Orange County Business Journal Executive Editor Rick Reiff is a clear-headed, economic conservative not prone to alarmism or over-heated rhetoric -- which makes his commentary on the results of the 48th CD special election (published in the current OCBJ) worth reading:
By Rick Reiff
Orange County Business Journal Staff
JOHN CAMPBELL WON THE RUNOFF IN THE FORTY-EIGHTH Congressional District for the “Chris Cox seat.” It was no surprise. But it’s still welcome news for business.
Campbell, like the man he replaces, is a fiscal hawk, a champion of entrepreneurs and a foe of burdensome government. On key votes regarding taxes, the economy and most anything else, it probably will seem like Cox never left.
In fact, some observers have called Campbell a “Cox clone,” a term not always meant flatteringly but embraced nonetheless by Campbell, even if it misses the nuances.
Yes, both are Republican, conservative, bright, preppy, USC-graduated and professionally pedigreed (law for Cox, accounting for Campbell). Both are excellent writers who like to have their opinions published.
But Cox is a powerful and patient intellectual who loves finding bipartisan consensus. His biggest congressional victories—a moratorium on Internet taxes, a phasing out of the death tax, a clampdown on trial lawyers—were brilliantly conceived, slowly achieved and often qualified.
Campbell is less patient, even hyper at times. Where Cox is an eloquent speaker, Campbell is non-stop. As a state lawmaker, Campbell has been less about consensus than confrontation, though that may owe in part to the leftist leadership he has had to contend with.
But Campbell also may prove a little bolder than Cox, who was cautious to a fault. Campbell was among the first lawmakers to back the Gray Davis recall, with money as well as words. Even his decision to run for Congress was quick and emphatic, clearing the decks of serious challengers.