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Chuck DeVore is done for, too

… as Carly Fiorina emerges as the Republican nominee to take on incumbent U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., in November. No word from Tom Campbell yet.

DeVore is in Tustin tonight; here are his prepared remarks:

My friends,

I just completed my telephone call to Carly Fiorina, to congratulate her on her victory this evening. She is our party’s nominee. I endorse her. I will support her. I will vote for her. And I call upon all of you to do the same in November.

We traveled a long road to get here. When I started this campaign many months ago, I had the support of my wife, my daughters, and my dog.

And I want to say: Diane, you’ve put up with me for 22 years — through moves, deployments, children and campaigns. You are the best wife and companion I can imagine. I love you.

We started this campaign small. Today, I am sincerely humbled to have received the support of hundreds of thousands of Californians from all walks of life.

But let me remind all of you — this campaign was never about me. It was about conservative principles. It was about our Constitution. I believe we did our honorable part in reminding California why it needs both.

Never doubt that what we did in this campaign mattered, and will matter long after we’re gone. All of you in this room — and all of you who voted for me today — can hold your heads high.

Winston Churchill said it best when he said:

“The only guide to a man is his conscience; the only shield to his memory is the rectitude and sincerity of his actions. It is very imprudent to walk through life without this shield, because we are so often mocked by the failure of our hopes and the upsetting of our calculations; but with this shield, however the fates may play, we march always in the ranks of honour.”

My friends … my fellow Californians … my fellow Americans — If you support me, my campaign is over. But if you support our Constitution and our country — that fight goes on. And I promise you this: I will march with you in that fight, “in the ranks of honour,” to the very end.

God bless you all.

Posted on Tuesday, June 8th, 2010
Under: 2010 election, Carly Fiorina, Chuck DeVore, Tom Campbell, U.S. Senate | 3 Comments »

John Kerry blasts Fiorina for blasting Boxer

Add 2004 Democratic presidential nominee U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., to the chorus of party, environmental and other voices knocking Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina for her attack this week on incumbent U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer’s national security record.

Fiorina released a television ad Wednesday mocking Boxer’s 2007 identification of climate change as a national security issues. “Terrorism kills, and Barbara Boxer is worried about the weather,” Fiorina says in the ad.

Boxer – who had been letting most of her Republican rivals’ jibes pass without comment as they duke it out in the primary – jumped all over it, as did the California Democratic Party; Media Matters for America; the Truman National Security Project, “training a new generation of progressives to lead on national security;” and now, Kerry.

Kerry’s comments came in an e-mail soliciting contributions both for Truth Fights Back, his committee that’s “restoring truth to the energy and climate change debate,” and for Boxer’s re-election campaign:

John KerryI had to forward this because some things just can’t be allowed to stand in American politics – you have to do more than respond – you have to make the opposition pay for peddling the kind of malarkey that does our country a disservice. I just got this email from my friend Barbara Boxer in California. She’s under attack for telling the truth: that climate change is a national security issue. Her opponent – how predictable! – says Barbara is “worried about the weather.”

Just last week, you probably remember me fighting this fight with some guy from a conservative “think tank.” Now Barbara is fighting it with her Republican opponent, Carly Fiorina. But Carly isn’t just disagreeing with Barbara – she’s mocking the words and findings of the Pentagon, the CIA, analysts in the Bush Administration, generals like Anthony Zinni, Admirals like William Fallon, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and, oh, gee, literally hundreds of other national security experts.

Stand up for the truth and hit back in a way that counts: You can click below to give to Barbara’s campaign to help her fight back, and you can click here to help us at TruthFightsBack fight back for the truth everywhere we can.

We’re sending $1 billion a day overseas to feed our oil addiction, repressive states like Iran are using the oil income to fund their schemes, climate change threatens the stability of nations around the globe, and folks like Carly Fiorina talk about the weather. Stand up for a Senate that stands for the truth and debates real issues.

Generals and Admirals stand with Barbara. A bunch of Republican one-line writers stand with Carly. Who are you gonna stand with?

Kerry’s comments aside, the more I think about Fiorina’s ad, the less sense it makes to me. Never mind that it comes from someone who herself said just two years ago that “the issues of climate change and energy independence are inextricably linked,” and also called a cap-and-trade system an effort to “provide the incentives of a private marketplace to encourage people to innovate and also to encourage people to find new ways of reducing their greenhouse emissions. I’m a businessperson, I know that incentives and competition in the private marketplace work.”

No, what bugs me is the ad’s apparent political tone-deafness. She targets Boxer as if she’s already the GOP nominee, yet she’s still tacking pretty far to the right with a stance that’s popular in next week’s primary but probably won’t get her very far with the independent voters she’ll need in order to beat Boxer come November.

True, by calling out Boxer before the primary, Fiorina got Boxer and the rest to respond to her as the presumptive nominee – but that could be what Boxer wants. Fiorina is better-funded than either of her GOP rivals, but a lot of analysts believe Tom Campbell would pose a bigger threat to Boxer by attracting more independents with his somewhat more moderate social stances. “Tom Campbell is Barbara Boxer’s worst nightmare,” Center for Governmental Studies President Bob Stern told the Los Angeles Times this week. And indeed, at least one recent, prominent poll showed Campbell as the only Republican defeating Boxer in a hypothetical November match-up.

Sure, this and other polls show Fiorina surging and Campbell fading in next week’s primary, but Fiorina’s ad might’ve let Boxer go a little way toward choosing her general-election opponent. Only time will tell whom this ad helped the most.

Posted on Friday, June 4th, 2010
Under: 2010 election, Barbara Boxer, Carly Fiorina, John Kerry, Tom Campbell, U.S. Senate | 30 Comments »

Campbell’s last stand: ‘Only I can beat Boxer’

Former Congressman, Cal business school dean and state finance director Tom Campbell will spend the final week of the Republican U.S. Senate primary emphasizing the fact that polls show he’s the only one who can beat U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer in November, he told reporters on a conference call a few minutes ago.

But he’ll be doing so on a shoestring, while the candidate whom the latest poll shows in the lead – former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina – spends heavily on television ads. Campbell, whose campaign coffers are largely tapped out, will spend the week hitting GOP strongholds around the state in search of last-minute contributions and media attention.

A USC/Los Angeles Times poll released over the weekend showed Fiorina at 38 percent, Campbell at 23 percent and Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, R-Irvine, at 16 percent.

“As an outsider and fiscal conservative, Carly is the candidate who will go to Washington and refuse to become part of what Ronald Reagan once called ‘the Washington buddy system,’ “ Fiorina spokeswoman Julie Soderlund had said Saturday. “One-time front runner Tom Campbell has seen his fortunes fade as we predicted because he could run on name identification, but could not run from his 20-year record of support for higher taxes and bigger government.”

But that same poll also showed only Campbell beating Boxer in a hypothetical November match-up, 45 percent to 38 percent; the poll showed Boxer beating Fiorina by 6 percentage points and DeVore by 10. That’s what he’s playing up in a new video, released today, that he hopes will go viral:

“Those who are undecided I think are likely pragmatic voters, and so we make the pragmatic argument: If you want to replace Sen. Barbara Boxer, there’s one candidate who has a very good chance of doing so,” Campbell said on today’s conference call. “I win if I get that message out.”

Campbell also reiterated his history as a fiscal conservative, and highlighted some of the differences between him and Boxer: his support of constitutional limits on spending; his approval of Arizona’s immigration law; his support for trying terrorism suspects in military tribunals and keeping the Guantanamo Bay detention facility open; his opposition to a cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and his opposition to confirming Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court.

No matter who the nominee turns out to be, the poll held some bad news for Republicans: It showed that Californians overwhelmingly want a senator who’ll support President Barack Obama’s policies. In fact, among decline-to-state voters who’ll be November’s crucial swing vote, a senator backing Obama won the support of 56 percent, compared to 29 percent for a senator who would oppose him.

“Whenever he’s right, I’m with him,” Campbell quipped when asked about this, noting it’s vital for the GOP nominee not to come across as closed-minded.

He cited his support of the Troubled Asset Relief Program instituted by President George W. Bush and continued by President Obama to stabilize the nation’s financial industry in late 2008 and 2009, as well as his record in Congress and the state Senate of seeking solutions across the aisle. “I think those who know my record know I’m interested in finding common ground for the good of the state and the good of the country.”

Posted on Tuesday, June 1st, 2010
Under: 2010 election, Barbara Boxer, Carly Fiorina, Chuck DeVore, Tom Campbell, U.S. Senate | 5 Comments »

Campbell outraised Fiorina in recent months

We’re putting together an extensive report for tomorrow’s editions on the campaign finance reports due today, but for now, the breaking news seems to be that Tom Campbell raised more money in the most recent period and had more cash on hand at the period’s end than Carly Fiorina, his rival for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination.

Campbell reported raising $989,662 since mid-March from April 1 to May 19, with $975,271 cash on hand reported in today’s filing.

“We are continuing to raise money and buy TV airtime for the home stretch,” Campbell spokesperson James Fisfis said in a news release. “Our opponent, Carly Fiorina, is a failed CEO who sent thousands of California jobs overseas. Moreover, she rarely bothered to vote. Tom Campbell will be traveling around California for the next two weeks communicating his message that he is the only Republican in the race who will end Barbara Boxer’s U.S. Senate career.”

Fiorina reported raising $909,000 (though she also loaned her campaign another $1.1 million), with $620,000 cash on hand as of this filing.

“I am humbled and honored to have received the support of so many dedicated people around California and across the nation,” Fiorina said in a news release. “Recent polling confirms that the hard work our financial supporters, grassroots volunteers and dedicated campaign team members have together invested in the race is paying off. Californians increasingly recognize that I am the Republican candidate best positioned to defeat Barbara Boxer in November. We expect this momentum to continue growing in the final days before the primary election and into the general election this fall.”

We’re still waiting for numbers from the third Republican in the race, Chuck DeVore

UPDATE @ 4:19 P.M.: DeVore raised $520,898 in this period, finishing with $276,614 cash on hand.

UPDATE @ 6:09 P.M.: Fiorina’s campaign hastens to note that she has loaned her campaign another $1.9 million since May 19, the end of the reporting period, so she has plenty of money for significant television advertising between now and the June 8 election. Campbell’s campaign, they note, cancelled its LA-area television ad buy for this weekend.

“As far as we can tell, team Campbell is working their abacus overtime to make it appear as if they have significant funds heading into the final stretch,” said Fiorina spokeswoman Julie Soderlund. “But my calculator is telling me their numbers just don’t quite add up.”

So, yes, Fiorina has more money on hand for the final 10 days before the election. Nonetheless, Campbell attracted more in total contributions than Fiorina did during this reporting period.

Posted on Thursday, May 27th, 2010
Under: 2010 election, campaign finance, Carly Fiorina, Chuck DeVore, Tom Campbell | 2 Comments »

More Boxer: Campaign cash and the court

The full word is in on President Barack Obama’s visit to San Francisco later this month to raise money for U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer’s re-election campaign and for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and the word is “ch-ching!!!”

The tickets to the cocktail reception at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 25, at the Fairmont Hotel atop San Francisco’s Nob Hill cost $250, $500 or $2,000 each, depending on where you want to stand or sit. But the big money will come at the 5:30 p.m. photo reception and dinner at the home of billionaire oil heir Gordon Getty and his wife, Ann, where it’ll be $35,200 per couple. The fundraisers make a point of noting an individual can give as much as $45,200 to California Senate 2010 while a couple can give as much as $90,400, so they’re clearly aiming for the deepest of the deep pockets.

How does that big money get broken down? The fine print says “(t)he first $4,800 of each contribution from a person will be allocated to the Friends of Barbara Boxer. The first $2,400 of each contribution will be considered designated for the primary election; the second $2,400 will be considered designated for the general election. The next $30,400 of each contribution from a person will be allocated to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Inc. The next $10,000 of each contribution from a person will be allocated to the Democratic State Central Committee of California-Federal. Any contributor may designate his or her contribution for a particular participant.”

Meanwhile, Boxer had nothing but praise today for the president’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Solicitor General and former Harvard Law School Dean Elena Kagan:

“I congratulate Solicitor General Elena Kagan on her nomination to the United States Supreme Court.

“From what I have seen thus far, Elena Kagan understands the fundamental promise of our Constitution, which is equality, justice and fairness for all Americans. She has a proven ability to reach across ideological lines, which is so important so we can build consensus.

“Elena Kagan has broken barriers throughout her career – as the first female dean of Harvard Law School, the first female Solicitor General and potentially the fourth woman to sit on the Supreme Court. Her confirmation would be historic, marking the first time that three female Justices have served together on the nation’s highest court.

“I look forward to learning more about Solicitor General Kagan’s views and record during her confirmation hearing.”

Meanwhile, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina – one of the candidates vying for the GOP nomination in June to challenge Boxer in November – was sounding the alarm:

“The American people should have the confidence that the next member of the Supreme Court will impartially serve and work to uphold the Constitution rather than legislate from the bench. It is crucial that the Senate Judiciary Committee subject Ms. Kagan to a rigorous confirmation process so that we can learn more about her background, views and the approach she would take to adherence to the Constitution as a member of our nation’s highest court. Given Ms. Kagan’s brief litigation experience, lack of any judicial experience and in light of some of the information publicly available about her record, the Senate must ensure a confirmation process that is fair, tough and includes a close examination of her career, writings and public statements.

“While I will reserve judgment as to whether or not I will support Ms. Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court until the public vetting and confirmation process has been completed, I do find some of the available information about her past record troubling. Specifically, the extent to which her effort to keep military recruiters off Harvard’s campus was motivated by her own political views rather than by following the law of the land may indicate a potential activist mentality I do not believe is appropriate for the Court.

“The job of a U.S. senator is to advise and consent to the nominations to the Supreme Court made by the President. In deciding to support or oppose a nomination as a member of the U.S. Senate, I would require a record showing adherence to the Constitution and proof the nominee would not use the bench to legislate or attempt to interpret the Constitution based on his or her own political philosophy.”

The other GOP candidates for U.S. Senate, Tom Campbell and Chuck DeVore, are similarly unimpressed, according to the Chronicle’s Joe Garofoli.

Posted on Monday, May 10th, 2010
Under: 2010 election, Barack Obama, Barbara Boxer, campaign finance, Carly Fiorina, Chuck DeVore, Tom Campbell, U.S. Senate | 4 Comments »

Barbara Boxer on bailouts, Bush, ballots

I’ve just filed a story about U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer’s news conference this morning in San Francisco, wherein she touted the financial reform legislation now pending in the Senate. She made a point of citing the Senate’s 96-1 vote last week on her amendment providing that all financial companies put into receivership under the reform law shall be liquidated, with no taxpayer funds used to prevent such liquidation; only disposition of the company’s assets or a tax or fee on the financial industry could be used. That is, no taxpayer bailouts.

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, one of the candidates vying for the Republican nomination in June to challenge Boxer in November, issued a statement last week knocking Boxer’s stance:

Carly Fiorina“In yet another display of Election Year opportunism, Barbara Boxer today boasted about the passage of her amendment to the financial reform bill, pointing to it as an example of how she puts taxpayers first. Let’s be clear: her authorship of this amendment is more a reflection of the Democratic Party’s attempt to prop her up, rather than any sign of a core conviction. The truth is that Barbara Boxer has voted for every possible bailout, costing taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. These measures have failed to create jobs and have resulted in higher deficits, more debt and will mean higher taxes.

“If Barbara Boxer is truly concerned about protecting taxpayers, she should stop her Election Year grandstanding and get down to the hard work of lowering taxes, cutting spending and minimizing uncertainty in the regulatory environment.”

Someone at today’s news conference asked Boxer whether she thinks voters will hold against her this year the government’s lack of oversight and foresight leading up to the financial sector’s collapse and resultant recession.

She also had already said in response to another question that the financial sector bailout bill that established the oft-maligned Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was passed at the behest of the Bush Administration, after then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson implored the Senate to do so lest the entire economy collapse. Although the big banks have repaid most of their TARP debts, she said, “absolutely there’s tremendous blame to go around.”

Barbara BoxerShe had said she regretted not having done more to ensure the Federal Reserve used the authority it was given in the ‘90s to go after predatory lenders; she said the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that would be created by the pending legislation would be tasked only with such duties, whereas it was an ancillary duty for the Fed. “We need to now make sure all the powers we give this new agency are used in a fair and just way.”

But when the question of her re-election came up, she said she’s excited about her campaign and her record of fighting on behalf of consumers, families, workers and the environment.

“Will this be a hard race? Oh my God, yes,” she said, insisting she’s ready to take on whomever the GOP nominee turns out to be.

Recent polls show former Congressman, business-school dean and state finance director Tom Campbell leading Fiorina and Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, R-Irvine, in the GOP primary, and edging closest to Boxer in a hypothetical November match-up.

Posted on Monday, May 10th, 2010
Under: 2010 election, Barbara Boxer, Carly Fiorina, Chuck DeVore, Tom Campbell, U.S. Senate | 3 Comments »

DiFi will chair Boxer’s re-election campaign

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer’s re-election campaign announced today that U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein will serve as its chairwoman.

“Senator Boxer and I make a great team for California,” Feinstein said in the news release. “That’s why I’m so proud to chair Senator Boxer’s campaign. Barbara is a proven and effective leader for California, and our strong partnership is essential in creating jobs and turning our economy around.”

“I’ve seen Barbara’s extraordinary leadership of the Environment and Public Works Committee firsthand as she works across party lines to create the clean energy and transportation jobs our communities desperately need. Barbara never gives up when fighting for Californians. I know the families of California want us to continue working together as an effective team to improve their lives and their communities.”

This is a show of force, as Feinstein remains one of California’s most influential Democrats; think, e.g., of how Jerry Brown waited and waited to formally declare his gubernatorial candidacy until after DiFi publicly said she wouldn’t run. Polls show Feinstein remains more popular than Boxer, so she brings some gravitas and centrist appeal to the table (not that she’ll be running the campaign’s day-to-day or anything like that).

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama will arrive in Los Angeles on Monday evening to attend fundraisers – a sold-out, $17,600-a-head shindig at the city’s Natural History Museum, and a reception at the California Science Center for which tickets cost $100 to $2,500 – on behalf of Boxer and the Democratic National Committee.

Boxer’s campaign this week said it raised $2.4 million in the first quarter of 2010. In the GOP primary race, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina raised $1.7 million; former Cal business school dean, Congressman and state finance director Tom Campbell raised $1.6 million; and Assemblyman Chuck DeVore raised $626,000.

Posted on Friday, April 16th, 2010
Under: 2010 election, Barbara Boxer, Carly Fiorina, Chuck DeVore, Tom Campbell, U.S. Senate | 2 Comments »

Now we’ll hear about it for the next eight months

The House has passed the Senate’s $940 billion health reform bill on a 219-212 vote, and the news releases are flying hot and heavy, as they surely will continue to do on this issue from now through November’s midterm Congressional elections.

From Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton:

Jerry McNerney“For nine months, I’ve been listening to our community’s thoughts and ideas on health care reform. I’ve held public events that hundreds of people have attended and have met with seniors, patients, veterans, small business owners, doctors, and nurses. Thousands of people have also emailed, written letters, and called my office.

“I’ve heard from people denied health coverage for preexisting conditions like diabetes and allergies. I’ve met seniors who can’t afford the monthly cost of prescription drugs. I’ve talked with small businesses owners who have been forced to lay off employees because of skyrocketing premiums. I’ve heard many heartbreaking stories about the struggle so many Americans face right now to afford health care.

“I’ve carefully reviewed the proposal, read every page, and listened to all the input that the people I represent have offered. Throughout this process, I’ve stood up for reform that will lower costs, give families security and peace-of-mind, and make sure people can choose their doctor and care.

“Today, we took a critical step towards making health care more affordable for American families and helping to guarantee our nation’s long-term economic prosperity. Reforming health care is a fiscally responsible course of action that will build on the best of the American system by making sure people can keep their current insurance if they like it and choose what doctors they want see.

“Reform will reduce the growth of health care costs by creating fair, transparent and competitive health insurance markets and cracking down on waste, fraud and abuse. It will improve benefits for seniors, help small businesses to stay open, and stop insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions or kicking sick people off their plans.”

From Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele:

michael_steele“Californians have plenty of reason to be disappointed today, as Representative McNerney chose to continue siding with the liberal leaders in Washington and support this government takeover of health care. Rep. McNerney should be ashamed to have been part of this partisan trickery and underhanded tactics used to ram this bill through Congress. And even more so, he should be ashamed to have supported a bill that will force already struggling Californians to face a future of higher taxes, increased premiums and Medicare cuts.

“Americans across the country have made their voices heard and flatly reject this legislation loaded with special deals and tax increases, but Rep. McNerney did not listen to them and instead chose to force this bill through by any means necessary. Rep. McNerney can be sure that voters in his district will not forget this vote that will negatively affect Americans for generations to come, and this November they will be sure to send him packing.”

Many more voices, after the jump…
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Sunday, March 21st, 2010
Under: Anna Eshoo, Barbara Lee, Carly Fiorina, Chuck DeVore, congressional district 11, George Miller, Jerry McNerney, Pete Stark, Tom Campbell, U.S. House, U.S. Senate | 9 Comments »

Tom Campbell blasts tactic oft-used by GOP

The health-care reform battle is reaching fever pitch, with reports that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, will adopt a rule signaling its assent to the Senate version of the legislation with its vote on reconciliation bill – thus bypassing a House vote on the Senate version alone.

Gibberish, yes. The Washington Post explains it better.

And Republican U.S. Senate candidate and former Congressman Tom Campbell says it’s bad, bad, bad.

“This approach is an outrage. It’s not too much to ask that our Representatives actually vote on measures they intend to make into law. That’s what the Constitution requires. That’s what personal accountability requires. I have a record on this: I forced the House to vote on whether President Clinton’s war in Yugoslavia should go ahead or not. The Constitution required Congress to make that decision. No less importantly, here, a bill with a $2.5 trillion price tag has to be voted on the merits, by the House and the Senate. To think that a bill with that kind of fiscal impact and social impact could be passed without even a vote cast in the House is absurd. This is a new low in Democrat Congressional tactics.”

But as Time’s Karen Tumulty noted Saturday, Donald Wolfensberger – director of the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Congress Project, and a former House Rules Committee chief of staff under GOP rule – made it clear years ago that this is hardly a “Democrat Congressional tactic.”

When Republicans were in the minority, they railed against self-executing rules as being anti-deliberative because they undermined and perverted the work of committees and also prevented the House from having a separate debate and vote on the majority’s preferred changes. From the 95th to 98th Congresses (1977-84), there were only eight self-executing rules making up just 1 percent of the 857 total rules granted. However, in Speaker Tip O’Neill’s (D-Mass.) final term in the 99th Congress, there were 20 self-executing rules (12 percent). In Rep. Jim Wright’s (D-Texas) only full term as Speaker, in the 100th Congress, there were 18 self-executing rules (17 percent). They reached a high point of 30 under Speaker Tom Foley (D-Wash.) during the final Democratic Congress, the 103rd, for 22 percent of all rules.

When Republicans took power in 1995, they soon lost their aversion to self-executing rules and proceeded to set new records under Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.). There were 38 and 52 self-executing rules in the 104th and 105th Congresses (1995-1998), making up 25 percent and 35 percent of all rules, respectively. Under Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) there were 40, 42 and 30 self-executing rules in the 106th, 107th and 108th Congresses (22 percent, 37 percent and 22 percent, respectively). Thus far in the 109th Congress, self-executing rules make up about 16 percent of all rules.

On April 26, [2006] the Rules Committee served up the mother of all self-executing rules for the lobby/ethics reform bill. The committee hit the trifecta with not one, not two, but three self-executing provisions in the same special rule. The first trigger was a double whammy: “In lieu of the amendments recommended by the Committees on the Judiciary, Rules, and Government Reform now printed in the bill, the amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of the Rules Committee Print dated April 21, 2006, modified by the amendment printed in part A of the report of the Committee on Rules accompanying this resolution, shall be considered as adopted in the House and the Committee of the Whole.”

So Republicans eagerly used this tactic when it suited them, again and again. And Tom Campbell was there, representing the 12th Congressional District from 1989 to 1993 and the 15th Congressional District from 1995 to 2001.

“Fair question, and it’s true that both Democrats and Republicans have stretched the rules for their own purposes,” he told me today in an e-mail. “Never before, however, have I seen a ‘deeming’ rule used in this manner. The only thing close was on an adjournment resolution, where one house decided to leave town before the other was done. I never saw it done to avoid a vote on a substantive matter of this importance.”

The Congressional Research Service, however, recalls several examples in which self-executing rules were used “to enact significant substantive and sometimes controversial propositions” — including at least four during Campbell’s tenure:

— On March 19, 1996, the House adopted a rule (H.Res. 384) that incorporated a voluntary employee verification program — addressing the employment of illegal immigrants — into a committee substitute made in order as original text.
— H.Res. 239, agreed to on September 24, 1997, automatically incorporated into the base bill a provision to block the use of statistical sampling for the 2000 census until federal courts had an opportunity to rule on its constitutionality.
–A closed rule (H.Res. 303) on an IRS reform bill provided for automatic adoption of four amendments to the committee substitute made in order as original text. The rule was adopted on November 5, 1997, with bipartisan support.
— On May 7, 1998, an intelligence authorization bill was made in order by H.Res. 420. This self-executing rule dropped a section from the intelligence measure that would have permitted the CIA to offer their employees an early-out retirement program.

None of those are as far-reaching as health-care reform, but they sure weren’t just adjournment votes, either.

Posted on Tuesday, March 16th, 2010
Under: 2010 election, healthcare reform, Tom Campbell | 7 Comments »

GOP Senate candidates on Bunning’s blockade

The Washington Post reports that U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., again this morning was the lone vote blocking the Senate from extending unemployment benefits, highway funds and other programs in the face of mounting criticism from Democrats and pleas from his own party.

So how do California’s Republican U.S. Senate primary candidates feel about Bunning’s single-handed blockade?

Chuck DeVore believes that Sen. Bunning’s point about actually paying for spending with something other than more debt is pretty important,” DeVore spokesman Joshua Trevino said today. “It’s a shame the Senate majority doesn’t feel the same.”

Carly Fiorina‘s campaign addressed the issue without taking a stance on Bunning’s tactic.

“Carly believes extending unemployment benefits is crucial and that Congress can and should find a way to pay for it rather than continuing to push the country deeper into debt,” Fiorina spokeswoman Julie Soderlund said in an e-mail. “Washington’s favorite game of one-upmanship that’s being played over this issue is exactly the kind of thing Americans are sick and tired of. Carly believes U.S. Senate should do what the American people elected them to do, which is get together to find a mutually agreeable solution to this problem.”

And Tom Campbell said the vote should be allowed to go forward.

“Sen. Bunning’s point is that we should take the money from the $789 billion ‘stimulus bill’ that was passed last year, of which more than $500 billion still remains to be spent. That would be preferable by far to adding to the deficit further; however, the Senate has to deal with the economic emergency at hand, and the needs of those who are out of work, and should go ahead without further delay,” Campbell said. “I do renew my call for a return to Gramm Rudman Hollings, whereby there are set deficit reduction goals, which have to be followed. Then emergency needs like this could be factored in to the important process of overall budget control.”

See what some from the other side of the aisle have had to say over the past few days about his single-handed blockade, after the jump…
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010
Under: Barbara Boxer, Barbara Lee, Carly Fiorina, Chuck DeVore, economy, Tom Campbell, U.S. House, U.S. Senate | No Comments »