Posts Tagged ‘politics’

My Announcement

Written by Jeff Johnson on January 25th, 2011. Posted in General

This morning I launched my campaign for Republican National Committeeman by sending the following email out to party activists in Minnesota:

We have a wonderful opportunity in a few months to elect a new Republican National Committeeman who can redefine the role of that position in a very positive way.

I am writing to announce that I’m running for the Republican National Committeeman position currently held by Brian Sullivan. Brian and Evie Axdahl (our National Committeewoman) announced last week that they will not run for reelection at our upcoming Republican State Central committee meeting in Minneapolis on April 16. Evie and Brian both deserve our thanks for their many years of service to the Republican cause.

Now it’s time to look forward; our selection of a new committeeman will determine what this position will look like in 2012 and beyond.

First, a little background: I’m a father and husband, lifelong Republican activist, youth football and baseball coach, Sunday school and confirmation teacher, small business owner, Hennepin County Commissioner and former member of the Minnesota House of Representatives.

I was proud to count myself as one of the most conservative members of the Minnesota legislature in both fiscal and social matters during my six years in the House and am proud today to count myself as a loud, clear and frequently lone conservative voice on the Hennepin County Board.

Did Hundreds of Felons Vote in Hennepin County?

Written by Jeff Johnson on July 26th, 2010. Posted in General

An update on the investigation of Minnesota Majority’s report

Two weeks ago, the story broke about Minnesota Majority’s investigation alleging that felons, possibly by the hundreds, had illegally voted in Hennepin and Ramsey counties in the 2008 election. Some of the news coverage suggested that the Hennepin County Attorney’s office was not taking the allegations seriously or was dragging its feet in its investigation of the Minnesota Majority’s report.

These allegations are serious – going to the very heart of our democratic process. The integrity of our elections in Minnesota took a big hit already when we learned how inconsistently absentee ballots were counted throughout the state. To suggest that hundreds of felons illegally voted on top of that would seriously damage citizens’ faith in Minnesota’s ability to run fair and clean elections.

Over the course of the past week, I’ve spoken with Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and his Deputy County Attorney who handles election fraud cases several times. Here’s the scoop regarding HennCo’s actions with respect to these allegations:

Do Republicans Get What Happened in Massachusetts Last Week?

Written by Jeff Johnson on January 25th, 2010. Posted in General

We’re Not Going to Win 2010 by Default

It’s been wild listening to some prominent Democrats this past week who seem completely clueless as to the message behind the amazing Republican victory in Massachusetts. Some are arguing that their candidate was bad or that local issues mattered or that Obama hasn’t been liberal enough (or conservative enough). Martha Coakley, the Democrat who lost the seat, stated in her concession speech that she lost partly because people are “angry about our two wars and our inability to properly care for those who return home after fighting.”

I suppose there is some anger out there about those issues, but that’s not the tenth of it. The citizens of Massachusetts and America are angry for a much, much bigger reason: Government is completely, utterly and infuriatingly out of control!

Shakespeare, Vulgar Metaphors and the Golden Hydrant

Written by Jeff Johnson on September 30th, 2009. Posted in General

Minnesota 2020’s Highbrow Critique of the Golden Fire Hydrant

Earlier this month I presented a Golden Hydrant Award to the Property Tax Study Project through which the county uses taxpayer dollars each year to lobby for higher taxes on those same taxpayers. The Project is essentially a contract with one individual, Jeff Van Wychen, who is a fellow with the progressive think tank Minnesota 2020 (founded by DFL gubernatorial candidate Matt Entenza).

Recently, John Van Hecke, Minnesota 2020’s Executive Director, posted a critique of my post:

When a research study reveals a disconcerting truth, readers can challenge and refute the report’s findings or they can fallaciously attack it. I’m always disappointed when an elected official chooses the latter course. I’m especially disappointed when a leader tips into vulgar pandering.

Hennepin County Commissioner and conservative public policy activist Jeff Johnson regularly strides into divisive territory, advancing a conservative policy vision by attacking the public, operational expression of community values. “Hennepin County Taxpayer Watchdog,” Johnson’s campaign blog that appears to be a regular element of his official communications strategy, periodically bestows “the Golden Fire Hydrant” award on whomever he feels is most at odds with his conservative worldview, or at least as it relates to Hennepin County and Minnesota.

That’s fine. Really. Strongly expressed public opinions are essential to our democracy. I’d rather Commissioner Johnson share his views than keep them to himself. He is being, in this regard, a responsible elected official and a good citizen.

Closer reading, however, raises an uncomfortable question. Does he really need to pander in order to advocate his conservative public policy agenda?

First, the “watchdog/fire hydrant metaphor.” Commissioner Johnson wishes us to understand that the responsible exercise and delivery of community services is equivalent to a dog urinating on a fire hydrant.

Actually, no. I believe the irresponsible exercise and delivery of community services is equivalent to a dog urinating on a fire hydrant. That’s the whole point of my silly little award (and I’ll be the first to admit that it’s nothing more than a silly little award).


Written by Jeff Johnson on July 22nd, 2009. Posted in General

We should all thank Pawlenty for axing the Political Contribution Refund program

Last month, Governor Pawlenty killed the Minnesota political contribution refund (“PCR”) program as part of his budget-balancing unallotment.  Although I used that program quite effectively for six years as a candidate for both the Minnesota House and Attorney General, I’m happy to see it go.

Unfortunately, there are already groups attempting to revive this program in the upcoming legislative session.

The PCR law provided that every Minnesota taxpayer could give $50 to the state office-seeker or political party of his or her choice and be fully reimbursed by the state.  All you had to do was write your check, mail in a receipt from the recipient of your contribution and you would soon receive a reimbursement check from the State of  Minnesota.  In other words, you chose who received a $50 contribution and the rest of Minnesota’s taxpayers would ante up for that choice.

Sanford and Ensign Gotta Go

Written by Jeff Johnson on June 28th, 2009. Posted in General

Mark Sanford and John Ensign Should Resign

My beautiful wife and I just returned from a great weekend get-away to Baltimore for our 16th wedding anniversary. On the flight home today I read several newspapers; each one having a story about the GOP “brand” being further tarnished by those Republican officeholders who just can’t seem to keep their pants zipped up.

These stories – stemming of course from the recent admissions of infidelity by Sen. John Ensign and Governor Mark Sanford – force the following question: What should a party of values do about public officials who cheat while in office?

Bottom line for me, if you can’t keep your marital vows while in office, you should resign.

Pulitzer Prize Material (in my humble opinion)

Written by Jeff Johnson on June 3rd, 2009. Posted in General

Minnesota Finance & Commerce published a front-page story about this blog and our first two Golden Hydrant awards yesterday, including a response from Hennepin County Board Chairman Mike Opat.  It was a balanced and fair assessment:

Hennepin County Commissioner Johnson takes his budget scrutiny online

by Bob Geiger Staff Writer

After being on the short end of many 6-1 votes, Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson has launched an Internet weblog to help police fiscal spending by the seven-member board governing Minnesota’s most populous county.

Johnson, a former Republican House member who in 2008 succeeded Penny Steele election in the county’s sprawling Seventh District, is criticizing excessive or wasteful spending in his Hennepin County Taxpayer Watchdog blog.

Perception of Tea Parties was Incorrect

Written by Jeff Johnson on April 27th, 2009. Posted in General

This wasn’t about taxes or guns or name-your-right-wing-bogeyman. It was about a federal government gone berserk.

I’ve found it entertaining to watch the media and those of a liberal political bent (sorry if I’m being redundant) paint the Tea Parties that took place recently around the country as an amalgamation of seething right-wing kooks carrying “I ♥ my AK-47” signs.

I was at the Tea Party in St. Paul. I apparently hung out at the wrong end of the Capital grounds, though, because I missed all of those angry, extremist, Obama-haters who I’m told were there.