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Jeff Johnson is the GOP-endorsed candidate for governor of Minnesota. And it sounds like he’s just bursting with great ideas. (This is from Alliance for a Better Minnesota.)
 

 
Another blogger here recently wrote about the facts and figures regarding the Minnesota/Wisconsin economic disparity. When doing something led to really bad results, wanting to do it again is just plain stupid. I’m passing the following along, also.
 

Before he was talking about taking on unions, Walker promised in 2010 that over four years the state would add 250,000 private sector jobs.
 
“I want my Cabinet secretaries to have branded across their heads, ‘250,000 jobs,'” Walker said at a December 2010 meeting of the Dairy Business Association. “I want them to know their job is on the line because my job is on the line to create 250,000 jobs in the private sector.”
 
That bravado is long gone.
 
More than three years into his term, Walker is far short of fulfilling the promise, and he hears about it almost every day on the campaign trail and as talk continues about his potential prospects as a 2016 presidential candidate.
 
Although the post-recession recovery is adding jobs here, Wisconsin is lagging all but one of nine Midwestern states in that category. The mood of the electorate is uneasy.

I’m not recommending complacency, but we Minnesotans may not have a whole heck of a lot to worry about, in any case.
 

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The boy carved out of wood, Pinocchio;
when he lies, his nose grows
but business doesn’t

On the Sunday Morning June 1st edition of WCCO Sunday Morning, in an interview with Esme Murphy, Jeff Johnson, MN GOP endorsed candidate for Governor of Minnesota made the statement that Minnesota came in last – in 51st place, behind the District of Columbia in economic growth.  He then qualified that, when challenged  by Murphy, to last in small business creation.

 

I cannot find ANY source which factually supports such a statement, and Johnson did not give one in the interview.  We are NOT last in any form of business creation, including small business.  Jeff Johnson appears to have told a lie to advance his candidacy for governor, one that is easily checked.

 

I have long contended that conservatives believe things which are not true, which are factually false, and asserted that this is particularly true in the area of economics.  Republican economics do not work.  Republican math does not reflect accurate or functional numerical values.
What I DID find in the course of my fact checking was a surprising figure for where Minnesota stands, in comparison to other states, from a very right wing source,one funded by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a far right source, and their subsidiary organization, Free Enterprise.com., which measures some 30 different economic factors.

 

Is Jeff Johnson, MN GOP endorsed candidate for governor, the model for the figure of a lying Pinocchio?


In business creation performance, Minnesota ranked 15th
; in both the areas of infrastructure and what they term the ‘talent pipeline’ which compares the levels of education of our workforce – a key business component, Minnesota ranked 6th.

Minnesota is ranked 6th in this year’s report for its solid talent pipeline and workforce education system. The Land of 10,000 Lakes has the 2nd most educated young workforce, and its higher education system is the 4th most productive in degrees per 18- to 24-year-old.

And here is what the site said about our infrastructure – another component essential to business, including small business start ups:

While it may be known for the tragic Interstate 35 bridge collapse in 2007, Minnesota has the lowest share of structurally deficient or functionally obsolete bridges. The Governor’s Task Force on Broadband recently released a set of policy recommendations to improve deployment across the state, including targeted tax credits, expanded public access, more coordination efforts, and allowing broadband conduit to be installed in concert with highway projects.

Minnesota’s Transportation Economic Development Program offers grants to communities, covering up to 70% of the cost of transportation infrastructure installation or improvements for business expansion in targeted industries, including manufacturing and biosciences. Governor Mark Dayton has proposed continued funding for the program, citing its ability to leverage private investment, increase the tax base, and create new jobs.

Looks to me like Governor Dayton is doing things right – but not right wing – to keep Minnesota performing well in job creation and business start ups, of all sizes. But for comparison, let’s take a look at the same rankings for Wisconsin, since our MN GOP has no new ideas for keeping Minnesota competitive, and because the MN GOP wishes to emulate many of the policies of our next door neighbor, Wisconsin, under Republican Governor Scott Walker, and his Republican controlled legislature.

 

 

In overall performance, which includes these metrics / areas of measurement, Wisconsin ranked 44th out of 50:

Ten-year job growth (3 points)
Two-year job growth (3 points)
Overall expansion of gross state product (1 point)
Productivity: state output per job (1 point)
Productivity growth: growth in output per job (1 point)
Income growth: growth in per capita personal income (3 points)
Livability: median income of four-person household adjusted for state cost of living (2 points)

And Wisconsin ranked 41st in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (lower than MN), and well behind Minnesota in 6th place, in ‘Talent Pipeline’ and ‘Infrastructure’. Republicans have no new ideas; their ideas for Minnesota are the same old stale and failed ones that they push in every state, a one size fits all recipe for economic stagnation and decline, for becoming economically not competitive. But because the facts are not their friends, the only alternative they have is to lie.

 

 

Liars are losers; for the sake of Minnesota, we must hope that Jeff Johnson loses the race for the office of Governor. Governor Dayton and his Democrativ majority legislature seem to be doing a great job, and we should let them continue to do so. Send the liars home. The last time they were in power, they caused the state credit rating to be downgraded, and they bankrupted their own party, putting it in over $1 million in debt, while lying to us about how they were the party of fiscal responsibility. We can’t afford more of the MN GOP’s lies.

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Who is Jeff Johnson?

by Eric Ferguson on May 7, 2013 · 0 comments

Hennepin County commissioner Jeff JohnsonWho is Jeff Johnson? From his Q&A with Minn Post, he seems to be a basic doctrinaire conservative who holds the positions conservatives have held for decades, experience notwithstanding. He refers to himself as a mainstream conservative, which is the same thing. He showed that doctrinaire side when he said some rotten things about the people participating in Occupy MN. Whatever anyone thinks of the Occupy movement, this much should bother you: on the first day, when they were just arriving, Johnson wasn’t there. He was speaking at a Republican event, so he had no idea who was showing up or who they were. There was at that point nothing to be judged, yet he said, “Because of you, I don’t have to spend my Friday afternoon with 1,000 or so clueless, obnoxious and frankly, very messy anarchists or socialists … or whatever they call themselves. Instead, I get to spend my Friday with 1,000 or so patriots.”
 
Since some time has passed, let me remind readers that the Occupy MN protest happened at the plaza in front of the Hennepin County Government Center, where Johnson works. He was absent the first day. He could have waited until he went back to work and saw the protesters before commenting. He could have asked them why they were there like I did. He could have asked them what they call themselves. Instead he used the dismissive phrase, “whatever they call themselves”, which is a phrase used to say people are so far beneath you, that you don’t even have to accord them the basic respect of finding out anything about them before running them down.
 
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JohnsonWrongforMN-233x300But is he enough of a right wing nut job to get endorsed?

Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson announced that he will challenge Governor Mark Dayton in 2014. Johnson will be the second Republican to indicate his willingness. The first was vulture capitalist Scott Honour (Among Thieves).

Johnson is the failed 2006 MN Attorney General candidate who lost to DFLer Lori Swanson. Johnson wants us to get back to the failing economy and budget slashing of the Pawlenty era. He is a typical Republican who whole-heartedly believes in tax cuts for the rich. In other words, he believes in Underpants Gnome Economic Theory.

Failed 2010 MNGOV candidate Tom “Servers make $100K” Emmer thinks Johnson is great. There’s more about Johnson here (the same place I found the above pic and this video).

How long has he been planning this?

 

He once wrote newly annointed MN Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk urging him to remember the good times when they on one occasion worked together on a bill.

Johnson goes on to urge Bakk to forget that the failed policies of past Republican administrations and Legislatures led us into the structural deficits that have damaged our state. He wants Bakk to keep the tax rates for the 1% and corporations lower than for everyone else.

He doesn’t directly say it — he’s quite good at euphemism — but he wants Bakk to protect our state’s Magical Job Creators. Because our Magical Job Creators will only magically create jobs if their taxes are low.

Nice try, Commissioner Johnson.

The question facing all MNGOP 2014 Governor candidates is: Are you right wing crazy enough?
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Republican Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson wrote a letter to Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk. As most of you know, Bakk is the DFLer recently elected as Majority Leader by fellow DFL Senators since the DFL swept both Houses in the 2012 election.

In his letter, Johnson urges Bakk to remember how they once worked together on an issue and to feel some nostalgia (or something) for those past days in which he imagined Bakk had right wing conservative leanings. Or something.

As you might have guessed, I was disappointed when Republicans lost control of the state Senate last year. I saw something of a silver lining, however, when you were elected Senate majority leader. From my time in the state House, I remember you as a Democrat who could work
with Republicans — someone who was willing to push back on the government-centered vision
many in the DFL hold.

I saw you display that leadership up close in 2006 when you and I co-sponsored eminent domain reform in the Legislature.

The bill that we carried together in ’06 addressed the fundamental injustice of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Kelo decision. Kelo granted government broad eminent domain power to take a person’s property and transfer it to another private person or business for economic development.

You and I both recognized that government does not have the moral authority to take a person’s property simply because government bureaucrats believe the property might generate more tax revenue if used differently by another private person or entity. After months of hearings and negotiations, we passed legislation significantly restricting the ability of government to take a person’s property for economic development.

Johnson goes on to urge Bakk to forget that the failed policies of past Republican administrations and Legislatures led us into the structural deficits that have damaged our state. He wants Bakk to keep the tax rates for the 1% and corporations lower than for everyone else.

He doesn’t directly say it — he’s quite good at euphemism — but he wants Bakk to protect our state’s Magical Job Creators. Because our Magical Job Creators will only magically create jobs if their taxes are low.

Nice try, Commissioner Johnson.

Like all Republicans and no matter how euphemistically he phrases it, Johnson believes in Underpants Gnome Economic Theory. There’s only so much lipstick you can splash on a pig gnome.

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Jeff Johnson rips people he knows nothing about

by Eric Ferguson on October 10, 2011 · 3 comments

UPDATED

Hennepin County commissioner Jeff JohnsonWhen I wrote this diary last week about prioritizing the 2012 races, I included local races not because I would somehow put local races over Congress or president or anything else, but in order to take a step back and consider everything. Really, I was just being thorough. Didn’t expect anything.

Funny how things work out sometimes — suddenly I do care about a county board race after reading Jeff Johnson’s comments on Occupy MN:

“Because of you, I don’t have to spend my Friday afternoon with 1,000 or so clueless, obnoxious and frankly, very messy anarchists or socialists … or whatever they call themselves. Instead, I get to spend my Friday with 1,000 or so patriots,” said Hennepin County Commissioner and Republican National Committeeman Jeff Johnson.

Doesn’t “very messy” imply that he’s seen the people he’s attacking? Yet there he is implying he hadn’t been to the county government center, and his drastically high number suggests the same. OK, he takes a day off, and didn’t go to work on the first day of the protest. Fine. Everyone can take a day off once in a while. The thing is, he is going to have ample time to see the protest since he works where it’s taking place. He doesn’t need to wonder about “whatever they call themselves.” He can ask. He can step outside the building and ask some people, “Excuse me, I’m a county board commissioner who wants to gather some information about people before forming an opinion, so would you mind telling me what you call yourselves?” Instead, he goes to his conservative conference, takes every ignorant prejudice conservative believers would like to hold true, and throws them into a stupid sentence casserole. He could have at least melted some marshmellows on top.

Commissioners are chosen by district. Seven districts for a county of about 1.4 million people means each commissioner represents about 200,000 people. That’s roughly three senate districts. That’s more people than just two of Minnesota’s cities and a few other counties. That’s a lot of people stuck with this guy. He’ll have to stand for reelection next year if his district is changed enough. Here’s hoping such is the case.

UPDATE: Just one more point. About the protesters being “messy”, in case Johnson still hasn’t been there himself to see it or didn’t notice it, let me mention again something I showed in my post Video and photos from second day of occupy MN: these people are so tidy, they’re careful to keep paint off the grass. “Messy” people wouldn’t bother:
sign making keeping paint off the grass

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Johnson, Otto, and primary thoughts

by Eric Ferguson on August 15, 2014 · 2 comments

Fresh off his win in the MNGOP gubernatorial primary, Hennepin County commissioner Jeff Johnson has already released his first campaign video:
 

 
Oops, that was Eddie Murphy from “The Distinguished Gentleman”. Sorry, didn’t mean to compare Jeff Johnson to Eddie Murphy. That’s unfair. After all, Murphy is funny on purpose.
 

Here’s Johnson being funny, presumably not on purpose:
 
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From my view on Primary Tuesday as an elective judge, the predicted low turnout was more variable.  The up-ballot races were not driving voter participation, but rather from what I saw and what was reported to us by our county auditor about our county wide participation and the larger state-wide participation, high or low turnout was dependant on whether or not there were commissioner races, not the ‘big’ job races.

 

This prompted me to take a look at the primary turnouts in the last two primary election cycles.

 

From the Sec. State site, comparing the last midterm election year for the Governor’s race primary and this year’s primary, as a  measure of voter enthusiasm.  First let’s look at 2010, the most recent midterm election year, significant for the Tea Party phenomenon:

Independence party
TOM HORNER AND JAMES A. MULDER 11380 64.24
PHIL RATTE’ AND GAYLE-LYNN: LEMASTER 1215 6.86
RAHN V. WORKCUFF AND MARK F WORKCUFF 815 4.60
JOHN T. ULDRICH AND STEPHEN WILLIAMS 1766 9.97
ROB HAHN AND THOMAS J HARENS 2538 14.33

GOP
OLE’ SAVIOR AND TODD “ELVIS” ANDERSON 4396 3.37
LESLIE DAVIS AND GREGORY K. SODERBERG 8598 6.59
BOB CARNEY JR AND WILLIAM MCGAUGHEY 9856 7.56
TOM EMMER AND ANNETTE T. MEEKS 107558 82.48

DFL
MARGARET ANDERSON KELLIHER AND JOHN GUNYOU 175767 39.75
PETER IDUSOGIE AND LADY JAYNE FONTAINE 3123 0.71
MATT ENTENZA AND ROBYNE ROBINSON 80509 18.21
MARK DAYTON AND YVONNE PRETTNER SOLON 182738 41.33

Independence party 17714
GOP 130408
DFL 442137
_______
total 590259
and a little ‘extra’ context — total registered MN voters as of poll opening 3111619

and this year:
Independence party
HANNAH NICOLLET AND TIM GIESEKE 5822 100.00

GOP
MARTY SEIFERT AND PAM MYHRA 38798 21.09
KURT ZELLERS AND DEAN SIMPSON 43991 23.92
MERRILL ANDERSON AND MARK ANDERSON 7008 3.81
JEFF JOHNSON AND BILL KUISLE 55813 30.34
SCOTT HONOUR AND KARIN HOUSLEY 38331 20.84

DFL
BILL DAHN AND JAMES VIGLIOTTI 4896 2.56
LESLIE DAVIS AND GREGORY K. SODERBERG 8529 4.46
MARK DAYTON AND TINA SMITH 177737 92.98

Independence party 5822
GOP 183941
DFL 191162
________
total 372396

total registered MN voters as of poll opening: 3111478

That’s a decline of 217503 voters participating in the 2014 election, more than the total votes cast by any of the parties for their combined candidates, compared to the 2010 election, and a slight decline in total number of registered voters (141).

 

It also reflects a difference of an INCREASE of 53533 Republican voters, and a DECREASE of 259144 Democratic voters participating in this primary compared to 2010.

 

What does this say about the enthusiasm levels between the various parties? It strongly suggests a lack of primary excitement by Democrats and Independents compared to Republicans. But arguably the sharpest contest was the 5 way race for the Republican ticket, compared to the 4-way equivalent in 2010 for the DFL ticket – other than the draw of those more local races, where there were contests.

 

It would be a serious over-reach of the numbers to suggest this represents any kind of overall turnout for the general election.

 

It will remain to be seen how the overall voter turnout compares in the general election to the primaries, and who does and does not turn out to vote — and WHY, not for WHOM. A big question will be can those who split among the top three MN GOP candidates unite behind Jeff Johnson, in contrast to the triple digit unity by MN Dems behind Mark Dayton. Dayton has excellent statewide recognition, with 46278 voters turning out in Hennepin County, while only 12101 voters turned out for Johnson in Hennepin, his home county.

 

There are a lot of devils hiding in a lot of details, which may or may not be useful predictors of ANYTHING, come November, other than it seems unlikely we’ll have another recount after the November election.

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70% of Republicans Rejected Johnson

by Grace Kelly on August 13, 2014 · 3 comments

jeff johnson speaksMore people voted for Dayton in yesterday’s primary than for all of the Republican candidates for governor. There should have been Republican excitement in a primary with four strong Republican candidates. There was not. To win with 30% of the vote is sad. It meant that 70% of the Republican primary voters rejected Johnson. Perennial candidate Sharon Anderson received more Republican votes and a higher percentage of Republican votes for Attorney General, and she is not even a lawyer. Maybe Republicans just like those plain vanilla names like Johnson or Anderson. Maybe Sharon Anderson should have run for governor on the Republican ticket instead of Attorney General.

 

In the debates, it was clear that Republicans have little enthusiasm. They ask questions about how the Republican candidate would deal with a Democratic legislature. Even Jeff Johnson says, “We kinda start out in hole”. When pressed for what he could do, Johnson says “We can’t promise the world”. The most exciting promise is that he is going to fire all of the Met Council. Most of Johnson’s answers were long meandering diatribes on how we can’t really make promises. I noticed the debates did not display the audiences, which was curious until I found out there was a pattern as the picture to the right shows. Since yawning and sleeping are contagious, it was definitely in the best interest of the Republican party to not show the audiences. There were even worst days where debates had many empty chairs in the audience. Maybe the poor and homeless that Republicans so despise were finding a place to safely rest. Republicans don’t get kicked out even when they fall asleep in Congress.

 

Heh, wake up!
 
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JohnsonWrongforMN-233x300 Ortman

The Republican’s State Central Committee met this weekend. When they weren’t rearranging their deck chairs (or whatever it is they do at these meetings), they took a straw poll about the upcoming 2014 Minnesota US Senate and Governor’s races.
 
One of the deck-chair arranging kind of things they did is have their Governor and Senate candidates speak to them.
 

Five candidates who want to challenge incumbent DFL Gov. Mark Dayton next year spoke to party insiders today at a State Central Committee meeting in Blaine. Six U.S. Senate hopefuls spoke in advance of the balloting.
 
[Henneping County Commissioner Jeff] Johnson received 143 of the votes cast by delegates and alternates. He was followed by state Sen. Dave Thompson, R-Lakeville, who received 111 votes. The third place finisher as a write-in was former state Rep. Marty Seifert of Marshall (75). State Rep. Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove came in fourth (31) , followed by teacher Rob Farnsworth (26) and businessman Scott Honour (16).
(MPR)

With the Ron Paul supporters and Tea Party crazies in control, I’m not surprised that Seifert and Zellers did so poorly.
 
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