Rep. Dave Camp (R)
Elected: 1990, 10th term.
Born: July 9, 1953, Midland .
Education: Albion Col., B.A. 1975, U. of San Diego, J.D. 1978.
Family: Married (Nancy); 3 children.
Elected office: MI House of Reps., 1988–90.
Professional Career: Practicing atty., 1978–90; MI special asst. atty. gen., 1980–84; A.A., U.S. Rep. Bill Schuette, 1984–87.
The congressman from the 4th District is Dave Camp, a Republican first elected in 1990. Camp grew up in Midland and returned there after school to practice law. In 1984, he managed the successful congressional campaign of his boyhood friend, Bill Schuette. In 1990, Schuette unsuccessfully ran against Democratic Sen. Carl Levin, and Camp ran for Congress after having served two years in the state House. His key victory was in the Republican primary, where he beat Al Cropsey, a former legislator who was allied with evangelical conservatives, 33%-30%.
|Dave Camp (R)||204,259||(62%)||($2,568,143)|
|Andrew Concannon (D)||117,665||(36%)||($121,971)|
|Dave Camp (R)||Unopposed|
Prior Winning Percentages: 2006 (61%), 2004 (64%), 2002 (68%), 2000 (68%), 1998 (91%), 1996 (65%), 1994 (73%), 1992 (63%), 1990 (65%)
Camp is influential on the Ways and Means Committee, where he is the ranking Republican and a potential bipartisan deal-maker on tax and health issues. He has a generally conservative voting record, especially on cultural issues. He worked with then-Illinois Democratic Rep. Rahm Emanuel in the House to expand tax credits for education costs, and advocated changes in the federal Hope scholarships to direct more benefits to low-income students. He has been a champion of free trade on the committee, while also trying to expand trade-adjustment assistance for workers. Camp was a guiding hand behind some of the major initiatives from the era of Republican control of the House, 1995 to 2006. Camp played a key role in passing the welfare overhaul in 1996, and he defended the party’s signature 2003 Medicare prescription-drug bill against Democratic attacks. He championed the cause of making President Bush’s 2001 tax cuts permanent, as well as the president’s failed plan to create private savings accounts in the Social Security program. Active on the health care subcommittee, he called for tax changes to loosen the connection between jobs and health care. He also pushed legislation to assist patients with kidney disease, and he authored the Organ Donor Card Insert Act, under which an estimated 70 million taxpayers receive organ-donor information with their income-tax refunds.
When Louisiana Republican Rep. Jim McCrery announced that he would not seek re-election in 2008, Rep. Wally Herger of California had more seniority than Camp and was positioned to succeed McCrery in the ranking minority slot, the most powerful post for the minority party on a committee. Camp did the requisite party fundraising and networking on the K Street lobbying corridor to edge out the low-profile Herger. In the most important test—who could raise more money for Republicans in tough election battles—Camp was far and away Herger’s superior, bringing in over $2 million for the party, while Herger raised about half that amount. Camp also had better ties to Republican leaders. In 1998, he ran Illinois Republican Dennis Hastert’s successful campaign for House speaker. He also served on the leadership-driven Steering Committee, which makes committee assignments.
An important pet issue for Camp is adoption law. In 2000, he helped win enactment of the International Adoption Act, which designates the State Department to help adoptive parents in dealing with officials in other nations. And two years later, Congress passed his bill to create financial incentives for domestic adoptions. He also pushed for ratification by the Senate of a treaty on international adoption, which would remove additional obstacles. As a state legislator in Michigan, Camp had worked with parents and children in the foster-care system. On an issue of interest to his home state, Camp won enactment of a bill to protect the state’s 120 lighthouses.
Camp has had minimal opposition in the 4th District. He keeps in close touch with the district by signing every constituent letter sent from his office, often with a personal note—roughly 30,000 each year.