owed to them by insurance companies for the loss of their loved ones.
I agree with Mr. Krekorian that state Sen. Schiff should be applauded
for appropriately positioning himself on the morally just side of this
paramount human rights issue as he enters the final phase of his
contentious electoral campaign against Congressman Jim Rogan.
Where I disagree with Mr. Krekorian is his partisan disparagement of
the efforts of Republicans in general, and especially the Armenian
Republic Council, in initiating and leading the battle that has
culminated in the passage of SB 1915 in the state Senate.
The true chronology of events leading up to the passage of the
legislation in the state Senate begins with local Glendale attorney
Vartkes Yeghiayan's persistent efforts for years to help his fellow
Armenians obtain the insurance benefits their fathers, mothers, aunts and
uncles had paid for out of their meager earnings as farmers and
He sent letter after letter to insurance companies that had sold life
insurance policies between 1900 and 1914 to Armenians living in what was
then the eastern frontier of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. The insurance
carriers wrote back that they could not pay the promised policy benefits,
arrogantly asserting that the victims' families did not file their claims
within the limited time periods imposed by these companies after the
first World War. The companies added insult to injury by insisting that
the victims' families must submit "death certificates" from the Turkish
government to prove that their relatives were slaughtered by Ottoman
Turkish soldiers and partisans.
In shear frustration, Vartkes Yeghiayan with my assistance filed a
Civil Rights and Breach of Insurance Contract lawsuit against New York
Life Insurance Co. on Nov. 22. Both I and Mr. Yeghiayan are Republicans.
A few weeks after the lawsuit was filed, I contacted the California
Department of Insurance and sought a meeting with then Commissioner Chuck
Quackenbush. Mr. Quackenbush agreed to see us in Sacramento. We told him