamie Court discusses the spike in Southern California and suggests filling up at independent gas stations rather than the big chains, saying they get better deals from refineries.
"Job and education level are being used as proxies for race and class" says Consumer Watchdog Executive Director Carmen Balber. Drivers working blue-collar jobs, without college degrees or those who live in less affluent neighborhoods are being discriminated against and end up paying more for their car insurance.
Car suppliers – like Harman International – and major automakers are spending more than they ever have on securing vehicles. But a Consumer Watchdog study says safety concerns related to connected cars are only increasing. Others in the auto industry say those fears may be overblown.
Jamie Court says a portion of the unclaimed CRV deposits currently held by the state should be allocated to keeping recycling centers open and accessible to consumers. Just 10 to 20 million of the $300 million in unclaimed deposits would help keep centers afloat.
A man posed as a surgical assistant in the hospital operating room at several hospitals and stole from patients and employees. The police were not able to find any kind of licensing, credentials or qualifications. Consumer Watchdog President Jamie Court says hospitals are responsible for everyone they bring in as a contractor.
Homeowners in high fire risk areas are experiencing insurance premium increases of up to 4 times more expensive, some not being renewed at all.
Consumer Watchdog President Jamie Court says that we should enforce tighter restrictions on insurance companies so they are not be able to raise homeowners insurance premiums this drastically for consumers in these fire risk areas. “We should make sure that the people who are seeing the biggest premium hikes are able to get a break if they are fire-hardening or fire-safing their home but that will take the insurance commissioner digging in and getting tough on insurance companies and we haven't seen that yet.”