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Everyone has seen the commercials with the ditzy brunette touting the lowest rates on auto insurance.
The company’s name is Progressive.
But it’s not just a name that a focus group picked out of a hat.
This company lives up to its name – the same way the far left clings to the term “progressive.”
Word started to leak out earlier this year, when Forbes reported that the “left-leaning billionaire Peter Lewis,” Progressive’s chairman, got involved in the 2012 election with a $200,000 donation to American Bridge 21st Century, a “liberal upper PAC founded by David Brock of Fox News watchdog Media Matters for America.”
Forbes also reported “Lewis has been bankrolling the effort to legalize marijuana across multiple states for years.”
The Boston Business Journal confirmed the report, noting Lewis donated $525,000 in July for an effort to give voters a ballot question on medical marijuana.
Lewis’ leftist goals have been blasted in a commentary on the Daily Paul website, which criticized Lewis as “your typical rich spoiled kid who took over the company from his father and apparently feels guilty for his success.”
“Between 2001 and 2003, Lewis funneled $15 million to the ACLU, the group most responsible for destroying what’s left of America’s Judeo-Christian heritage. … One of the ACLU projects he earmarked his funds for was an effort to sue school districts who have drug testing policies.”
Columnist Michelle Malkin detailed Lewis’ “progressive interests” over the years, noting in 2000 that Lewis was one the “leftist billionaires, union bosses, and partisan community organizers pushing the socialized medicine agenda.”
And CNN did a story on Lewis headlined “SEX. REEFER? AND AUTO INSURANCE!”
“By self-classification both a ‘very liberal Democrat’ and a libertarian – is that combo possible? – Lewis doesn’t believe much in laws and rules, especially those that attempt to impose on people a code of behavior that is unenforceable,” said the report.
CNN also noted he “contributed heavily to the Dukakis campaign 1988 and was a major donor to the Democrats during Clinton’s run.”
Forbes also confirms Lewis’ ardent support for same-sex marriage issues. The report said OpenSecrets documented Lewis gift of $250,000 to the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund in 2008. The report said Lewis’ son is homosexual.
More important to the public, however, is how the company conducts its business. Credited for developing a host of innovations in customer service, Progressive took a huge body blow just last week when word spread like wildfire about its handling of a fatal accident claim.
In a blog post picked up by mainstream media from coast to coast, titled “My Sister Paid Progressive Insurance To Defend Her Killer In Court,” Matt Fisher describes how his sister Katie was killed in a car accident in 2010.
“On June 19, 2010, my sister was driving in Baltimore when her car was struck by another car and she was killed,” wrote Fisher. “The other driver had run a red light and hit my sister as she crossed the intersection on the green light.
“Now, because the other driver was underinsured, that payment didn’t amount to much, but my sister carried a policy with Progressive against the possibility of an accident with an underinsured driver,” Fisher explained.
Fisher describes how his family was forced to sue the other driver, who was not a customer of Progressive, only to discover that Progressive scrambled to defend the driver of the car who wasn’t even their client.
“At the trial, the guy who killed my sister was defended by Progressive’s legal team,” he wrote. “If you are insured by Progressive, and they owe you money, they will defend your killer in court in order to not pay you your policy.”
Friend of Soros
A 2005 report compiled by Capitol Research Center, a leading source for information about organizations and their donors, identifies Lewis as a friend of like-minded and ultra-left billionaire George Soros.
Together, the two created the Democracy Alliance to “build progressive infrastructure that could help counter the well-funded and sophisticated conservative apparatus in the areas of civic engagement, leadership, media, and ideas.”
The Democracy Alliance “brokered more than $100 million in grants [by 2009] to liberal nonprofits including ACORN,” according to Capitol Research Center, and also approved funding of the now defunct Secretary of State Project.
The Secretary of State Project culminated from liberal frustration after the 2004 presidential election. Disgruntled mega-donors like Soros and Lewisthought that having Democrat secretaries of state in Ohio and Florida could have swung the election in favor of Al Gore, who was defeated by George W. Bush.
In a 2009 article, Matthew Vadum detailed how the group stepped into Minnesota politics in 2006, getting an ACORN-friendly secretary of state, Democrat Mark Ritchie, elected.
The subsequent impact wasn’t long in coming. In 2008, incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman finished ahead of challenger and comedian Al Franken, but the state woke the next morning to find ballot irregularities,, and the vote eventually went to Franken.
Later, the activist Minnesota Majority documented votes from over 2,800 ineligible felons in the 2008 election. So far, 156 people have been convicted of voter fraud stemming from the 2008 election.
Hundreds more have gotten off by using a defense of “I didn’t know,” which under Minnesota law is a valid defense when it relates to the polls. Months after the election was over, Franken was sent to Washington with around 300 votes more than Coleman, while the tally of ineligible voters continued to rack up.
As the Washington Examiner explained, on the morning after the election, after 2.9 million people had voted, Coleman led Franken by 725 votes.
“Franken and his Democratic allies dispatched an army of lawyers to challenge the results. After the first canvass, Coleman’s lead was down to 206 votes. That was followed by months of wrangling and litigation. In the end, Franken was declared the winner by 312 votes.”
Other watchdog groups identify Lewis as a large donor to other left-leaning groups.
“Lewis donated $16 million to the Joint Victory Committee (the name given to the three largest 527s, which combined to [try to] defeat George W. Bush). He also gave nearly $3 million to America Coming Together a group that allowed the AFL/CIO, Sierra Club and pro-choice Emily’s List to come together – and $2.5 million to the anti-war MoveOn.Org,” according to the report.
WND reached out to Progressive for comment but was told by an assistant in Lewis’ office that he wasn’t involved in the daily operations of the company now.
And regarding his contributions? “I don’t think Mr. Lewis would be responsive to you about his giving.”