Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tom Campbell said Wednesday he would refrain from pursuing congressional earmark spending for California if elected and does not foresee voting for tax hikes to reduce the federal deficit.
In an interview with The Bee's Capitol Bureau, the former two-time congressman explained why he has not signed a no-new-taxes pledge despite his position against federal tax hikes. GOP primary rivals Carly Fiorina and Assemblyman Chuck DeVore have each signed the Americans for Tax Reform promise.
"I want to have the freedom to represent the people of California as best I can," Campbell said.
"Suppose there's an airline crisis in security, and we need an additional amount of money, and a tax is proposed on airline tickets," he added. "That would be something I could imagine supporting, and that would be something violative of that pledge."
Campbell criticized the notion that money for such programs could be found through curbing "waste, fraud and abuse."
"If that's all you have to offer – waste, fraud and abuse – you're not being candid, you're not paying a compliment to voters of intelligence," Campbell said. "I do not see circumstances where I would support a federal tax increase or a new federal tax for the budget. But I also want to leave myself the freedom that I just discussed."
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