View Full Version : Grow economy, limit government spending, Campbell says

10-18-2009, 08:35 PM
Grow economy, limit government spending, Campbell says

REDLANDS - Republican gubernatorial hopeful Tom Campbell said Friday that California is on the verge of another budget crisis and the state's the next governor must work to rein in government spending.

"You don't spend money you don't have," Campbell said during a speech to the Redlands Republican Women's Club. "You are dishonest to the next generation if you do."

Campbell, a former state finance director, said there are doable, long-term solutions to the state's ongoing budget woes. For one, the state must grow its economy, he said, adding that streamlined regulations will help attract businesses.

"Economic growth depends on getting businesses to offer jobs here instead of going to Texas and Arizona," Campbell said.

State government then must only spend as much as the previous year's budget, plus the rates of inflation and population growth, Campbell said.

Had California done that in recent years, the state would be in better fiscal condition, he said.

"We would be balanced today with a $2 billion surplus over the last 10 years," he said.

Campbell said he would use the governor's line-item veto to keep expenditures under control.

He said he favors a long-term budgeting approach, in which taxes are collected in one year, allowed to earn interest, and then spent the following year.

"Now we are solved. We know exactly how much money there is," Campbell said. "The problem we have with our budget is people budget on optimism."

Campbell brings to the table a long resume of public office and academics. He holds a law degree from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago.

He has taught at Stanford University, UC Berkeley and now holds a position at Chapman University in Orange County. He served five terms in the U.S. House and is a former state senator.

Campbell is seeking the GOP nomination against former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and state insurance commissioner Steve Poizner. Whitman and Poizner also favor aggressive use of the governor's line-item veto and reduced government spending.

Despite having the least amount of campaign money, Campbell so far has held his own. In a recent Field Poll, Campbell was in a statistical tie for the lead with Whitman, who is scheduled to speak today at the California Federation of Republican Women statewide convention in Ontario.

Julie Biggs of Redlands is a Campbell supporter and hosted a fundraiser for him on Friday at her home.

"He's undoubtedly the most intelligent and educated candidate in the field," she said. "He has been in government and understands it."

After his speech, Ann Russell of Redlands said Campbell is a candidate she could vote for in June's primary.

"He is knowledgeable and experienced and has the same outlook all of us (in the Redlands Republican club) have," Russell said.