Consumer Watchdog Campaign: California Editorial Boards Agree: No on Insurer-Backed Prop 33

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Santa Monica, CA – Nearly every newspaper editorial board in California has rejected Prop 33 as an unfair measure that will penalize good drivers, including liberal, middle-of-the-road and conservative papers across the state ranging from the San Diego Union-Tribune to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The No on 33 editorial board endorsements rebut false claims made in TV ads paid for by Mercury Insurance chairman George Joseph, who has given 99%, or $16.4 million, of the funding for the Prop 33 campaign.

Read the newspaper editorials here:

“Californians should know that one insurance industry billionaire is behind the deceptive campaign for Prop 33, and is lying to them about Prop 33’s impact on their insurance rates,” said Carmen Balber with Consumer Watchdog Campaign. “Editorial boards across the state are countering Mercury’s lies about Prop 33 with the truth that it will raise auto insurance rates for good drivers.”

The Sacramento Bee, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, San Diego Union-Tribune, Bakersfield Californian, San Jose Mercury News, Riverside Press-Enterprise, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Ventura County Star, Fresno Bee, North County Times, San Bernardino Sun, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Los Angeles Daily News, Santa Cruz Sentinel, Santa Clarita Valley Signal, San Francisco Bay Guardian and the San Gabriel Valley Tribune all recommend a No vote on Proposition 33.

The North County Times asked: “What other business gets to set the price it charges me based on whether I bought a similar product or service previously? The grocery doesn't get to charge me more for milk if I didn't buy milk last week.”

The San Diego Union-Tribune said: “We have yet to see conclusive evidence that a lack of continuous insurance coverage correlates with being a riskier driver. This makes Proposition 33 fundamentally unfair and impossible to support.”

The Bakersfield Californian writes: “Just as they did with Prop. 17 in 2010, voters should say no to this flawed and deceptive measure in November. California already has a well-regulated and competitive auto insurance market. Let's keep it that way.”

Prop 33 would overturn a 24-year-old law banning discriminatory practices by auto insurance companies that were brought to light in a 1987 California civil rights case, King v. Meese. Proposition 103, passed by the voters in 1988, banned auto insurers from charging more, or refusing to sell insurance, to people who were not previously insured.

Joseph and his Mercury insurance company have tried to overturn that law for more than a decade through regulation, legislation, in the courts and at the ballot box. The most recent failed attempt was Proposition 17, a ballot measure rejected by the voters in 2010.

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Learn more about Proposition 33 at

Carmen Balber
Carmen Balber
Consumer Watchdog executive director Carmen Balber has been with the organization for nearly two decades. She spent four years directing the group’s Washington, D.C. office where she advocated for key health insurance market reforms that were ultimately enacted into law as part of the Affordable Care Act.

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