The race: Insurance Commissioner. Whose ads? Democratic candidate Conway Collis.
Collis has two 30-second commercials that try to hammer home Proposition 103 author Harvey Rosenfield's endorsement. The ads also seek to make the point that Collis would do the most to force the insurance industry to follow the provisions of the measure.
Campaign manager Bill Zimmerman says the buy for these ads will be a sizable $235,000. Collis continues to confound the opposition with the high level of his campaign spending in the closing weeks of the primary campaign.
\o7 Elements of the ads, with an analysis by Times staff writer Kenneth Reich:
\f7 Ads: Both ads open with Rosenfield saying he supports Collis, in the wording of one because "he's the only guy who'll make the insurance companies do what the law says." Collis then comes on and says he will be the toughest of all the candidates on the companies. "Other candidates talk tough," he says in one. "But what will they actually do to enforce 103? Not what I will. Fine the insurance companies. Jail their executives. If necessary, create nonprofit auto insurance. I'll do whatever it takes to make 103 work." In the other ad, Collis says, "I'm the only candidate willing to go that far."
Analysis: The Collis campaign has persistently contended that the most radically anti-industry campaign will win the primary. But in these ads, Collis tones things down a little. They are less extreme than earlier Collis statements that he would be "unfair" to the insurance companies and "break their backs" unless they complied with Proposition 103 rollbacks. The ads amount to promises of future policy if Collis becomes commissioner. Some critics note, however, that as a member of the State Board of Equalization, Collis has occasionally catered to those he regulates--voting for tax breaks for utilities and other industries while collecting more in campaign contributions than any other member of the board. Collis, in short, is promising here to be more radical toward regulated parties than he has been in his present political position.