CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 9, 2009 |
The ads weren't far from each other on Wilshire Boulevard in Koreatown. One, on a billboard, was critical of an automobile and home insurance company. The other, draped across the sprawling face of a tall building, was a vodka promotion that appeared to include an essential part of the female anatomy. Any guess which one was torn down because of a complaint? "Truth is more controversial than pornography," said Harvey Rosenfield, founder of Consumer Watchdog, whose ad was dismantled last week.
June 6, 2004 |
In the 1976 apocalyptic horror flick "The Omen," a snarling Rottweiler protects the antichrist child Damien Thorn, allowing him to unleash his devilish proclivities on a naive world. The beast is Damien's pet, and no one in the film questions the wisdom of allowing the menacing canine to roam the halls of the Thorn mansion. Update the plot to 2004, however, and the family's insurance agent probably would have an opinion.
January 19, 2012 |
An automobile insurance discount initiative, more than 99% bankrolled by the chairman of Mercury Insurance, has qualified to go before voters on November's ballot. Officially sponsored by a trade group, the American Agents Alliance, the proposal would provide motorists, who switch insurance companies, with a discount if they had been previously insured. Passage of the initiative, whose petitions got signatures from almost 505,000 registered voters, would make the automobile insurance market more competitive, supporters argue.
November 5, 2012 |
The campaign in favor of Proposition 33 has been so consistently misleading, it's almost pointless to keep criticizing the measure's supporters for warping the facts. Nevertheless, an advertisement Monday in favor of the measure makes a point that bears rebutting before voters head to the polls. The proposition would allow auto insurers to offer discounts to drivers who'd been insured by rival companies, offset by surcharges on new customers who'd been uninsured or whose coverage had lapsed.
May 21, 2008 |
A lot of readers were miffed to learn in one of my recent columns that most car insurers have yet to fully comply with a state regulation requiring that people's driving records, rather than their ZIP Codes, be the primary factor in setting rates. West L.A. resident Liz Brown was so incensed that she wrote to the chairman of her insurer, Mercury Insurance Co., to complain about the $1,256 she's charged annually for her 1997 Honda Del Sol. And you know what? He called her back.
November 8, 2012 |
What do Thomas Steyer and Chris Kelly know that fellow California high-rollers George Joseph, Molly Munger, her brother Charles T. Munger Jr. and Nicolas Berggruen don't? All six multimillionaires bankrolled a ballot proposition in this year's election. But voters approved the ones backed by Steyer, a financier in San Francisco, and Kelly, a former Facebook executive; the rest effectively flushed their money down a rathole. Here's one reason: Steyer and Kelly had the good sense to align themselves with unions.