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Prudential Ads

June 01, 1997

Re "Panel Kills Insurance Agency Budget," May 22: Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush has recently appeared on a Prudential Insurance-funded TV ad to tell ripped-off policyholders how they can recover crumbs from a weak settlement that actually has helped Prudential avoid a massive class-action lawsuit.

Quackenbush portrays himself as the consumers' hero while really allowing Prudential off the hook. The larger outrage, however, is that the spot is actually a thinly veiled campaign commercial in an off-election year. Preelection-year campaigning is a violation of Prop. 208. The more fundamental issue is that no public representative should be allowed to take money from an industry he/she is supposed to regulate. To do so is an obvious conflict of interest and must be stopped.

Senate Bill 1097 (Quentin Kopp, I-San Francisco) would do just that: no campaign contributions to candidates for insurance commissioner from the insurance industry, period.

PAUL HERZOG

Venice

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