NewsRealBlog did an interview with the front runner, depending on what poll you view, for the California Republican Senate nomination, Tom Campbell. The other two Senatorial candidates were asked to participate but could not find the time for an interview. It was very refreshing to hear Tom Campbell concentrate on his views and opinions instead of bashing his opponents.
NewsRealBlog: What do you consider the three most important issues facing California today?
Tom Campbell: Unemployment which is now at approximately 12.6%. In many of the Central Valley counties it’s as high as 20%. Water, the life blood of our state and its infrastructure which is 50 years old. Education, looking at K-12 it is an absolute failure: we have to regain the competitive advantage.
NRB: If you had a vote would you confirm Elena Kagan?
Campbell: I would not support Kagan as a Supreme Court Justice. She lacks experience in the court room. Until she became Solicitor General a year plus ago: she had never tried a case, argued an appeal, and had no experience in the litigation process. For me it’s the experience issue.
NRB: Would you vote to repeal the health insurance bill?
Campbell: Yes. It is unfair. If my insurance policy has more than what the Federal Government thinks I should have then I will have to pay a 40% excise tax. What is needed is to repeal the insurance company exemption from the anti-trust laws. I guess I was ahead of the game because my first term in Congress I proposed repealing this act to create greater competition.
NRB: Do you support the Arizona immigration law?
Campbell: Yes. Those Pakistanis recently arrested in the Northeast overstayed their visas. Whether it’s the Southern Border with the drug problem or this instance its shows the necessity of controlling who we permit to enter our country. To give a benefit to those who break our laws just encourages others to also break our laws.
NRB: Do you agree with the criticism of the Arizona law, that it violates civil liberties?
Campbell: No. The Arizona law requires those who are not citizens to demonstrate that they are here illegally only when there is reasonable suspicion. I think Arizona is in its Constitutional Right.
NRB: Do you think suspected terrorists should be read their Miranda Rights?
Campbell: The first obligation in questioning a suspected terrorist should be to gain intelligence about an imminent threat. The Miranda warning does not require the giving of that warning. It is not a violation at all to require a person, whether an American citizen or not, to be read their Miranda Rights. The distinction comes if there should be a Federal Court Trial and what evidence will be presented.
NRB: During the debate you said that anyone on the no fly list should not be allowed to buy a gun. Do you still have that opinion?
Campbell: Yes. Our Constitutional Rights under the 5th Amendment gives the right to travel but that is prohibited during the time someone is placed on the no fly list. All of our constitutional rights are enjoyed in the context of an occasional emergency or other serious concerns of our country. If the basis that you are on the no fly list is deadly danger then it applies to buying a gun as well.
NRB: So you think America should support Israel if they take any military action against Iran?
Campbell: Obama should have said a long time ago that if Israel takes a similar step against Iran as they did in Syria the US would support them. This will give pause to Iran. We need to be clear and show support of our allies. There is precedent for tough statements and actions. When Reagan became President the hostages were released and after the bombing of Tripoli Gaddafi started to change his approach.
NRB: What about those that say you voted against Israel?
Campbell: In 1999, President Clinton originally authorized $5 billion in economic aid to Egypt and Israel. I agreed with that. President Clinton asked for $930 million more for Israel which I also agreed to as well. But the Republican leadership in the House took $50 million more from the poorest countries and wanted to give it to Israel and Egypt. I was only against that part of the bill.
NRB: Some have accused you of supporting an Islamic extremist, Sami Al-Arian. Care to comment?
Campbell: He helped me in my 2000 Senate campaign. He had strong ties to the Republican Party. Because he was indicted and tried on charges of supporting terrorism I was accused of supporting a terrorist. That accusation is unfair, unfounded, and would logically apply to President George W. Bush as well since Al-Arian also supported him and contributed to his campaign.
NRB: Do you think you could win against Barbara Boxer?
Campbell: Senator Boxer is one of the biggest spenders in Congress. Compare that to my record in Congress where I was rated one of the most fiscally responsible members of Congress. By the way, people should take note that I voted yes to support the 1st Gulf War and Boxer voted no.
NRB: So you think a Republican can win a senate seat in California in the 2010 election?
Campbell: She has been in office too long. 18 years in the Senate. She shows arrogance. I am convinced she views her being in office as entitlement, not as a public servant. I have the best chance to beat Senator Boxer. In the latest poll I am only one point behind.