SACRAMENTO -- Insurance billionaire George Joseph has poured another $8 million into his self-funded campaign to pass Proposition 33, a change in California insurance law he's been trying to get for a dozen years.
Joseph's latest contribution was posted on the secretary of state's website Monday. In all, he has given 99.5% of the $16.2 million that the Yes on 33 campaign has raised for the contest on the Nov. 6 California ballot.
Joseph said he is personally bankrolling the campaign and its television advertising because he believes that passage of Proposition 33 would create a more competitive insurance market that would boost the prospects of his Mercury General Corp. The Los Angeles company is the state's fourth-largest private passenger automobile insurer.
Proposition 33 would create a new discount that already-insured drivers could receive if they switch coverage to a different insurer.
Opponents of Proposition 33, led by Consumer Watchdog, a Santa Monica advocacy group, say the measure would overturn an important part of an earlier ballot measure. Proposition 103, approved by voters in 1988, made insurance a highly regulated business and specifically bans the use of a driver's lack of prior insurance coverage from being a factor in setting rates.