GOUtah! interview with Jonathan Johnson

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GOUtah! interview with Jonathan Johnson

Postby bagpiper » Fri 22 Apr 2016 2:57 pm

Tomorrow, Saturday April 23, 2016 is the State Convention for the Republican Party of Utah. State delegates will be voting on several offices including governor.

Incumbent Governor Gary Herbert has killed constitutional carry bills in Utah for 3 years now. In 2014 he vetoed the bill that passed the legislature by a wide margin. Last year in 2015 and this year during the 2016 legislative session he made clear he would again veto constitutional carry bills including a watered-down bill that would have allowed permit free concealed carry of a "Utah-unloaded" firearm.

Governor Herbert has collected signatures under the SB54 law and so is guaranteed a spot on the GOP Primary ballot, if there is a primary election.

He is being challenged by 3 candidates for the Republican nomination. Two of these don't seem to be running much of a campaign. But Jonathan Johnson is running an active and credible campaign. He has not attempted to bypass the delegates and convention process; no signature collection. GOUtah!'s Communications Director Bill Clayton had the chance to visit with "JJ" recently and included an excerpt of that interview in a GOUtah! Alert this past week.

The alert is reproduced here with permission.

This Week’s Take Five Make Five* Action Item

Please contact Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and ask him why he has vetoed or otherwise blocked Constitutional Carry legislation the last four years in a row. Ten states now have Constitutional Carry laws. Utah used to lead the nation in restoring and protecting the right to keep and bear arms, but we’ve fallen behind and allowed other states to get ahead of us in this regard. Why has our governor adamantly opposed even the watered-down versions of Constitutional Carry (i.e., unloaded concealed carry) that have passed or been considered by our legislature in recent years? The governor needs to be made aware of just how widespread the support for Constitutional Carry is among Utah’s gun owners.

Incidentally, if you happen to be a state delegate for Gov. Herbert’s political party, you should mention this to him when you contact him. If you are a delegate, we also encourage you to read the interview below with Jonathan Johnson, the candidate who will be challenging Gov. Herbert at his party’s upcoming state convention. Mr. Johnson has made support for Constitutional Carry a major theme of his campaign.

Contact info for Gov. Gary Herbert:

Webmail [for Gov. Gary Herbert]

350 North State Street, Suite 200
PO Box 142220
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-2220
Phone: (801)538-1000

Sample letter [below]


PAGE TOP



An Interview With Jonathan Johnson

Recently, GOUtah! Director of Communications Bill Clayton was invited to interview gubernatorial candidate Jonathan Johnson about gun laws. Mr. Johnson will be challenging incumbent governor Gary Herbert at the Utah State GOP Convention this Saturday. GOUtah! does not endorse political parties or candidates, but we’re happy to speak with candidates and keep you informed about them. Here’s our interview with Mr. Johnson:

GOUtah!: If you’re elected Governor and a "constitutional carry" bill comes before you that eliminates the need for a permit to carry a loaded and concealed firearm in Utah, would you sign such a bill?

Jonathan Johnson: "Yes. You don’t need a piece of paper issued by the government in order to exercise your First Amendment rights, so you shouldn’t need a piece of paper to exercise your Second Amendment rights, either."

GOUtah!: Under current Utah firearms law, college and university campuses are treated differently from most other places. When you walk from an adjacent piece of real estate onto a university campus, the state gun laws suddenly change and become more restrictive. If the legislature were to pass a bill that treats college and university campuses the same as other places in terms of what constitutes the legal possession and carrying of firearms, would you sign such a bill?

Jonathan Johnson: "If such a bill were to come to my desk, I would sign it."

GOUtah!: Under Utah’s preemption statute, the Legislature has sole jurisdiction over the regulation of firearms at the state and local levels. Local government entities and state entities other than the Legislature are prohibited from enacting their own gun regulations unless specifically authorized to do so by the Legislature. Yet there are still local ordinances on the books in many parts of Utah prohibiting the possession or carrying of firearms in various places, such as county parks and other public facilities. These ordinances were never authorized by the Legislature and are therefore illegal under the preemption statute. However, the preemption statute has no enforcement clause, so there’s no real incentive for local government entities to remove these illegal regulations. Would you, if elected Governor, support efforts to incentivize local governments to eliminate such illegal ordinances and regulations?

Jonathan Johnson: "Yes, I would support efforts to incentivize local governments to get rid of illegal gun regulations. Although I prefer local control in most matters, I don’t believe that local governments should be allowed to violate a right that’s explicitly protected by the United States Constitution and the Utah State Constitution."

GOUtah!: Thanks for taking time to share your views with us!

Jonathan Johnson: “You’re welcome!”

Charles Hardy
GOUtah!
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Re: GOUtah! interview with Jonathan Johnson

Postby quychang » Sat 23 Apr 2016 6:07 pm

Thank you Charles for re-posting this. I had already decided that Gov. Herbert was not going to get my vote. Primarily for his stance on constitutional carry, but I've had smaller nits to pick with him as well. Jonathan Johnson sounds very much like the pro RKBA governor we need. I will, of course, spend some time researching his stance on a few other issues, but I do believe that as of right now, if I had to choose, he would get my vote. It's time for a change of scenery in the Governors office, and he certainly is making the right noises to earn my vote.

It's nice to have someone as involved as you are, keeping an eye on stories of interest and bringing them to my attention. While I'm will aware I'm not your entire target audience, it quite often feels like that isn't the case.

Mel
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Re: GOUtah! interview with Jonathan Johnson

Postby bagpiper » Mon 25 Apr 2016 5:23 pm

Mel,

Thank you. Sadly, between family, work, and other responsibilities, my involvement with RKBA politics has not been nearly what I'd like the last couple of years. But if we all do what we can, it eventually makes a difference.

Herbert is probably the best governor in my lifetime. (To be fair, I don't have much personal recollection of Matheson.) But he is the only Republican Governor in the nation to veto and threaten to veto Constitutional Carry bills. In 2014 when he vetoed the bill, Utah would have been the 4th State in the nation behind Vermont, Alaska, and Arizona. Last week, Mississippi become the 10th State. This is no longer a cutting edge issue. It is mainstream among Republican majority States.

Of course, a Republican majority legislature recently over-rode their Democratic Governor's veto of a Constitutional Carry bill in West Virginia. So our legislative leaders including my own Senator Wayne Neiderhauser, and Speaker Greg Hughes have to bear a lot of responsibility as well. But Herbert is today's target.

In addition to Constitutional Carry, Herbert is catching heat for some other issues including his support for Common Core and SAGE testing, as well as for signing SB 54 that is endangering the caucus/convention system.

Our job is to make his campaign realize that Constitutional Carry is a very big issue for a lot of us, THE deciding issue as it were.

Charles
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Re: GOUtah! interview with Jonathan Johnson

Postby quychang » Mon 25 Apr 2016 9:20 pm

To be honest, even though the LDS church weighed in against, I was also not happy with Gov. Herbert's stance on Medical Marijuana. I understand Utah is a highly conservative state and it is likely to be one of the last to adopt Medical, and heavens forbid recreational use, but Herbert is a dinosaur. I have no idea how Mr. Johnson feels about the subject, but I can't help but to think new and younger blood can't hurt. I understand that I'm in a minority in the state, as well as on this board, but it's still an issue that matters to me.

Frankly, I remember Governor Matheson fondly, and did vote for his son when he ran. I've honestly never liked Herbert much, but the one positive thing I can say is he has been a (I'll auto filter myself) of a lot better then Bangerter.

I have no excuse for not being more involved in the process than I am and perhaps another year or two and I will feel moved in that direction. I am discovering, slowly, the power of politics on a local level and it interests me to see how that power grows as you move up the ladder.

Thanks again for sharing, while you may not be taking first hand part, spreading the news is helpful to those of us that probably wouldn't even know where to look.

Mel

***Edit***

Few here probably actually care, but I did some research on John Johnson's stance on a couple of topics. 1) He's for privatizing ownership of State Liquor Stores. He sees it a a franchise type operation, without necessarily increasing the number of stores. He justifies this with some numbers that show the DABC is not doing a good job of marketing or sales and thinks revenue would increase. I can say, as an occasional consumer, preferably of high quality single malt scotches, the state does an abysmal job of bringing them in. And 2) He supports a limited medical marijuana program, with real doctors prescribing product that has been grown under medical conditions for the treatment of specific illnesses. Herbert while opposing anything in the past legislative session is back peddling and making somewhat more liberal noises.

The article I read stated, and I agree, that Johnson's stance on medical marijuana would place him firmly in the libertarian sector of the republican party. Since I tend to align myself with libertarian standards, I would have to have something presented to me of a pretty strongly negative nature to keep me from giving him my vote in the primary. Though I know it wasn't his intent, again, I would like to thank Charles for peaking my interest and getting me to do the additional research.
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Re: GOUtah! interview with Jonathan Johnson

Postby bagpiper » Tue 26 Apr 2016 12:53 pm

Mel,

Where did you find his positions on alcohol laws and medical marijuana?

Thanks

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Re: GOUtah! interview with Jonathan Johnson

Postby quychang » Wed 27 Apr 2016 7:40 pm

Charles I did a google search on John Johnson Utah stance on medical marijuana. It came up with this article from the SL tribune as the number one hit http://www.sltrib.com/home/3019704-155/utah-guv-challenger-supports-private-liquor I'm not sure if current board etiquette allows us to link to that publication, but just this once I did. Flame on if need be, I'll understand and learn from it.

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Re: GOUtah! interview with Jonathan Johnson

Postby bagpiper » Wed 27 Apr 2016 9:16 pm

quychang wrote:Charles I did a google search on John Johnson Utah stance on medical marijuana. It came up with this article from the SL tribune as the number one hit...


Thanks, Mel.

While I agree with JJ on Medical marijuana and expect even the LDS church will not oppose a well crafted bill to do what he wants there, I disagree with him on privatizing State alcohol stores. I've explained that position in the thread on hiring JJ.

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