Saturday, July 03, 2010

How corrupt does Juan Vargas have to be to make voters turn against him? His lucrative job at Safeco after accepting gifts as assemblyman

I still have high hopes that Mary Salas will win this contest, but I can't believe there are so many Democrats in the South Bay who would vote for Juan Vargas, who went straight to a lucrative job in the insurance industry when he left the California Assembly and gave up his seat on the insurance committee.

Vargas maintains 6-vote lead over Salas
Riverside County votes uncounted
June 28, 2010

State Senate candidate Juan Vargas maintained a six-vote lead Monday over rival Mary Salas in a South Bay Democratic race, but while the vote count is almost over, the dispute may go on for some time.

Not only is a recount likely, but a controversy over uncounted ballots could alter the vote totals from the Riverside County portion of the district.

Updated tallies by the San Diego County registrar’s office from the June 8 primary election in the 40th state Senate District showed Vargas with the same lead he had Friday. Both candidates gained 45 votes in the latest batch of results.

There are 50 absentee and provisional ballots left to be counted in San Diego County.

The district reaches into Imperial and Riverside counties, and registrar officials in both those counties said Monday that they have finished counting votes.

However, questions over uncounted votes in Riverside County could be a wild card. About 12,500 mail-in votes were delivered after the 8 p.m. June 8 deadline, meaning the votes wouldn’t be counted. Elections officials there are exploring whether they have the legal right to count those votes.

There were reports of miscommunication between the county and the U.S. Postal Service, which resulted in the ballots arriving late...

Vargas takes insurance job
Ex-assemblyman's reversal draws fire
By Bill Ainsworth
December 8, 2006

Profile Juan Vargas

Job as of last Sunday: Assemblyman, insurance committee chairman

Interesting fact: $335,000 in campaign contributions from insurers over the years.

Notable quote: “I'm not going into insurance or finance. I'm just not interested.” (April) New job announced this week: Vice president of California external affairs for Safeco insurance

During his campaign for Congress, Juan Vargas was harshly criticized for accepting $335,000 in campaign contributions from insurers and frequently taking their side while chairman of the Assembly Insurance Committee.

The San Diego Democrat not only disputed that but he went further and said he would not take a job in the industry after leaving office.

Now he has done just that.

Vargas, whose Assembly term ended this week, is the new vice president of California external affairs for Safeco, a Seattle-based company that sells auto, surety and homeowners insurance to 4.3 million customers nationwide...

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