Mercury General Corp., Los Angeles, CA
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$1,227,250 to winners, $16,759,258 to losers
Mercury General, headquartered in Los Angeles, was founded by George Joseph in 1961 and operates in 12 states but primarily in California. It provided most of the funding for Proposition 17, a 2010 state ballot measure that would have allowed insurers to offer discounts based on years of continuous coverage, but effectively would have penalized drivers with a lapse in coverage. The measure was narrowly defeated, 51.9 percent to 48.1 percent.
Total contributions: $19,176,108
List of contributions
Source: Contribution data from National Institute on Money in State Politics
Credits: Interactive by Michael Corey, Coulter Jones and Chase Davis. Reporting by Coulter Jones. Badge design by Thomas Guffey. Additional reporting by Stanford University students enrolled in a Communications Department investigative reporting class under the direction of California Watch Editorial Director Mark Katches. The project began in January 2011. Students participating were: Devin Banerjee, Daniel Bohm, Kathleen Chaykowski, Tom Corrigan, Cassandra Feliciano, Jamie Hansen, Amy Harris, Josh Hicks, Ellen Huet, Julia James, Paul Jones, Ryan Mac, Valentina Nesci, Dean Schaffer, Elizabeth Titus and Kareem Yasin. Bohm, Hansen, Huet, Harris and Titus continued to work on the project as California Watch interns under the direction of Associate Editor Denise Zapata.