Tuesday’s Republican primary for governor will in large part determine the future of the Republican Party in Minnesota: one whose establishment has given us more than a decade of losing statewide races while personally benefiting despite that abject record. Because Jeff Johnson is the antidote to that mindset, because he believes what he says and is unafraid to say it, and because he is our strongest candidate in the general election, I hope you will join me in voting for him.
You might say that Johnson was one of those losing establishment candidates given that he was our nominee last time around in 2014 but the point doesn’t hold true this cycle. The ascendancy of Trump, and his now clear domination of the Republican Party nationally, has changed everything. Minnesota represents one of the last strongholds of those who essentially despise him because he threatens their status quo of politics, which sells out those who should be served. It’s a business to them, a career even, if you can stifle a laugh, despite their lack of talent. They’re not about to be willingly replaced. Worker retraining is for others.
Johnson, to his credit, represents a mostly clean break with that. Understanding the political environment as he does, and far better than the retread Pawlenty with his odor of mothballs, he realizes that voters want actual results instead of posturing. Too often our state and local legislators preen that they have exceptionally high marks from the Chamber, as though that organization delivers for people on the ground. Anything but. If it was ever true, it is now a myth that supporting them makes you a conservative.
Johnson understands in a way Pawlenty simply cannot–absence makes that happen–that the future of Minnesota is in the balance this cycle:
- Forced refugee resettlement and unfettered immigration of those who have little to contribute and frequently despise our way of life must be halted, despite the need of Democrats to import a dependent class with which to attain or keep power.
- Gun violence isn’t solved by laws but by a frank discussion of the underlying social pathologies that breed an environment of violence and utter disregard for human life. The destruction of the traditional family is but a starting point for this candid discussion and Johnson is unafraid to have it.
- Trump may be slashing stifling regulations in D.C. but in Minnesota Johnson is acutely aware of their smothering effect on job creation and simple personal freedom. He sees the administrative state as the enemy that it is, while Pawlenty is a product of it.
- Johnson wants to eliminate that cancer known as the Met Council and I have no doubt that as governor he’ll do just that. Pawlenty had the chance but, as with so many other opportunities, and as Johnson puts it, “He blew it.”
- Minnesota has the highest electricity rates in the Upper Midwest thanks to Pawlenty. Johnson isn’t about to pander to environmental wackos because he thinks it might help him in a presidential race.
The list could go on but what’s the point? The differences between the two candidates are stark and no amount of desperate last minute attacks on Johnson will fool anyone, especially attempts to make him less appealing to Trump voters. Pawlenty thinks they’re rubes who can be mindlessly baited. Johnson, to the contrary, understands they’re quite savvy.
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Pawlenty was recently endorsed by the Star Tribune. Yes, the liberal editorial board is looking out for Republicans. The mirroring of the Jeb! campaign continues unabated. On the one hand, endorsements mean nothing and change nothing. On the other, a source such as the Star Tribune knows what it’s doing and by endorsing Pawlenty, they support our weakest candidate in the general election. Yes, our weakest.
The mantra, the conventional wisdom, is that Pawlenty is stronger in the November face-off than Johnson. This couldn’t be more wrong although there isn’t much discussion about it.
Pawlenty has so much baggage it’s as if the Titanic carried its own iceberg to crash into. Worse, he’s given no indication in the primary stage of the race that his team has any idea how to deal with it in the general. In fact, the primary has showcased everything that’s wrong with the Pawlenty campaign, with no ability to course correct. There’s every reason to think that what we’ve seen is what we’ll get.
Pawlenty represents a fraud being perpetrated upon the base, tailored to what his handlers and donors think will be just enough authenticity on a handful of issues to get past the rubes next Tuesday. And make no mistake about it, they really do think of you as rubes, easily excited about what is considered crackpot issues and devoid of the skills that come from governing, which in reality is merely the sequencing of payoffs to the special interests that control establishment Republican politics in this state.
Planet Pawlenty, should it win come November, will govern as it pleases, thank you. Your usefulness to them is past: they’re in power and accountability to those who handed it to them is more often than not an afterthought. Mostly though, it’s not even a thought.
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Jeff Johnson will have plenty of money if he wins Tuesday. Lack of it is Pawlenty supporters’ last argument after they’ve lost all the others. It doesn’t wash and intimidating people into supporting your guy is odd political persuasion.
President Trump is keen to win Minnesota in 2020. A Republican governor is a big help in achieving this goal. Although it appears likely he won’t tweet support of Johnson between now and primary day, he’ll be all in should Johnson prevail. Knowing that his voters lined up solidly behind Johnson in order to get that victory will only make the President more willing to make sure the money needed to win materializes. This isn’t difficult.
Your vote for Jeff Johnson is a vote for making Minnesota Republican politics reflect the grassroots. That the permanent class despises such an outcome only reinforces the need for it. Vote Jeff Johnson in the primary.
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In addition to Alpha News, John Gilmore is also a contributor to The Hill. He is the founder and executive director of Minnesota Media Monitor.™ He blogs at MinnesotaConservatives.org and is on Twitter under @Shabbosgoy. He can be reached at John@alphanewsmn.com
Photo credit: MPR News