Terry T. Campo founded The Campo Group, Ltd. upon leaving government service in 1988 as both the General Counsel and Director of Legislative (as well as Intergovernmental) Affairs for the federal agency, ACTION, to direct field operations for the George H.W. Bush Presidential campaign. While simultaneously heading both the legal and Congressional Affairs offices under President Reagan, Mr. Campo also served as the agency’s White House Liaison and Representative to the President’s Council on Private Sector Initiatives, then chaired by New York Stock Exchange Chairman John Phelan.
Mr. Campo served most of President Reagan’s second term as a political appointee at the U.S. Department of Energy where, as Special Assistant and chief of staff for the 170-person Office of General Counsel, he was involved in all aspects of U.S. Energy Policy, including serving as the sole legal counsel to the President’s Energy Security Study. That study became the National Energy Policy Plan spanning the re-flagging of Kuwaiti Oil Tankers during the Iran-Iraq War, through the end of America’s first Persian Gulf War. Mr. Campo also served on the Clean Coal Technologies Source Evaluation Board and the Omnibus Stripper Well Settlement implementation committee, overseeing approval of state energy conservation plans. As a Congressional liaison, he oversaw the Energy Department’s cooperation with Investigations of alleged impropriety in the settlement of oil price and allocation control cases, nuclear weapons testing, and the Challenger Space Shuttle Disaster.
While serving on Capitol Hill, Mr. Campo was a counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee under legendary Senator Strom Thurmond (R-SC), and later the General Counsel to Senator Charles E. Grassley (R-IA). There, he led investigations into the use of an exception to Federal Extortion Law that made labor unions useful ‘fronts’ for organized crime activity, and enlisted the endorsement of the legislation to close that loop-hole from the FBI and the President’s Organized Crime Commission. By re-casting the legislation as a ‘crime-fighting tool’ rather than as an anti-union bill, the legislative log-jam—that had kept the legislation from ever having a vote even in Subcommittee—was finally broken; the bill gained 42 co-sponsors as the full Judiciary Committee held a series of hearings documenting the use of extortion and violence. Eventually, the bill reached the Senate Floor where only a Filibuster prevented its passage in 1985.
Mr. Campo also advised Senator Grassley on issues concerning national security and terrorism, including investigations into the links between the Soviet Union, East Germany and Cuban governments in supporting terrorist organizations in Latin America, Western Europe and the Middle-East. Grassley is now the Chairman of the Senate’s Judiciary Committee, the first non-lawyer Chairman in its history, as well as a senior member of the Senate’s Finance and Budget Committees.
Mr. Campo was featured in a NEW YORK TIMES profile of the 2010 Alaska U.S. Senate race where he represented the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee (NRSC) in the unusual circumstances in which incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) lost the GOP primary, but then mounted a successful write-in campaign against the Republican nominee. Murkowski now Chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
In 1996, he recruited delegates for Presidential candidate Steve Forbes in Illinois, and directed the Reagan delegates campaign in Illinois’ 1980 “Blind Primary.” As a political consultant, Mr. Campo served as field director or campaign manager in three statewide contests for State Treasurer and Attorney General of Illinois in the late-1970s, returning to the Reagan Presidential campaign in 1979 and becoming director of Policy Development for a new Illinois Attorney General in 1981 while attending law school.
In 1992 and 1994, Mr. Campo was a candidate for the U.S. Congress in the then-20th District of Illinois seat then-held by current Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), but withdrew to endorse John Simkus, who was later elected and now chairs the Clean Air Subcommittee of the House Energy & Commerce Committee.
Mr. Campo has served as a lawyer for the Republican National Committee (RNC) in four Presidential campaigns, and oversaw legal teams in the field for Senator John McCain (R-AZ) in 2008 and Governor Mitt Romney’s presidential campaigns in 2012. McCain now Chairs the U.S. Senate’s Armed Services Committee.
As a consultant to the RNC, Mr. Campo was the Parliamentarian at fully one-half of all state GOP conventions where national delegates were selected in 2012. Later that year, he was unanimously elected the Rules Committee Parliamentarian at the Republican National Convention in Tampa chaired by Governor John Sununu. Prior to leaving the Reagan Administration, Mr. Campo served as Parliamentarian to the National Volunteer Advisory Board, chaired by former Michigan Governor George Romney.
Campo is a native of the state capitol of Springfield, Illinois, where he worked in the state’s House of Representatives before serving as a press aide for state Attorney General William J. Scott and directing his last re-election campaign. As a law student, Campo returned to the Illinois Attorney General’s office to direct policy development for Scott’s successor (Ty Fahner)–and then ‘clerked’ for the Anti-Trust Division and the law firm of then-state House’ Democratic Leader Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) while waiting for the bar results. He returned to Springfield following service in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush to practice law in 1991, but sought to challenge then-Congressman Dick Durbin for reelection in 1992 & 1994. Campo continues to be active in Illinois politics and public affairs through several organizations.
- He was a founding director of the Illinois Policy Institute — a center-right think tank concentrated on state issues. During his decade on its Board, Campo served as Vice Chair and Treasurer, he edited many of its publications or authored his own op-eds and reports on energy policy and petroleum taxes.
- He now serves on the Board of Directors of The Illinois Group, an association of public affairs and lobbying representatives working in the nation’s capitol on behalf of Illinois largest companies.
- In addition, Campo is the President of the Illinois State Society of Washington, D.C., after having previously served as its Corporate Liaison. He also serves as Vice Chair of the affiliated, Illinois State Society Foundation.
Beginning with Ronald Reagan’s unsuccessful challenge to President Ford, Mr. Campo has held many regional and national positions in the GOP, including advisory or operational roles in seven U.S. Presidential Campaigns and serving as Deputy Director of Election Day Activities for the George H.W. Bush (“41”) campaign in 1988, where he oversaw field legal operations in 26 states. Mr. Campo declined to return to full-time government employment after Bush’s 1988 victory, but did serve as Deputy Director of the incoming President’s Transition Team Office of White House Personnel, and performed similar roles in the compressed time period of 2001 in President George W. Bush’s Presidential Personnel Transition Team. He was in the ‘clearance process’ to become Assistant Secretary of Energy for International Affairs and Domestic Policy when election-year politics prevented Senate Confirmation of new appointments.
Leadership in Political and Tax-Exempt Organizations
Following his service in the 1988 Presidential Campaign and the Bush-Quale Transition Team, Mr. Campo was unanimously elected National Chairman of the Young Republicans in 1989, where he launched a program to recruit YR candidates and target political organizing in state legislative races. Among the candidates recruited from the YR ranks where then-Congressional candidate, later U.S. Senator, Rick Santorum (R-PA) and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), who would become Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. As National Chairman, he served on the Executive Committee of the Republican National Committee under Chairman Lee Atwater, along with Senate GOP Leader Bob Dole (R-KS) and House Minority Leader Bob Michel (R-IL).
Serving as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Young Republican National Federation when the Berlin Wall came down and the Cold War ended, Mr. Campo led the organization into training of young political leaders from the emerging democracies of Eastern Europe and Latin America. Among those trained in these efforts include two former—and one current, Prime Ministers. At the urging of then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and then-West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, he organized a White House Conference founding the International Democrat(ic) Union’s youth organization (IYDU) that created a formal coordinating body for the center-right political parties in the established and new democracies, and became its first Treasurer. Participants in these conferences included future-British Prime Minister David Cameron, the Secretary-General of the European Union, as well as cabinet ministers of Western European nations and Israel. At the time of the IYDU founding in 1991, Campo invited representatives of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev to participate as observers; this group included the lawyer who would draft the Decree permitting the establishment private enterprises in the still-Soviet Union for the first time.
It was in this IYDU capacity that Mr. Campo was invited to deliver a lecture at the former Soviet Academy of the Sciences on the relationship between democracy and capitalism four months after the dissolution of the U.S.S.R., as well as in nationwide television programs, “Panorama” and “Good Evening, Moscow.” He returned to Russia multiple times between 1992 and 1995 to conduct political training in advance of the first free elections for the Russian Federation’s Parliament, making him the first American political consultant to advise major candidates in Russia. He authored the Election Procedures Manual for the Russian Federation under sponsorship of the Kriebel Foundation, and subsequently began advising former Russian Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar’s nascent campaign for President. He has made frequent trips to Russia and its former Soviet Republics conducting training in politics and economics for two decades.
Mr. Campo continues to serve as President of the YR Alumni Network, Inc., a 501(c)(3) charitable and educational foundation formed from the ranks of Young Republican alumni stretching back to the 1930s, whose current members include Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)—a former Kentucky YR Chair—and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) a former Chair of both the California and national YR organizations, as well as Senate Appropriations Chair Roger Wicker (R-MS)—a former Mississippi YR Chair—and former Senate Budget Chair Jeff Sessions (R-AL)—a former Alabama YR Chair, House Foreign Affairs Chair Ed Royce (R-CA), and former House Judiciary Chair James Sensenbrenner (R-WI).
Mr. Campo also remains a founding Director and General Counsel for a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to preserving and maintaining the papers and historically significant buildings on Whittaker Chambers’ beloved Pipe Creek Farm as a National Historic Landmark. In addition, he was a founding director of the Illinois Policy Institute and held various offices during its first decade as it became the preeminent center-right ‘think tank’ and policy advocate in the state of Illinois, and where he authored a number of reports and Op-Eds, concentrated primarily on energy and tax policy.
Mr. Campo currently serves as President of the Illinois State Society of Washington, D.C., serving previously as its Corporate Liaison. He served as Vice President of the Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) prior to assuming a planning role for the 2012 Presidential Campaign cycle.