Consumer Watchdog, a Los Angeles-based non-profit, is claiming responsibility for an investigation launched by the California Fair Political Practices Commission against what they claim to be insurance companies funneling $122,500 to elect Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara without identifying the source. The complaint claims to have outlined a money laundering scheme by insurance companies who donate funds to the LGBTQ Caucus, which then donates the funds to an Independent Expenditure campaign supporting Lara. This allows the insurance companies to not be identified in campaign finance reports as directly donating to Lara.
These allegations follow a public apology issued by Lara three years ago, along with the return of thousands of dollars in campaign donations, after he broke his pledge to avoid taking contributions from those he regulates. The Commission has confirmed its investigation into Lara and four political committees that the watchdog group says are diverting insurance industry donations to independent groups working to support Lara’s re-election.