CA GOP Congressman Campbell to retire; will tax pledge become issue for Mimi Walters??

Orange County GOP Congressman John Campbell announced he would not seek re-election next year on the Hugh Hewett radio show this week.  Campbell, whose votes were generally conservative in the Congress, nevertheless had problems with local Republican activists during his term, who were upset by his votes in favor of Federal assistance to the automotive industry, (“TARP”) and by his stand-offish style in refusing to meet with many Republican volunteers who had requested face-time over the years, people who are the front-line of the Party’s “get out the vote” efforts, and whom Campbell should have given some better appreciation.  Campbell, who owned some automobile dealerships, was not a thoroughly popular figure at Orange County Republican Central Committee meetings either, and the Central Committee once narrowly voted to deny him it’s endorsement for re-election.  His faulty, almost vainly, arrogant style may have been absorbed by the GOP Leadership in the Congress as well, which denied him any significant Committee Chairmanship assignment during his years in office, or any significant individual legislative accomplishment.  In Campbell’s coastal Congressional district, one of the most Republican in the nation, Barack Obama beat John McCain by a percentage point in the 2008 Presidential election, an eye-popping result in Orange County.  In neighboring Dana Rohrabacher’s coastal Congressional seat, McCain clobbered Obama in the same election.  Some observers have said that Campbell failed to lead or inspire voters in his district the way engaged conservatives like Rohrabacher have done, and it has been noted that Obama beat McCain in the district while Campbell’s district office Chief of Staff was otherwise occupied running a losing race for himself to a city council seat in the district.

Speculation is now focused on who will be Campbell’s successor candidates, and whether an inspirational conservative leader like Rohrabacher might be among them.  Among them is one-time rising star, Republican State Senator Mimi Walters.  Walters had been planning on running for Orange County Supervisor, but told that she has shifted to the Congressional race.  Walters is wealthy and can be a self-funder, and also has had a generally conservative record in the State Legislature.  However, in the last weeks it has been widely reported that she broke her pledge, signed and delivered to Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, to not vote for a tax hike, which she recently did in extending a tax at the urging of liberal Democrats in the Legislature.  Americans for Tax Reform issued a statement after Walters vote for the tax hike that was unequivical in stating that Walters broke her promise not to raise taxes.  Breaking her tax pledge can be seen as a serious flaw by voters having to put up with the highest taxes in the nation in California, and should feature prominently in any campaign for the Congressional seat by an opponent, and some observers believe it will be enough to guarantee Walters will draw strong opponents that might otherwise pass on what will be a confrontational race among Republicans in this GOP registration dominated district.  Other potential candidates mentioned include Assemblyman Don Wagner, Orange County Supervisor Pat Bates and Board of Equalization member Michelle Steel, all Republicans.


  1. Campbell was a part time Conservative depending on who was offering the stipend and the issue. Not an honest and hard principled man by any means but he was the best we had on the ballot. Sadly this is the case many, many times. It was like Arnold when he was elected, it was Arnold or NOBODY.
    It was not that same choice when you fools reelected Moonbeam. We had already had this fool before and you idiots re-elected him again. Sometimes I wonder how you people get out of bed and put on your pants with the size of your intellect…..
    Wake up and read some history on candidates. Find out who they hang around with and where they spend their down time. People always give you clues as to who they are if you only look.
    We knew who Obama was before he as elected, he wrote two books and the Chicago Sun had years of history on him all we had to do was google Obama and there it was on the screen. His history as a lawyer was also available with the computer in the beginning. And we elected this dufus to be the President, he never even ran a lemonade stand in his whole life. The only job he ever had was at 31 flavors dipping ice cream, he wasn’t even the asst manager, and you elected him to run the most powerful Nation on Earth — what is hell were you thinking and then you did it again…… Stupidity strikes twice in the same place!!

  2. askeptic says

    Another FOH (Friend of Hugh’s) bites the dust.
    Perhaps this time we can keep the seat – unlike what happened to Drier.


  1. […] best take on Campbell’s record and lack of accomplishments so far: CA GOP Congressman Campbell to retire; will tax pledge become issue for Mimi Walters?? from Geoffrey S. Cantor at the California Political […]

  2. […] CA GOP Congressman Campbell to retire; will tax pledge become issue for Mimi Walters?? […]

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