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Republican

Rep. John Campbell (R)

John Campbell Contact
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DC Contact Information

Phone: 202-225-5611

Address: 2331 RHOB, DC 20515

John Campbell Committees
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John Campbell Biography
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  • Elected: Dec. 2005, 4th full term.
  • District: California 45
  • Born: Jul. 19, 1955, Los Angeles
  • Home: Irvine
  • Education:

    U.C.L.A., B.A. 1976, U. of S. CA, M.B.T., 1977

  • Professional Career:

    Tax accountant, 1977-78; Auto dealership executive, 1978-2003.

  • Political Career:

    CA Assembly, 2000-04; CA Senate, 2004-05.

  • Ethnicity: White/Caucasian
  • Religion:

    Presbyterian

  • Family: Married (Catherine); 2 children

John Campbell, a Republican who won a special election in December 2005, is an articulate conservative who is unafraid to take unpopular stands on principle. The former auto dealer ends his posts on his website with the exhortation to “drive fast and live free.” Read More

John Campbell, a Republican who won a special election in December 2005, is an articulate conservative who is unafraid to take unpopular stands on principle. The former auto dealer ends his posts on his website with the exhortation to “drive fast and live free.”

Campbell has deep roots in Southern California. His great-grandfather was a Republican member of the state Assembly in the mid-1800s, and his grandfather was the managing editor of the now-defunct Herald-Examiner, W.R. Hearst’s rival to the Los Angeles Times. Campbell’s father was an oil field geologist and investor who later edited the Herald-Examiner’s financial pages. While in college, his mother gave him Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged, which shaped his political philosophy. He calls it “the penultimate work on the power and dignity of the individual over the power of the state or collective,” and now gives copies to each of his congressional interns.

He graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, and got a master’s degree in business taxation from the University of Southern California. A certified public accountant, he did a stint with Ernst & Young, one of the big accounting firms, and then joined an Orange County automobile dealership group as controller in 1978. Reviewing the company’s books, Campbell discovered that the company’s management had diverted $500,000 toward personal expenses. He alerted shareholders, including his father. The chief executive officer was fired, and Campbell was given the job. In the 1990s, he sold off Campbell Automotive’s Mazda, Ford, and Nissan dealerships to focus on its remaining Saab franchises—and on politics. (He still has a fleet of vintage cars, including a 1957 Ford Thunderbird with a Richard Nixon campaign sticker.) In 2000, Campbell won an Irvine-based seat in the California Assembly, and four years later was elected to the state Senate.

Campbell got his opportunity to run for Congress when President George W. Bush selected Rep. Christopher Cox to chair the Securities and Exchange Commission in June 2005.Campbell was instantly the front-runner and was endorsed by RepublicanGov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, whom he had worked closely with in Sacramento, and by the state and Orange County Republican parties. With 19 candidates running for the seat in the all-party special primary, Campbell finished first with 45% to win the Republican nomination. Steve Young was the Democratic nominee after winning 9%. Jim Gilchrist, founder of the anti-illegal-immigrant Minuteman Project, finished third with 15% and was the nominee of the American Independent Party.

In the campaign for the December 4 runoff, Gilchrist criticized Campbell for his votes in the Assembly, prompting Campbell to say that he made a mistake in 2001 when he voted to allow illegal immigrants to receive in-state college tuition. Gilchrist’s single-issue campaign caught Campbell off guard and turned the contest into a referendum on immigration. Campbell won, though, with a surprisingly modest 44% to 28% for Young and 25% for Gilchrist. Since then, he has been reelected easily.

In the House, Campbell’s voting record is mostly conservative, though he sometimes can irk GOP leaders. He opposed a failed spending resolution in September 2011 because it didn’t include a provision to raise the limit on the size of mortgages Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can guarantee, something he said was necessary to stabilize the housing market. After being summoned to the woodshed, he supported the next continuing (spending) resolution, which passed. Five months later, he and Republican Rob Woodall of Georgia were the only two House members to vote against the STOCK Act banning insider trading by lawmakers. Campbell said the measure was too ambiguous.

He moved quickly into a leadership role among conservatives as the chairman of the budget and spending task force of the Republican Study Committee. “The agenda of the left in this country, embodied by the newly reelected president, is increasingly to sacrifice freedom for dependency, opportunity for equality, and growth for a misguided idea of fairness,” he wrote in November 2012 on his weblog.

He led Republicans angry about Congress’ lack of spending restraint, offering a series of amendments designed to embarrass sponsors of questionable spending earmarks. Campbell rarely got many more than 100 votes, but he brought attention to wasteful spending. When he learned that Democrats planned to embarrass him by highlighting his support for a $2.5 million water project for his district, he withdrew his support for it. But he parted company with most fiscal conservatives in 2008 when he backed the Troubled Assets Relief Program for the financial industry, which he said was vital to stop the rapid slide of the economy.

But he remained an outspoken critic of big spending. Campbell came out against the Southern California-manufactured Air Force C-17 transport plane, and he touted “Project You Cut,” a 2010 effort by House Republicans to get citizens to vote for proposed spending votes. However, he raised eyebrows in 2009 when he amended a bill to exempt the lending practices of auto dealers from a new consumer protection financial watchdog agency. He justified the move by arguing that auto dealers already were struggling with the economic downturn and did not need additional regulation. He proposed amendments to spending bills in 2011 to cut funding at the departments of Defense and Homeland Security by 3.5% and to reduce the number of Pentagon civilian employees by 5% over five years; both failed overwhelmingly.

Campbell was one of a group of at least eight lawmakers who were informed in 2010 that the Office of Congressional Ethics was investigating them for attending fundraisers just before a vote on the financial overhaul legislation. The House Ethics Committee concluded in January 2011 there was no evidence to charge them with wrongdoing.

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John Campbell Election Results
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2012 General (Top-Two General)
John Campbell (R)
Votes: 171,417
Percent: 58.46%
Sukhee Kang (D)
Votes: 121,814
Percent: 41.54%
2012 Primary (Top-Two Primary)
John Campbell (R)
Votes: 54,346
Percent: 51.01%
Sukhee Kang (D)
Votes: 35,182
Percent: 33.02%
John Webb (R)
Votes: 17,014
Percent: 15.97%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (60%), 2008 (56%), 2006 (60%), 2005 special (44%)
John Campbell Votes and Bills
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National Journal’s rating system is an objective method of analyzing voting. The liberal score means that the lawmaker’s votes were more liberal than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The conservative score means his votes were more conservative than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The composite score is an average of a lawmaker’s six issue-based scores. See all NJ Voting

More Liberal
More Conservative
2013 2012 2011
Economic 17 (L) : 83 (C) 26 (L) : 73 (C) 44 (L) : 56 (C)
Social - (L) : - (C) 25 (L) : 74 (C) 42 (L) : 57 (C)
Foreign - (L) : - (C) 57 (L) : 43 (C) 54 (L) : 45 (C)
Composite - (L) : - (C) 36.3 (L) : 63.7 (C) 47.0 (L) : 53.0 (C)
Interest Group Ratings

The vote ratings by 10 special interest groups provide insight into a lawmaker’s general ideology and the degree to which he or she agrees with the group’s point of view. Two organizations provide just one combined rating for 2011 and 2012, the two sessions of the 112th Congress. They are the ACLU and the ITIC. About the interest groups.

20112012
FRC8050
LCV1111
CFG9087
ITIC-67
NTU9291
20112012
COC94-
ACLU-30
ACU9196
ADA1525
AFSCME14-
Key House Votes

The key votes show how a member of Congress voted on the major bills of the year. N indicates a "no" vote; Y a "yes" vote. If a member voted "present" or was absent, the bill caption is not shown. For a complete description of the bills included in key votes, see the Almanac's Guide to Usage.

    • Pass GOP budget
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • End fiscal cliff
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Find AG in contempt
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Stop student loan hike
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Repeal health care
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Raise debt limit
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Pass cut, cap, balance
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Defund Planned Parenthood
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Repeal lightbulb ban
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Add endangered listings
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Speed troop withdrawal
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Regulate financial firms
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Pass tax cuts for some
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Stop detainee transfers
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Legalize immigrants' kids
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Repeal don't ask, tell
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Limit campaign funds
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Overturn Ledbetter
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass $820 billion stimulus
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Let guns in national parks
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass cap-and-trade
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Bar federal abortion funds
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass health care bill
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Bail out financial markets
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2008
    • Repeal D.C. gun law
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2008
    • Overhaul FISA
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2008
    • Increase minimum wage
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Expand SCHIP
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Raise CAFE standards
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Share immigration data
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Foreign aid abortion ban
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Ban gay bias in workplace
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Withdraw troops 8/08
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • No operations in Iran
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Free trade with Peru
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
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The Almanac is a members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics. Comprehensive online profiles include biographical and political summaries of elected officials, campaign expenditures, voting records, interest-group ratings, and congressional staff look-ups. In-depth overviews of each state and house district are included as well, along with demographic data, analysis of voting trends, and political histories.
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