Work Comp Donations to Arnold Paying Off

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The state’s workers’
compensation insurers have reaped a windfall in the wake of Arnold’s
workers’ compensation law signed last year, according to new insurance
industry data made public at a California Dep’t of Insurance hearing
today. Only 45 cents of every dollar California businesses paid in
premium in 2004 was used to cover claims of injured workers. The most
recent national average was almost 73 cents of every dollar. That
dramatic difference means overpriced policies for businesses and adds
up to huge profits for insurance companies in California.

Last year, Arnold refused to consider regulation of insurance companies
while pushing his workers’ comp bill. And just as the gov was facing
pressure to regulate insurers as part of a legislative solution, he
received a $100K donation from American Financial Group — one of the
largest workers’ comp insurers in California. That always helps a
politician figure out what he believes. In total, he received more than
$550,000 from workers’ comp insurers before he signed the law.

And now that Arnold’s bill is paying off for insurers, American
Financial Group and its Great American Insurance subsidiary are writing
checks. Last month AFG’s chairman, Carl Lindner, hosted a fundraiser
for Arnold in Cincinnati and donated another $279,200 this year to
Arnold and his various campaigns.

Lindner, who owns major league baseball’s Cincinnati Reds — the Reds’
stadium is even named Great American Ballpark after Lindner’s insurance
co. — hit a homerun with the money he paid to get Arnold on the
company team.

Consumer Watchdog
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