Guv Taps Campbell As New Budget Chief

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At a Capitol news conference this morning, Governor Schwarzenegger announced his new director of the Department of Finance will be Tom Campbell.

The 52-year-old Republican is a familiar face in California politics, having served in the state Senate (1993-95) and the U.S. House of Representatives (1988-1993, and again from 1995-2001). The Silicon Valley politician lost to Dianne Feinstein in the race for the U.S. Senate in 2000. He has most recently been serving as dean of the Haas School of Business at UC-Berkeley.

Campbell already had close ties to the governor, as a member of Schwarzenegger's new Council of Economic Advisors.

But the event will likely be remembered because of the governor's final words at the news conference. When asked what he thought of comments by some Democrats that tax increases might need to be considered next year, he said "Why would I listen to losers?"

He went on to say that local tax proposals across the state were defeated on Tuesday, sending a clear signal about the intent of voters.

"The Democrats, and all of those things that they have proposed on tax increases have lost. So therefore, why would we go and follow a losing formula?"

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About John Myers

John Myers is senior editor of KQED's new multimedia California Politics & Government Desk.  He has covered California politics for most of the past two decades -- serving previously as Sacramento bureau chief for KQED News and, most recently, as political editor for KXTV News10 (ABC) in Sacramento. He moderated the only gubernatorial debate of 2014, and was named one of the nation's top statehouse reporters by The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter @johnmyers.

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