Tom Campbell, US Senate candidate

California voters should be cautious of Tom Campbell and his claims of fiscal conservatism. Campbell has repeatedly refused to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in his race for U.S. Senate. The Pledge is a simple tool that over 400 candidates this election cycle have signed promising never to raise their constituents’ income taxes. If over 400 candidates including Carly Fiorina, Chuck DeVore, and the two gubernatorial candidates- Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner- can sign the Pledge, why can’t Campbell?

Well, the problem appears to be the following: Campbell wants to raise taxes. Look at his response to Fiorina’s criticism of his decision not to sign the Pledge, “The problem with the pledge is you don't know what the future is going to be.”

If he doesn’t have the resolve to find spending cuts in a three trillion dollar budget, then California voters should look elsewhere. Currently, the United States has an overspending problem in excess of one trillion dollars and has an unemployment rate of 9.9%. The situation is even graver in California, which has a 12.6% unemployment rate.

Voters will also find a number of questionable statements made or positions taken by Campbell over the last several years on taxes. During the recent state budget woes, Campbell suggested a 32 cents-per-gallon increase in the gas tax.  In addition, he agreed with Gov. Schwarzenegger and the Democrat-led legislature that passing a budget with $15 billion in tax hikes “was the right thing to do.” Campbell actively supported Prop 1A, which was rejected by nearly two-thirds of California voters.

Time and again, Campbell has been on the wrong side of the tax issue. Voters should be aware of his disappointing positions as they get ready to vote in the June 8th GOP primaries. There are a number of issues that should be of concern for primary voters. The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts are set to expire and Liberals seem intent on letting them. Furthermore, President Obama and Congress have done nothing to curb the explosive growth in government, but have in fact exacerbated the problem. Voters need a strong commitment, especially in this election cycle, from their candidates to vote against tax hikes and to curb spending. Sadly, Tom Campbell has yet to display the necessary resolve to be considered a friend of the taxpayer.