Consumer Attorneys of California Show Clout in Vote on Car Renter Insurance Bill

Owen Poindexter | April 14, 2011

April 13, 2011 - The California State Assembly passed AB 621 on April 7 in a straight party-line vote, 47-25, with Democrats in support and Republicans opposed (seven lawmakers did not vote). The bill was sponsored by the Consumer Attorneys of California, who in the 2010 election cycle donated $274,650 to current Assemblymembers, all of them Democrats.

The bill would force rental car companies that provide supplemental third-party insurance to non-resident renters to accept legal process on behalf of these renters when they are responsible for an accident, according to an April 5, 2011 Assembly Judiciary Committee bill analysis.

  • From Jan. 1, 2009-Dec. 31, 2010, the Consumer Attorneys of California gave $410,753 in campaign contributions to lawmakers serving in the 2009-2010 and 2011-2012 sessions, 100% of which went to Democratic lawmakers.
  • Of the $1,004,085 in contributions since 2003 from the Consumer Attorneys of California to lawmakers serving in the 2009 or 2011 legislatures, $996,885 has gone to Democratic lawmakers, $7,200 to Independents, and $0 to Republicans.
  • In the 2010 election cycle, contributions connected to the attorneys and law firms industry gave over $2 million to current California Assemblymembers, $1,776,408 (or roughly 89%) of which went to Democrats.
  • Since 2003, Democrats serving in the 2009-2010 and the 2011-2012 legislative sessions have received $9,640,689 in contributions connected to attorneys and law firms while Republicans have received $1,359,942.

The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

Contributions in 2010 election cycle from Consumer Attorneys of California to current Assemblymembers

  Total Contributions
All Assemblymembers$274,650
Assembly Democrats$274,650
Assembly Republicans$-
Top Assembly Recipients                
Total Contributions
Betsy Butler$15,850
Bob Wieckowski$11,700
Luis Alejo$11,700
Roger Dickinson$11,700
Ben Hueso$10,300
Michael Allen$9,800
Norma Torres$8,400
Manuel Perez$7,800
Roger Hernandez$7,800
Steven Bradford$7,800

Contributions since 2003 from Consumer Attorneys of California to lawmakers serving in 2009 or 2011 legislatures

  Total Contributions
All Legislators$1,004,085
Top Recipients                                
Total Contributions
Dave Jones$41,710
Noreen Evans$26,450
Mark Leno$24,400
Loni Hancock$23,000
Joe Coto$18,700
Hector De La Torre$17,400
Lois Wolk$17,200
Ron Calderon$16,700
Mark DeSaulnier$16,600
Mary Salas$16,153

California campaign contributions data source: National Institute on Money in State Politics.