CONTACT: Lynne Andersen
October 4, 1994


A secret effort by the California Democrat Party to funnel insurance industry money to the campaign of Democrat nominee for Insurance Commissioner, Art Torres, is underway and being handled by the chairman of the CDP himself, Bill Press.

A follow-up letter from Press was sent last month to a California insurance associaton executive after personally being solicited on the phone by Chairman Press assuring the industry executive that any money contributed to the CDP will be directed to the campaign of Torres, who has previously pledged not to accept contributions from the insurance industry.

The letter states, "...we've (CDP) kicked off the Coordinated Campaign and we will be working hard to elect Kathleen Brown, Dianne Feinstein and our entire slate of Democratic candidates." The letter then went on to request $10,000 for the effort and stated that the contribution "...may be applied toward the tally of any of our statewide candidates."

The Quackenbush campaign has learned that insurance association executives have been solicited on the phone by Bill Press who specifically mentioned Art Torres' $100,000 contribution commitment that each statewide candidate has to the CDP and reminded them that their contribution could be counted towards Torres' goal.

Throughout the campaign, Art Torres has consistently broken his pledge to accept no insurance contributions. His definition of these contributions has narrowed significantly as the election nears -- in fact, he stated at the outset of his campaign that he would accept no contributions from the insurance industry or attorneys. Since then, he has routinely broken his promise to not accept attorney contributions and routinely attends fundraising receptions sponsored by prominent law firms
that represent insurance companies, raising almost $100,000 from these sources. He has also solicited contributions from insurance companies, reinsurance companies and the attorneys who represent them in front of the Department of Insurance. Torres has even gone as far as accepting contributions from former insurance company executives and lawyers who represent insurance companies that have been driven out of business in California because of their deceptive business practices.

How far will Art go with this "press" job to save his floundering campaign?

*News from the Quackenbush for Insurance Commissioner Campaign


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