Retiring Rep. John Campbell continues fundraising

John Campbell

Americans aren’t saving enough for retirement. That’s the conclusion of a new report by the National Institute on Retirement Security, which found that most Americans have little money saved for their golden years.

“We have millions of Americans who have nothing saved for retirement,” Diane Oakley, executive director of the NIRS, told USA Today.

Don’t count Rep. John Campbell among the unprepared.

Last month, the five-term Orange County congressman announced he was retiring from Congress. “I have decided that I will not seek re-election to represent California’s 45th Congressional district in 2014,” Campbell said in a statement on June 27. “At the end of this term, I will have spent 14 years serving in full-time, elected politics.”

Yet, despite the retirement announcement, Campbell posted a sizable second-quarter fundraising haul for his 2014 reelection. The certified public accountant nearly doubled his fundraising total from the previous quarter and even collected campaign checks on the same day of his retirement announcement.

Between April 1 and June 30, Campbell collected $154,454 in campaign contributions and currently sits on $475,073 in cash on hand, according to his most recent 71-page campaign finance report. By comparison, Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Granite Bay, a fellow California conservative who isn’t retiring, reported $135,569 in contributions and maintains $384,718 in cash on hand, according to a campaign report from the same period.

2nd Quarter fundraising nearly doubles from previous quarter

Campbell’s second quarter fundraising was substantially better than the previous quarter, when he reported a meager $82,300 in contributions, according to the 43-page report for the period of January 1 to March 31.

The most puzzling part of the report: Campbell collected $16,900 on June 27, the same day of his retirement announcement. The American Dental PAC and The Irvine Company Employees PAC were among 11 contributors that wrote checks to Campbell’s campaign on the day of his retirement announcement.

This week, in its summary of second quarter congressional fundraising reports, Roll Call’s Emily Cahn pointed out, “Members are not motivated to raise big bucks if they know they won’t need a war chest for another electoral battle.” Does that mean Campbell is considering another campaign, possibly for statewide office?

In his retirement announcement, Campbell left open the possibility of continued political involvement. “My passion for the conservative issues for which I have fought so vocally over that span has not waned,” he wrote.

Campbell spokesman: “Not running for Governor”

Christopher J. Bognanno, a spokesman for Campbell, denied that he is running for another office. “He is not running for governor or any other elected office,” Bognanno said.

Without offering an explanation for the June 27 fundraising activity, Bognanno added that Campbell has offered to refund the contributions or transfer the funds to the National Republican Congressional Committee.

“Congressman Campbell sent a letter to everyone who contributed this month to his campaign offering them a refund, or, if a refund is not wanted, explaining all contributed money will be sent to the NRCC to help ensure the retention of a Republican majority in 2014,” Bognanno said.

California Republican congressmen are no strangers to sitting on large campaign war chests in their golden years. Earlier this year, reported that four former Republican members of Congress — Wally Herger, Elton Gallegly, David Dreier and Jerry Lewis — retained more than $2.2 million in combined cash on hand in federal campaign accounts.

Federal campaign finance rules allow retired members of Congress to make unlimited transfers to state party committees. Several California Republican Party officials urged the former members to use the funds to alleviate the state party’s ongoing financial problems.

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