SACRAMENTO, Calif.--()--California plaintiffs’ lawyers spent another $150,000 this week to help elect Dave Jones as the state’s new Insurance Commissioner, bringing their total investment in the race to $644,400, the Civil Justice Association of California reported today.
“These lawyers don’t want the voters to smell their big money”
The trial lawyers’ independent expenditure committee contributed the money – $75,000 on Monday and on Wednesday – to pay for radio ads supporting Jones and opposing his Republican opponent, Mike Villines.
That’s in addition to the $494,400 individual personal injury lawyers and other trial attorneys, their family members, law firms, and political action committees have given directly to Jones’s campaign through October 16, the end of the most recent reporting period.
“These lawyers don’t want the voters to smell their big money,” said CJAC President John H. Sullivan, noting that Jones’s campaign consultant told The Associated Press last week that perhaps a handful of attorneys had given money to Jones’s campaign when in fact trial lawyer contributions make up 13 percent of all the direct contributions he’s raised to date.
During the most recent reporting period, from October 1st to the 16th, trial lawyers gave Jones $44,800, according to a comprehensive CJAC analysis of campaign contribution data released by the Secretary of State’s Office.
Personal injury attorneys also gave $57,800 to Kamala Harris, the Democratic nominee for Attorney General, and $648,200 to Jerry Brown’s gubernatorial campaign during the first two weeks in October. During the entire election cycle, beginning in January 2009, plaintiffs’ lawyers gave Harris $225,800 (4 percent of her total) and Brown $1,693,600 (5 percent of his total).
Unlike most contribution tracking, CJAC reviews campaign records to calculate donations by individuals, not just political action committees.
The Civil Justice Association of California is a non-profit, membership supported coalition of citizens, taxpayers, businesses, local governments, professionals, manufacturers, financial institutions, insurers, and medical organizations. Founded in 1979, CJAC is the only statewide association dedicated solely to improving California's civil liability system. It is active in both the Legislature and the courts, working to reduce the excessive and unwarranted litigation that increases business and government expenses, discourages innovation, and drives up the costs of goods and services for all consumers. For more information, visit www.cjac.org.