Monday, October 26, 2009

Tom Campbell Talks to Environmental Defense Fund and San Francisco Business Leaders

 Image retrieved here.

Your BOMA Advocacy Team, along with other business organizations, met recently with California Republican gubernatorial candidate, Tom Campbell.  The following are the highlights from the meeting:
  • Mr. Campbell supports a carbon tax on business but only if they are coupled with a reduction in ordinary business taxes so there is a “net zero” tax impact. He believes a carbon tax would give businesses in California greater flexibility, and is “committed to making it work.” He also thinks a national carbon tax would be preferable to a national cap and trade program.

      • He was supportive of higher gas taxes if they would keep teachers from being laid off, or keep the Pell grants (student loans) from being eliminated. He did believe professors, researchers, and scientists in California’s state universities should be able to retain the patent rights over any discoveries they might make as an incentive to keep the best such professionals in our colleges and universities. (Currently, the schools own any patents that are the result of discoveries of its teaching, or research personnel.)
      • On taxes, Campbell favors a business net receipts tax (BNRT), one of several key recommendations recently released by the Commission for a 21st Century Economy’s, as it simplifies the state’s tax structure, reduces the number of income tax categories from 6 to 2, and reduces the over-dependence on high income individuals, whose income taxes now pay an inordinate amount of the total state tax revenues and are highly volatile. He also believes in lowering the cap gains tax in CA, at least to the current (15%) Federal cap gains tax levels. He did not, however, think the state Legislature will do anything with these tax reform recommendations.
      • In the area of politics, he believes we need to get back to the “radical center”, and to do that with a reform of term limits, an open primary system, and the new way in which re-districting will take place beginning with the 2010 census. He said we need to avoid the extremes, and promote more dialogue among legislators.
      • Campbell opposed SB 375, the legislation that ties carbon emission reductions to new development, because it created a right of action with no standing, and would allow the Air Resources Board to set density standards for local communities. He believes in local sovereignty.
      • Campbell favors the English system of lawsuits: if you lose, you pay all the legal costs for both parties.
      • He also supports convening a state constitutional convention as he believes substantial changes that are needed in our constitution can’t be made by propositions as they would be considered a “revision” (not addition) to the constitution, and thus only can be enacted via a constitutional convention.
      • Campbell also believes that protecting the environment does not have to mean giving up economic development and thinks there is and should be a strong link between the two.
      • Campbell will not keep the cigar tent at the state capitol if he is elected Governor.

      Tom Campbell has a website and can be emailed using  

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