Matt Campbell on “Iowa Press”

Matt Campbell of Manning, the Democratic nominee for Iowa’s fifth district congressional seat, is this weekend’s guest on “Iowa Press.”  Congressman Steve King (R-Kiron) declined an invitation to be on the program.  (As you may know, King said in late August that Campbell hasn’t earned the chance to debate.)

During the program, Jeneane Beck of Iowa Public Radio asked Campbell about extending the Bush tax cuts.  I asked a follow-up question on the show about the issue because Campbell told The Des Moines Register’s editorial board he favored letting them all expire and increasing the earned income tax credit instead.  (I mistakenly mentioned The Sioux City Journal on the program rather than The Des Moines Register blog post linked above.)

On IPTV this weekend, Campbell had a different message:  extend the Bush tax credits to all. I sent an email and left a voice mail message for Campbell Friday asking for clarification on this.  Neither Campbell nor his campaign have responded.

UPDATE:  Campbell called on Monday.  Campbell said he first proposed extending all the Bush-era tax cuts this spring. Campbell said he’ll search through the campaign email and post the news release on his campaign website.  Campbell said the confusion from his Des Moines Register edit board meeting may have arisen because as a follow-up to his declaration that the Bush-era tax rates should be retained, he talked about taxes on earned wage income, not about the earned income tax credit.

UPDATE II:  Campbell is confused.  The video from his appearance at The Des Moines Register edit board shows he was asked if he would extend the Bush tax cuts.  He basically said no.  Here is the key exchange and I have highlighted the pertinent part:

Q:  What about the Bush tax cuts? Would you extend them?

Campbell: I would not extend them. I will say this, though, I would not raise taxes on any wage income at all. I would want taxes (inaudible). I would let them expire but I would do so in a way, because I think there’s, if they expire, there’s folks who are at  low income thresholds, I think there’s a very marginal tax increase.  I would want to make sure that there is no increase on any sort of wage income whatsoever because I feel that folks  are taxed enough as they are.

During a telephone conversation this morning with me, I asked Campbell about the confusion, since he said on Iowa Press this weekend that he would vote to extend the Bush-era income tax cuts

Jeneane Beck from Iowa Public Radio had asked Campbell an initial question about extending those income tax cuts.  Campbell gave a six-sentence answer (read the whole transcript here), and Beck followed up to ask for clarification on the Bush-era tax cut:

Beck: You’d retain it, though, for everyone?

Campbell: All across the board.

Campbell called me this morning and I told him this: “You’re a tax attorney.  I’m sort of confused as to why you’re not able to articulate this better.”

Campbell replied: “I am a tax attorney and if you’ll sort of slow down, I’ll clarify (about what he said at The Register’s editorial board)…I stated very clearly that I don’t want to raise income taxes at all levels and the confusion, I think, is coming from thereafter in there they said, ‘Well, how would you write that in a law?’…I said, ‘Well, I’m sure there’s a way to write it.  I don’t know whether there’s a sunset or what or if you let whatever piece of legislation is in expire and have new legislation that takes it back to the same rate then that’s fine and you could get it through that way.’ And that’s what I said in the interview.”

UPDATE IIIRead what Kathie Obradovich of The Des Moines Register wrote.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. robin larson says

    Are you kidding me? Congressman Steve King doesnt think Cambell has earned the right to debate him? This scmuck represents every backward thinking hate mongering loon out there and he is the embarrasment to Iowa. Ever catch him and Goehmert from Texas doing their the sky is falling routine on the House floor?