1998 California Primary Election
Candidate Statements
Insurance Commissioner
  • Oversees and directs all functions of the Department of Insurance.
  • Licenses, regulates and examines insurance companies.
  • Answers public questions and complaints regarding the insurance industry.
  • Enforces the laws of the California Insurance Code and adopts regulations to implement the laws.
Candidate Photo Merton D. Short
American Independent
P.O. Box 180
Durham, CA 95938
(530) 345-4224
I have become increasingly concerned that those we have elected as our servants have not upheld their sworn oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California. This needs to be brought under control particularly as related to our unconstitutional debt money and tax methods. As your insurance commissioner, I invite you to join me in regaining that control while fulfilling a fair relationship between the insurance companies and their customers.
Web Site:
Candidate Photo Diane Martinez
P.O. Box 1386
Rosemead, CA 91770
Voters established the office of state Insurance Commissioner to protect consumers from skyrocketing insurance rates. I have a proven record fighting for consumers in both private industry and the state assembly. I spent seven years in the private sector fighting the multi-billion dollar telecommunications industry to keep telephone rates down and prevent billing fraud. As Chairperson of the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee, I have fought hard against California's big utility monopolies, earning a reputation as the legislature's toughest consumer advocate. As your Insurance Commissioner, I will continue to lead the fight for California consumers.
Candidate Photo Gary R. Ramos
Peace and Freedom
P.O. Box 911355
Commerce, CA 90040
(818) 830-2794
I became a private investigator after serving as U.A.W. shop steward until G.M. "downsized" L.A. plants. I will halt Insurance Department attacks on motorcycle clubs wasting hundreds of thousands on useless prosecutions: one paid "Judas" received thousands of taxpayer dollars to entrap law-abiding motorcycle enthusiasts. I support DMV non-profit auto insurance and California single-payer health insurance. I will support legislation to criminalize insurance sales by non-admitted carriers in California, to make private investigator fees for combating insurance fraud fully recoverable in civil and administrative actions, and prohibit auto insurance premium rating based on anything other than driving record.
Web Site:
Candidate Photo Tom Condit
Peace and Freedom
1748 Shattuck Avenue, #249
Berkeley, CA 94709
(510) 845-7251
I am running for Insurance Commissioner to oppose the control of society by corporations and the wealthy. I will fight for human needs over corporate greed. We need one universal system of quality health care without insurance company red tape or HMO manipulation. We need a single state automobile liability insurance plan, covering every vehicle and every driver without insurance company overhead. We owe each other promises as members of society--to heal the sick, to care for the aged, to educate the children. It's time to build a democratic working-class movement which will keep those promises.
Web Site:
Candidate Photo Dale F. Ogden
3620 Almeria Street
San Pedro, CA 90731-6410
(310) 547-1595
California's insurance laws and regulations have led to higher costs and shortages in many types of insurance. I strongly support the free market, where people make important decisions without government involvement. Though food is vital, there is no Department of Groceries or a Grocery Commissioner. Yet insurance is regulated by an elected politician who uses the office to advance his political career. My goal is to abolish the Department of Insurance and the office of Insurance Commissioner and allow the free market to rule, allowing consumers more choices and lower prices for auto, property life and health insurance.
Web Site:
Candidate Photo Hal Brown
P.O. Box 1612
San Anselmo, CA 94979
(415) 258-0293
I have a plan to protect patient rights by reforming HMOs. We must make earthquake insurance affordable. Automobile insurance rates should be cut for all Californians. Integrity and fairness will be my top priorities as your Insurance Commissioner. As an independent insurance broker for over a decade, I've represented policyholders--working to provide consumers with the best coverage at the lowest possible rates. In 16 years as a County Supervisor, I've fought hard to protect consumers, women, families and our environment. And my constituents recently voted me their "most trusted public official." Respectfully, I ask for your vote.
Web Site: www.halbrown.org
Candidate Photo Barbara Bourdette
Natural Law
(619) 792-6506
Insurance can be affordable and cover the basic needs of all Californians. My 28 year involvement in preventive health programs has led me to believe that affordable health care, with prevention as a core element, can reduce costs and lower insurance rates. I have been a corporate manager and a small business owner and this gives me an understanding of the necessity for low cost, no fraud insurance. I would work to make auto insurance mandatory at vehicle registration, institute a statewide earthquake insurance pool to lower costs and deductibles, and protect consumers from unscrupulous practices in all coverage.
Web Site:
Candidate Photo Chuck Quackenbush
1801 I Street, Suite 200
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 449-295
Since 1995, I've aggressively protected consumers, cracked down on insurance fraud and lowered auto rates. Auto insurance rates are down 10% because I implemented Proposition 103, increased competition and limited lawsuits from drunk and uninsured motorists. I required insurance companies to pass $765 million in savings from these reforms to consumers. My enforcement record is unprecedented. Auto fraud arrests are up 50%. The number of uninsured motorists is down 25%. I'm returning tens of millions of dollars to consumers sold useless insurance and worthless investments. I fined insurance companies $28 million compared to just $6,000,000 by my predecessor in 1991-94.
The order of the candidates was determined by random alphabet drawing. Statements on this page were supplied by the candidates and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency. Submission of statements was voluntary. Candidates who did not submit statements could otherwise be qualified to appear on the ballot.