Gary Johnson Grassroots Blog

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Gary Johnson: GOP Candidates Are 'Fluff'


For all the speculation about Rick Perry’s presidential potential, Gary Johnson feels certain the campaign would fall flat — if only because America isn’t ready to put another Texas governor in the White House.

“Have you ever heard Rick Perry talk? I thought when I listened to him talk, I thought he was doing a parody of George Bush. And I was looking around to see if anyone else saw the humor in that. And it wasn’t. It was just the way that he talked,” said Johnson, the former New Mexico governor who’s running his own long shot campaign.

That’s not Perry’s only problem: he’s another in a long list of “status quo,” politicians focused more on “fluff” than specifics, Johnson said in a conversation with POLITICO on Thursday, explaining why he’s running his own long shot presidential campaign against them.

Johnson also mocked Tim Pawlenty’s latest ad in Iowa for a line touting a decision to send Minnesota National Guard troops to defend the border.

“I live in New Mexico,” Johnson said. “Let me tell you, that was a waste of money.”

Johnson said he never sent his own National Guard troops to the border during his eight years as governor, “And if they would have requested it in Minnesota, I would have said, ‘You know, isn’t that an issue you should be dealing with?’” he said.

Though he’s a libertarian like Ron Paul, Johnson said that his resume and experience dealing with the blowback from signing 750 vetoes gave him more proof than Paul has that he’d be able to act on his ideology.

“Unlike Ron Paul, who registered his principled no vote and woke up the next day to do it again, I registered a no vote that actually stuck,” he said. “So the debate and the discussion was a little hotter.”

Johnson’s drawing single-digit support in early polls, if he registers at all. But all those are measuring so far, he said, is name recognition.

As for Herman Cain, who’s been doing well despite never holding office or running outside of Georgia, Johnson attributes that showing to having a name that sounds similar to one Republican voters already know well.

“I think Herman Cain, I think a lot of that has to do with ‘McCain,’” Johnson said.

Johnson’s fellow candidates aren’t the only ones he’s critical of — he called on Congress to resist raising the debt limit and instead just pass a resolution to pay interest on the debate and prioritize the nation’s obligations.

The candidate said he didn’t want to discount the hardship and market turmoil that would result in voting against the hike, but he said it will be “pale in comparison” to the bond market collapse when no one wants to buy U.S. debt.

“That is the collapse,” he said, predicting that the country’s AAA rating will get downgraded regardless.

As for his own future, Johnson is defiant. Even after failing to land a spot in the last GOP primary debate, the former New Mexico governor is convinced that his libertarian-leaning message will resonate with voters.

Johnson is concentrating on wooing independent-minded voters in New Hampshire, where he has three full-time staffers, one of whom is unpaid. While he’s skipping the Ames Straw Poll and not expecting to compete much in Iowa, Johnson’s hoping to be stage during the next Republican primary debate, right before Ames — though he was kept out of the last debate, in New Hampshire.

“This is the course that I’m plotting out there: at some point this would go viral,” he said.

Though he also acknowledged the reality that he hasn’t gone viral yet.

“It hasn’t even come close to doing that,” he said. “I’m like at zero.”

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A "Money Avalanche" instead of "Money Bombs"

Gary Johnson supporters have created "Money Avalanche" for Johnson's presidential campaign.

Ron Paul immortalized the Money Bomb. Since Governor Gary Johnson is an avid skier supporters decided a Money Avalanche was more appropriate.

The Money Avalanche started on July 22 with a goal of raising $1 (yes one dollar). The goal doubles the next day to $2, then $4 a so on. You might of tried doing this in grade school doubling a penny every day of the month. While it starts slow the momentum builds and you are looking at some pretty real numbers.

The goal is to raise approximately one million dollars for Johnson by the Ames Debate on August 11.

There is Facebook event created and the ability to sign up for daily e-mail status updates on the money avalanche page.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Gary Johnson Slams DOJ, Defends Gun Rights

By Chris W
The Libertarian Patriot

Unlike the current occupant of the White House, the former New Mexico Governor has a spine.

Last week Governor Johnson blasted the FAMiLY LEADER "Marriage Vow" pledge as being offensive and now he is taking President Obama and the Justice Department to task in defense of gun owners after the DOJ tightened gun purchase regulations along the southwest border, in the wake of Operation Fast and Furious.

Gary Johnson 2012
"This is the same Department of Justice that thought it was a good plan to intentionally allow hundreds of firearms to be smuggled into Mexico in a disastrous effort to somehow follow the trail of those guns to the bad guys. Now, the DOJ’s plan to address gun trafficking is to require law-abiding citizens in border states to be reported and entered into a federal database for buying perfectly legal rifles from licensed dealers.

Not only will this requirement do absolutely nothing to curb violence on either side of the border, it is yet another unacceptable infringement on fundamental 2nd Amendment rights. It is an outrage that this Administration is using border violence as an excuse to add the names of more law-abiding gun owners to their database. The President and his Attorney General need to get off the backs of American gun owners, and focus on policies that will actually work to stop border violence – without eroding basic constitutional rights."
Gary Johnson, like many others, realizes that government created the problem and trampling on our Constitutional rights is not the solution. For them to facilitate the sale of 1500 guns to the Mexican drug cartels and then to turn around and point to border violence as the justification for making it harder for law abiding citizens to purchase weapons is hypocrisy in the highest form.

We need more people like Gov Johnson who will fight to prevent Leviathan from stripping us of our freedoms.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Gary Johnson Calls FAMiLY LEADER Pledge “Offensive and Unrepublican”


July 9, 2011, Las Vegas, Nevada – Presidential candidate and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson charged today in a formal statement through his campaign that the FAMiLY LEADER “pledge” Republican candidates for President are being asked to sign is “offensive to the principles of liberty and freedom on which this country was founded”. Governor Johnson also plans to further state his position against the FAMiLY LEADER pledge this afternoon in Las Vegas, NV at a speech he will deliver at the Conservative Leadership Conference.

Johnson went on to state that “the so-called ‘Marriage Vow” pledge that FAMiLY LEADER is asking Republican candidates for President to sign attacks minority segments of our population and attempts to prevent and eliminate personal freedom. This type of rhetoric is what gives Republicans a bad name.

“Government should not be involved in the bedrooms of consenting adults. I have always been a strong advocate of liberty and freedom from unnecessary government intervention into our lives. The freedoms that our forefathers fought for in this country are sacred and must be preserved. The Republican Party cannot be sidetracked into discussing these morally judgmental issues — such a discussion is simply wrongheaded. We need to maintain our position as the party of efficient government management and the watchdogs of the “public’s pocket book”.

“This ‘pledge’ is nothing short of a promise to discriminate against everyone who makes a personal choice that doesn’t fit into a particular definition of ‘virtue’.

While the FAMiLY LEADER pledge covers just about every other so-called virtue they can think of, the one that is conspicuously missing is tolerance. In one concise document, they manage to condemn gays, single parents, single individuals, divorcees, Muslims, gays in the military, unmarried couples, women who choose to have abortions, and everyone else who doesn’t fit in a Norman Rockwell painting.

The Republican Party cannot afford to have a Presidential candidate who condones intolerance, bigotry and the denial of liberty to the citizens of this country. If we nominate such a candidate, we will never capture the White House in 2012. If candidates who sign this pledge somehow think they are scoring some points with some core constituency of the Republican Party, they are doing so at the peril of writing off the vast majority of Americans who want no part of this ‘pledge’ and its offensive language.

Via Memeorandum

Friday, July 8, 2011

Gary Johnson's 3 Part Plan For Job Growth

So simple it fits on a postcard.


July 8, 2011, Sante Fe, NM – Presidential candidate Gary Johnson has responded to today’s dismal jobs report by sending the White House and Congress a plan for kick-starting private sector job creation – and the plan fits on a postcard.

Urging three immediate steps: Eliminating the corporate income tax; cutting spending immediately by $300 billion to offset the temporary loss of revenue; and directing that regulations and their implementation meet a standard of creating certainty for employers, Johnson said, “With a June unemployment rate of 9.2% and the fewest new jobs added in nine months, it’s time for Washington to stop fiddling while Rome is burning. We’ve tried government ‘stimulus’ – all it did was bankrupt us. We’ve heard a lot of talk about cutting spending and reducing job-killing debt, but it hasn’t happened. And now we’re watching as our leaders quibble over tax loopholes and long-term spending reductions that may or may not actually happen.

“Americans can’t wait any longer for the hand-wringing to produce results. If Congress would do three simple things, and they could do them next week with straight up –or-down votes, I guarantee that we would see historic job creation almost overnight.

“First, instead of giving lip service to the need to reduce the corporate tax rate, just eliminate the tax altogether. It is double taxation, and the current 35% rate is among the highest of producing nations. Eliminate it, and instead of watching jobs go overseas, we would see the U.S. become the undisputed job magnet of the world.

“Recognizing that eliminating the corporate tax may cause a temporary loss of revenue and increase the deficit – at least on paper, Congress and the President can, next week, mandate immediate spending reductions of $300 billion. If they need help figuring out how to do that, I’m available. One place to start might be the wars and nation-building we don’t need to be fighting or doing. Clearly, more cuts are needed, and as president, I would submit a balanced budget for 2013.

“Finally, one can argue that the greatest obstacle to job creation in the private sector is uncertainty. From the dark cloud of health care reform and its costs to a host of other regulatory machinations coming from Washington, investors and employers have no clue what their costs are going to be or what the competitive landscape will be going forward. The President has tremendous power to adjust or even stop regulatory policies and enforcement that are preventing job creation, and the Administration and Congress need to focus like a laser on doing so.

“The politicians in DC like to make us think these types of actions are complicated and difficult. They aren’t. Certainly, we need comprehensive tax reform, such as a FairTax. And we need to cut trillions, not billions, from spending and balance the budget. And not all regulations are evil. But right now, today, we are in crisis. These simple, straightforward, steps will do more to create millions of jobs in America – quickly – than all the stimulus and budget hand-wringing Washington has ever dreamed of. And yes, if they wanted to, Congress and the President could do these three things next week.”

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson Signs Cut, Cap And Balance Pledge


July 7, 2011, Sante Fe, NM – Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson today signed the Cut, Cap and Balance pledge, which opposes raising the debt ceiling unless certain conditions are met including substantial spending cuts, enforceable spending caps and passage of the Balance Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Signing the pledge Governor Johnson said, “With the debt limit deadline approaching quickly, signing this pledge is an easy decision. It’s easy because it represents the minimum Congress and the Administration should do before even considering the approval of more borrowing.

“Frankly, my only hesitation in signing it is that it doesn’t demand enough – quickly enough,” Johnson said. “We can balance the budget now, and if it takes a debt limit hammer to make it happen, then so be it. The alternative is once again postponing our financial reckoning, and we have had enough postponements already.”

The Cut, Cap and Balance pledge originated from a coalition made up of over 60 conservative and 133 tea party groups, including Let Freedom Ring, 60 Plus Association, FreedomWorks, Americans for Prosperity, and the Tea Party Express.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Johnson's Private Prisons

I’ve seen several people spam on Facebook or Twitter how private prisons are evil and by association Johnson must be too since he privatized prisons in New Mexico.

I had the opportunity to speak with Johnson about this. As with most stories, there is more to it than the private prison opponents probably realize themselves.

When Johnson became Governor the state of New Mexico had serious problems with prison over crowding. The courts ordered that the overcrowding issue be addressed and the prisons were being run by the courts or federal government at the time Johnson took office. The court order was a result of the overcrowding which was in part blamed for the “New Mexico Penitentiary Riot”. This riot is listed as one of the top 25 riots of all time resulting in 33 deaths and 200 injuries at the state run prison. The NM legislature would not approve any additional funds to build more prisons so Johnson looked to more innovative solutions.

The solution that Johnson implemented was to use private companies to build and run new prisons. These prisons ran at a much lower cost than the government-run prisons even when amortizing-in the initial construction costs. Johnson was responsible for finally meeting the two-decade-old court order to end the overcrowding New Mexico, and I think rightly should take credit for his accomplishment.

Opponents to the private prisons in NM point out that three inmates were stabbed to death and a guard was killed in a separate incident in the new private prisons. I asked Johnson about the issues in the private prisons were having in 1999 and he said that it did make a lot of news, but it was dealt with and there weren’t any more problems reports in the news that he recalled during the rest of his term. (While all death is a tragedy this pales in comparison to the “New Mexico Penitentiary Riot”.)

What about private prison companies lobbying for more prisoners?
Johnson said he never had seen anything related to this. I tend to believe Johnson when he makes statements like this. He’s not your typical politician, he's honest and straightforward, and he’s really a businessperson who got into politics to make a difference so he has nothing to gain from lying nor lose from telling the truth.

(Follow the Prison Money Trail - Johnson’s successor did receive a large amount of money from the private prison lobby so it is something that shouldn’t be ignored. Johnson’s position on ending the drug war would free up a lot of prison space so the argument that Johnson might be bought off by private prison lobby because they want to arrest more people so they can create more prisons holds no water in relation to Johnson.)

What is the state of the prisons in New Mexico today?

“New Mexico’s prisons are experiencing the lowest population and the lowest incidences of violence in their history. Great progress has been made towards improving housing conditions, inmate safety, and opportunities for treatment, education, and rehabilitation.” -- Attorney General’s Task Force Report on Correctional Facilities Oversight for House Memorial 72 in 2008 (Office of New Mexico).

The detractors of private prisons do raise serious issues, but there were even more serious issues with the prisons when Johnson took office. With no financial support from the legislature to correct the problems, he had to think entrepreneurially and came up with a solution that solved the problem within the budget he had to work with.

Monday, July 4, 2011

We Need Another Declaration Of Independence

By Gary Johnson

As I’ve traveled the country over the past many months, I have been known on occasion to ask crowds, given what’s going on in Washington, DC, if they want a Revolution. Now that I am a declared candidate for president, I’ve tried to cut down on the references to revolution – with the amount of travel I do, it would be really inconvenient to end up on a government watch list.

But as we celebrate Independence Day, it is entirely appropriate to consider the possibility that we need another Declaration of Independence. There’s nothing wrong with the old one. I just think we perhaps need another one.

While the list of grievances that prompted the original Declaration was quite long, and included much that doesn’t apply — yet — when it comes to our relationship with our own federal government, there are a couple that jump off the page when you look at them today.

Consider this: Much of the motivation behind the Declaration of Independence in 1776 stemmed from repressive taxation. The Tea Act, the Stamp Act…..we all remember the history lesson. What we sometimes forget, though, is what brought those taxes about: Britain was heavily in debt. Much of that debt was the consequence of having engaged in several costly wars in a short period of time – including the French and Indian War.

Lacking financing options, Britain turned to taxing the Colonies to erase the red ink – justifying it in part on the basis that the colonists were made more secure by that war. With a debt ceiling about to be breached and the government’s financing options becoming more limited, and some of the rhetoric we are hearing from the White House and others, does that scenario sound familiar or what?

Also chief among the grievances which prompted the Declaration was the chronic abuse by monarchy in Britain of its right to “Assent to Laws”. Laws passed by the colonies, before they could take effect or be enforced, had to be “assented” to by the Crown – and the Crown used that right to block the colonies from governing themselves and adapting their own laws to their own needs, innovations and best interests.

While the governance structure is a little different, is there any real dispute that our federal government has quite successfully created its own right of “Assent” in far too many areas of our lives and economy? Go to any state in the union, and you will find innovations, ideas and priorities that have the support of the legislature or governor, but which are blocked by the Feds. Health care, Medicaid, highway construction, gun rights, education, drug laws – the list goes on and on of issues in which the states are not even remotely free to act without the permission of an all-knowing federal government. Just this week, the Department of Justice once again reminded the states that implementing medicinal marijuana laws could bring the full weight of the federal government down on them. All across the country, states are having to submit health care and Medicaid plans to Washington for permission to innovate, save money, and fashion programs that might actually work without bankrupting us.

Let there be no mistake; our government in Washington has done a masterful job of reestablishing the right to Assent of Laws. We may not have to wait for the King’s blessing any more, but if you are a governor or state legislature, just try doing something innovative or important with the Assent of Washington.

And of course, there is whole notion of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Washington’s interference in those would require a book.

Yes, perhaps the time has come for a new Declaration of Independence – or at least a refresher course on the old one. The good news: As I travel the land and talk with Americans of all political persuasions and walks of life, it is clear that the same spirit of independence, the same desire for liberty, and the same willingness to push back against over-reaching government that created this great nation is alive and well today.

Americans are once again demanding Independence – and I am confident we will once again prevail.