Legal Agenda, Political Money

Complainant’s Lawyers Give to Dem

Attorneys representing Brent Anderson, the Santa Barbara insurance agent who filed a complaint against Blue Shield with the California Insurance Commissioner, donated $10,000 to one of the candidates now running for that office. Anderson stated he didn’t know that his attorney Michael Adreani had donated to Assemblymember David Jones, a liberal Democrat from Sacramento now running for statewide insurance commissioner, until he heard about from media reports.

“I don’t see what difference it makes about anything,” Anderson said. “People should be more worried how Blue Shield is charging small businesses too much for medical insurance.” Anderson got in conflict with Blue Shield two years ago when he sold the Carpinteria Fire Department a policy with relatively low premiums but high deductibles, knowing that the department would pay the firefighters’ deductibles. Blue Shield had explicitly warned agents not to sell that policy if employers intended to pay the deductibles.

Blue Shield subsequently fired Anderson and revoked its policies with Carpinteria firefighters. Anderson said Blue Shield’s policy violated the spirit and letter of state insurance law. Adreani issued a press release featuring supportive comments from Assemblymember Jones. Rebutting any notion of quid pro quo, Adreani noted that he gave no money to the campaign of Chuck DeVore, an arch conservative Republican state assemblyman now running against Barbara Boxer for U.S. Senate. DeVore was also quoted in Adreani’s press release.

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