As you know, one of my favorite topics is our state Insurance Commissioner. I think he does a very poor job regulating insurance companies. Part of the problem is that he is a perpetual politician who has no experience in the insurance industry. Part of the problem is that he is always taking money from those he is supposed to regulate.
From Dan Walters at the Sacramento Bee:
Like Westly, Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi, a perpetual candidate who’s running for lieutenant governor this year, has been working his news-release writers overtime, from trumpeting an expansion of low-cost auto insurance to announcing that his office would be distributing $530 million to policyholders and other claimants from a defunct insurance company.
Strangely, or not so strangely, missing from the list of recent news releases from Garamendi’s office: Anything about a federal judge’s declaration last week that “the commissioner himself and certain of his witnesses gave testimony that was flatly at odds with, or not entirely consistent with, positions he had previously taken about . . . critical and hotly contested issues” in another insurance company seizure. That case was the much publicized seizure and sale of Executive Life’s portfolio of junk bonds, which resulted in windfall profits for buyers.
If Garamendi wants to minimize attention to the embarrassing Executive Life case, his chief Democratic rival for lieutenant governor, state Sen. Jackie Speier, is filling the vacuum by seeking a state auditor’s examination of the case. It may not be completed in time to become an issue in their June primary duel, should it be as critical of Garamendi as Speier hopes, but could color the fall campaign should Garamendi win the primary.
For those of you who do not know, Mr. Walter is a conservative columnist who writes for our local paper. I have no arguments with him on this point, that is for sure. Maybe Mr. Garamendi should pay attention to his current job and not look at his future jobs.