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John Campbell

John Campbell (R-Irvine) is an Assemblyman representing the 70th District in Orange County. Mr. Campbell is the Vice-Chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee. He is the only CPA in the California State legislature and recently received a national award as Freshman Republican Legislator of the Year. He represents the cities of Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa, Tustin, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Woods and Lake Forest. He can be reached through his Assembly website and through the website for his California Senate campaign.

A Budget Consensus?
Let's just spend a little more while we're at it.
[John Campbell] 6/14/03

Budget: For the next few weeks, this report will dwell entirely on the subject of the California State Budget and the progress, or lack thereof, towards achieving consensus on one.The budget conference committee met almost every day for the last 8 days.

This was a valueless exercise this year wherein Democrats attempted to achieve consensus with other Democrats relative to items in the budget.

There was no attempt or objective to reduce spending or to consider the Republican viewpoint even though an eventual budget solution must necessarily have Republican support. So, arguably, the conference committee was counterproductive as it added more liberal spending priorities which merely moves it farther away from the prospect of Republican support. Some of the "lowlights" of the budget as it now stands in conference committee are:

  • It actually increases spending by about $3.3 billion or about 4% over last year. Can you imagine increasing spending in the midst of the deepest budget crisis in the history of this or any state? ItÅfs unconscionable. But Democrats on the committee characterized the budget as having "painful cuts" and "extreme reductions." Give me a break.
  • One anonymous Democratic staffer was heard to say "one way you can tighten your belt is by just getting fatter."
  • It contains increases in taxes/fees on cars, income, sales, tobacco, long distance phone calls, workers compensation insurance premiums, farmers, farms, rural landowners, and a host of others.
  • Democrats were unable to agree on reductions to the vital and critical agency known as the "arts council". If they can't eliminate this clearly superfluous and unnecessary bureaucracy, is there anything they can eliminate?
  • How about getting rid of the newly created "California Power Authority" -- an agency with over 21 positions paying between $100,000 and $220,000 per year which was chartered to create new electric power but has failed to generate a single kilowatt after spending $18 million? What a great job -- $200,000 per year and you don't actually have to produce anything or serve anyone. Nope. They took no reductions here.

So they can't "afford" to cut these and numerous other budgetary items, but they say you can "afford" to pay some more taxes. Oh and by the way, if they do all this they still will leave a deficit of about $8 billion or so next year so that they will "need" to raise taxes again.

Republicans have said and continue to say that we will not stand by and watch this government continue to repeat the fiscal mistakes of the last four years. Republicans will not vote for a budget unless it does not increase taxes and does decrease spending. And that's about the only thing about this state budget that you can take to the bank.



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