Thumbs down: Ricardo Lara’s broken promise

When he ran for state insurance commissioner last year, Democrat Ricardo Lara promised that he wouldn't take any campaign money from insurers. It isn't illegal, but it has been common practice for most candidates since insurance commissioner became an elected position in 1990. For good reason: The commissioner regulates (including, in some instances, approving rates) a $310 billion industry, and - excuse us for being cynical - pocketing big campaign checks might create the appearance of a conflict of interest. However, as the San Diego Union- Tribune reported this week, Lara started taking insurance money after he was elected.

Lara, who took office in January, collected $53,000 from insurance interests for his 2022 reelection committee during his first six months on the job. After the news broke, Lara said it was a mistake, thanked the paper for drawing it to his attention and said he would get rid of his campaign treasurer. So who is the miscreant campaign treasurer who cashed those checks? It was Ricardo Lara himself. Thumbs down.

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