Tom Campbell (California politician)

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Tom Campbell
File:Tom Campbell 106th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 15th district
In office
December 12, 1995 – January 3, 2001
Preceded by Norman Mineta
Succeeded by Mike Honda
Member of the California Senate
from the 11th district
In office
January 3, 1993 – December 12, 1995
Preceded by Becky Morgan
Succeeded by Byron Sher
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 12th district
In office
January 3, 1989 – January 3, 1993
Preceded by Ernie Konnyu
Succeeded by Tom Lantos
Personal details
Born Thomas John Campbell
(1952-08-14) August 14, 1952 (age 66)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Susanne Campbell
Alma mater University of Chicago
Harvard University

Thomas John "Tom" Campbell (born August 14, 1952) is the Dean of Chapman University School of Law, a former five-term Republican United States Congressman from California's 12th and 15th districts, former member of the California State Senate, a former professor at Stanford Law School, former dean of the Haas School of Business, and former professor of business administration at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2000 he retired from his House seat to run for the U.S. Senate but lost decisively to incumbent Dianne Feinstein. He served as the Director of Finance for the State of California from 2004 to 2005. On June 8, 2010, he lost his third bid for the United States Senate, and second for the seat held by Democrat Barbara Boxer, losing the Republican nomination to Carly Fiorina.

Early life

Born in Chicago, Campbell was the valedictorian of Chicago's St. Ignatius College Prep, Class of 1969. He went on to obtain his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Chicago (1973), a J.D. from Harvard Law School (1976) and then a subsequent Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago (1980).[1] He served as a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Byron White from 1977 to 1978 and, the year before that, for U.S. Court of Appeals Judge George E. MacKinnon. His mentor was Milton Friedman. Tom Campbell's father was the late Hon. William Joseph Campbell, a former Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. While Tom Campbell was raised in a Democratic family, he became a Republican during college.

Campbell was admitted to the Illinois bar in 1976 and went into private practice in Chicago. He was a White House Fellow in the offices of the Chief of Staff and Counsel (1980–1981).[2] He then served in the Reagan Administration as Director of the Bureau of Competition in the Federal Trade Commission from 1981-1983, the youngest person ever to serve in that position.[2]

Law professor

Campbell became a law professor at Stanford Law School in 1983, receiving tenure as a full professor in 1987.

Congressional and State Senate career

Campbell took a leave of absence in 1988 to run for the Republican nomination in California's 12th Congressional District, which included his home in Campbell and Stanford University. The 12th had traditionally been a moderate Republican bastion, but had grown increasingly friendly to Democrats over the years. Campbell soundly defeated first-term incumbent Ernie Konnyu in the Republican primary and narrowly defeated his Democratic opponent, San Mateo County Supervisor Anna Eshoo. He served two terms before making an unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination for the Senate seat being vacated by Alan Cranston. He lost the Republican primary to a considerably more conservative Republican, Bruce Herschensohn, who in turn was defeated by Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Boxer. His political career might have been in jeopardy in any case; his district had been re-numbered as the 14th District and had been made considerably more Democratic than its predecessor. (It was won by Eshoo, who still holds the seat.)

In 1993, California State Senator Becky Morgan stepped down mid-term, and Campbell won a special election to succeed her. In the California state Senate, Campbell was Chairman of the Housing Committee, Vice Chairman of the Education Committee, and served on the Budget Committee. California Journal rated him the Best Problem Solver in the State Senate, the Most Ethical State Senator, and the overall Best State Senator.

In 1995, 15th District Democratic Congressman Norman Mineta, later the Secretary of Commerce under president Bill Clinton and Secretary of Transportation under George W. Bush, unexpectedly resigned. Campbell's home had been re-drawn into this San Jose-based district, and he ran in the special election. Mineta had held the seat since 1975, and it was widely considered a safe Democratic district. Despite the considerable disadvantage in voter registration and Democratic attempts to tie him to Speaker Newt Gingrich, Campbell won the December special election easily. He won a full term almost as easily in 1996 and was handily re-elected in 1998.

During his two stints in Congress, Campbell was regarded as one of the more moderate House Republicans. He was very liberal on social issues (for instance, he was a strong supporter of abortion and gay rights) while conservative on fiscal matters. This was not surprising, as Bay Area Republicans tend to be somewhat more moderate on social and environmental matters than their counterparts in the rest of California. He has a decided libertarian streak, and remains popular with libertarian-leaning Republicans. As a fiscal conservative, he was the only Republican in the House to vote against the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997.[3]

Campbell led a group of 17 bipartisan members of Congress who filed a lawsuit against President Bill Clinton in 1999 over his conduct of the war in Kosovo. In the filing, they accused Clinton of not reporting to Congress within 48 hours on the status of the action as required by the 1973 War Powers Resolution and not first obtaining a declaration of war from Congress as required in the Constitution. Congress had voted 427 to 2 against a declaration of war with Yugoslavia and had voted to deny support for the air campaign. A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit, ruling that since Congress had voted for funding after the U.S. was actively engaged in the war with Kosovo, legislators had sent a confusing message about whether they approved of the war. Campbell said afterwards that this was a sidestepping of the law, and lawmakers who disagree with a war should not be forced to cut off funding for troops who are in the midst of it in order to get a judge to order an end to it.[4]

In 2000, Campbell won the Republican nomination to take on Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein. Despite touting his service as a Republican representing a strongly Democratic district, he was underfunded and a decided underdog against the popular, heavily financed Feinstein. Campbell was badly defeated, losing by over 19 points. He even lost his own district by almost 15 points. State Assemblyman Mike Honda, a Mineta protege, won Campbell's old seat by 12 points; since then, Republicans have only put up token opposition in that district. Indeed, since Campbell left office, no elected Republicans have represented a significant portion of San Jose above the county level.

In 2008, Campbell wrote in Reason that he would be voting no on Proposition 8 per his Republican beliefs that "government should be limited. Government has no business making distinctions between people based on their personal lives."[5]

Return to legal scholarship

Campbell (right) with Intel founder Gordon Moore and Sun founder Scott McNealy

In 2000, Campbell returned to Stanford. He remained there until his appointment at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley in 2002. In the intervening years, he began to assemble the material, out of his professional political experiences, for his book The Separation of Powers in Practice [6] with Stanford University Press.[7]

As Dean of the Haas School, Campbell stressed the study of corporate social responsibility and business ethics amid an era of corporate scandals. A full-fledged Center for Responsible Business was established. In September 2004, Campbell was named by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to his newly formed Council of Economic Advisors. From 2004 to 2005 Campbell took a leave of absence from his Berkeley post to serve as director of the California Department of Finance in the Schwarzenegger administration.

On August 27, 2007, Campbell announced that he would step down from his position at Haas in the summer of 2008.[8] In mid-2008, Campbell joined the Palo Alto office of Los Angeles-based Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.[9] Campbell joined the Chapman School of Law for a 2-year visiting appointment which began January 2009, serving as the Fletcher Jones Distinguished Visiting Professor at Chapman University School of Law.[10] In February 2011, Chapman announced that Campbell would be its new Dean.[11] Campbell replaced interim Dean Scott Howe, who replaced Dean John C. Eastman, who stepped down to seek the 2010 Republican nomination for Attorney General of California[12] (ironically, Campbell had filed paperwork to seek the 2010 Republican nomination for Governor of California the day after stepping down as Dean of Haas[13] before going on to seek the 2010 Republican nomination for U.S. Senator from California; neither Eastman and Campbell won the Republican nomination in their respective races).

Return to politics

In July 2008, Tom Campbell filed the necessary paperwork in order to establish a committee with the intent to raise funds for a prospective race for the Republican nomination to be Governor of California in 2010.[13]

On January 13, 2010, the Wall Street Journal reported that Campbell would run for the United States Senate, instead of for Governor of California. Campbell's Web Site confirmed it.[14] In the primary on June 8, Campbell finished a distant second to former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, in a race that also included State Assemblyman Chuck DeVore. The primary election received national attention, in part due to a campaign ad released by Carly Fiorina, depicting Campbell as a "Demon Sheep."

Al-Arian controversy

In February 2010, a dispute was triggered by his 2002 letter in defense of Sami Al-Arian. On March 2, 2006, Al-Arian entered a guilty plea to a charge of conspiracy to help the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a "specially designated terrorist" organization;[15] he was sentenced to 57 months in prison, and ordered deported following his prison term.[16]

Campbell said he had not been aware of the charges against Al-Arian when he wrote his January 21, 2002, letter to USF's president, asking USF not to discipline Al-Arian.[17][18][19] He also said he had not been aware that Al-Arian had said, in a speech discussed in an O'Reilly interview before Campbell wrote his letter: "Jihad is our path. Victory to Islam. Death to Israel."[20] Campbell said:

I did not hear, I did not read, I was not aware of statements Sami Al-Arian had made relative to Israel. And I would not have written the letter had I known about those. ... To say 'Death to Israel' is abhorrent, it's horrible.[20]

Campbell said he should have done more research before writing the letter in Al-Arian's defense. While he was not aware of Al-Arian's statements, he said he "should have" been aware of them.[17][20][21][22] “I was wrong,” he said.[21] “I should not have done so. I regret it.”[21] At the same time, however, in the letter itself, Campbell had written: "I read a transcript of the O'Reilly Factor interview".[23]

GOP consultant Ken Khachigian described the matter as "a political misstep".[24]

Electoral history

California 12th Congressional District Primary election, June 7, 1988[25]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Tom Campbell 41,867 58.1
Republican Ernie Konnyu (incumbent) 30,162 41.9
Total votes 72,029 100.0
Voter turnout  %
United States House of Representatives elections, 1988[26]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Tom Campbell 136,384 51.7
Democratic Anna Eshoo 121,523 46.0
Libertarian Tom Grey 6,023 2.3
Total votes 263,930 100.0
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold
United States House of Representatives elections, 1990[27]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Tom Campbell (incumbent) 125,157 60.8
Democratic Robert Palmer 69,270 33.7
Libertarian Chuck Olson 11,271 5.5
Total votes 205,698 100.0
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold
United States Senatorial Republican Primary election (full seat), June 1992[28]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bruce Herschensohn 956,136 38.2
Republican Tom Campbell 895,970 35.8
Republican Sonny Bono 417,848 16.7
Republican Isaac Park Yonker 95,344 3.8
Republican Alexander Swift Eagle Justice 60,110 2.4
Republican John W. Spring 54,941 2.2
Republican John M. Brown 20,710 0.9
Total votes 2,501,069 100.0
Voter turnout  %
California State Senate District 11 Special election, November 2, 1993[29]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Tom Campbell 100,804 60.2
Democratic Hal Plotkin 18,095 10.8
Democratic Amal B. Winter 15,244 9.1
Republican Virgil McVicker 11,251 6.7
Democratic Phil Stokes 8,085 4.9
Libertarian Jon Petersen 5,423 3.2
Independent Nancy Jewell Cross 4,322 2.6
Democratic John J. "Jack" Hickey 4,240 2.5
Total votes 167,464 100.0
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold
California Congressional District 15 Special election, December 12, 1995[30]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Tom Campbell 54,372 58.9
Democratic Jerry Estruth 33,051 35.8
Independent Linh Kieu Dao 4,922 5.3
Independent Connor Vlakancic (write-in) 42 0.0
Total votes 92,387 100.0
Voter turnout  %
Republican gain from Democratic
United States House of Representatives elections, 1996[31]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Tom Campbell (incumbent) 132,737 58.6
Democratic Dick Lane 79,048 34.8
Reform Valli Sharpe-Geisler 6,230 2.7
Libertarian Ed Wimmers 5,481 2.4
Natural Law Bruce Currivan 3,372 1.5
Total votes 226,868 100.0
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold
United States House of Representatives elections, 1998[32]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Tom Campbell (incumbent) 111,876 60.6
Democratic Dick Lane 70,059 37.9
Natural Law Frank Strutner 2,843 1.5
Total votes 184,778 100.0
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold
United States Senatorial Republican Primary election, March 7, 2000[33]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Tom Campbell 1,697,208 56.2
Republican Ray Haynes 679,034 22.5
Republican Bill Horn 453,630 15.1
Republican John M. Brown 68,415 2.2
Republican Linh Dao 64,559 2.1
Republican James Peter Gough 58,853 1.9
Total votes 3,021,699 100.0
Voter turnout  %
United States Senate election in California, 2000[34]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Dianne Feinstein (incumbent) 5,932,522 55.9
Republican Tom Campbell 3,886,853 36.6
Green Medea Benjamin 326,828 3.1
Libertarian Gail Lightfoot 187,718 1.8
American Independent Diane Beall Templin 134,598 1.2
Reform Jose Luis "Joe" Olivares Camahort 96,552 0.9
Natural Law Brian M. Rees 58,537 0.5
Total votes 10,623,608 100.0
Voter turnout  %
Democratic hold

California Republican United States Senate primary, 2010
Candidate Votes Percentage
Carly Fiorina 1,315,429 56.4%
Tom Campbell 504,289 21.7%
Chuck DeVore 452,577 19.3%
Al Ramirez 42,149 1.8%
Tim Kalemkarian 19,598 0.8%
Total votes 2,334,042 100%



  1. "Haas School of Business". April 18, 2007. Retrieved March 19, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 Felde, Marie (May 8, 2002). "Tom Campbell, law professor and former congressman, is top dean choice for UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business". Berkeley Campus News. Retrieved August 28, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Roll Call 245, H.R. 2014, Revenue Reconciliation Act of 1997".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Ron Paul's Congressional office (9 June 1999). "Judge sides with Clinton". U.S. House of Representatives homepage. Archived from the original on June 10, 2007. Retrieved June 12, 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Ending Marriage Discrimination in California: Why Republicans should vote no on Prop 8 Tom Campbell, October 24, 2008
  6. Campbell, Tom (2004). The Separation of Powers in Practice. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. pp. X.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Stanford University Press".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Ex-congressman Campbell plans to step down as Haas School dean
  9. Tom Campbell, Dean of UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, to Join Gibson Dunn June 4, 2008
  10. Chapman University – Faculty – Visiting – Honorable Tom Campbell
  11. "Former Congressman and UC Berkeley Dean, Tom Campbell, Named Dean of Law School". Chapman University School of Law. February 25, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Former Congressman Tom Campbell Appointed Dean of Law School". Chapman Alumni Association. February 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. 13.0 13.1 John Wildermuth (July 9, 2008). "Tom Campbell files papers in governor race". San Francisco Chronicle.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Campbell's Web Site
  15. "Plea Agreement; U.S. v. Al-Arian" (PDF). February 28, 2006. Retrieved March 8, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. MegLaughlin, In his plea deal, what did Sami Al-Arian admit to?, St. Petersberg Times, April 23, 2006.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Mehta, Seema (March 15, 2010). "Letter on Muslim radical roils GOP Senate race; Website posts text contradicting Tom Campbell's claim of writing on behalf of donor Sami Al-Arian before 9/11". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 15, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "Fiorina aide accused of calling Campbell an anti-Semite – San Jose Mercury News". February 25, 2010. Retrieved March 16, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Calif. Senate candidate on defensive over Israel", Associated Press, March 9, 2010, accessed March 15, 2010
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 "Tom Campbell letter stokes controversy over ties to jihadist". Mercury News. March 9, 2010. Retrieved March 14, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Marelius, John (March 14, 2010). "Fiorina lashes out at Boxer, 'destructive elitism'; Senate candidate, opponents squabble at GOP convention". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved March 17, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. McLaughlin, Ken, "Candidates for California governor promise to release income tax returns," Mercury News, March 13, 2010, accessed March 17, 2010
  23. Campbell, Tom, "Letter to President Genshaft", January 21, 2002, accessed March 17, 2010
  24. [1] Archived April 13, 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  25. Our Campaigns "California District 12 – Republican Primary Race," (retrieved on August 6, 2009).
  26. Office of the Clerk of the United States House of Representatives "Statistics of the Presidential and Congressional Election of November 8, 1988," (retrieved on August 6, 2009).
  27. Office of the Clerk of the United States House of Representatives "Statistics of the Presidential and Congressional Election of November 6, 1990," (retrieved on August 6, 2009).
  28. U.S. Election Atlas "1992 Senatorial Republican Primary Election Results – California," (retrieved August 6, 2009).
  29. Join California: Election History for the State of California "November 2, 1993 Special Election," (retrieved on August 6, 2009).
  30. Join California: Election History for the State of California "December 12, 1995 Special Election," (retrieved on August 6, 2009).
  31. Office of the Clerk of the United States House of Representatives "Statistics of the Presidential and Congressional Election of November 5, 1996," (retrieved on August 6, 2009).
  32. Office of the Clerk of the United States House of Representatives "Statistics of the Presidential and Congressional Election of November 3, 1998," (retrieved on August 6, 2009).
  33. Office of the California Secretary of State "United States Senator," (retrieved on August 6, 2009).
  34. Office of the California Secretary of State "United States Senator," (retrieved on August 6, 2009).

External links

Online political profiles

Campbell has a large number of detailed online profiles
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Ernie Konnyu
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 12th congressional district

Succeeded by
Tom Lantos
Preceded by
Norman Mineta
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 15th congressional district

Succeeded by
Mike Honda
California Senate
Preceded by
Becky Morgan
Member of the California State
from the 11th district

Succeeded by
Byron Sher
Party political offices
Preceded by
Michael Huffington
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from California
(Class 3)

Succeeded by
Dick Mountjoy
Academic offices
Preceded by
Laura Tyson
Dean of the Haas School of Business
Succeeded by
Richard Lyons
Preceded by
John Eastman
Dean of the Chapman University School of Law