"When the caucus meetings take place next month, just remember how things could have been - and then how they will be with Jeff Johnson as our next Governor. The future is ours to take."
Two of the more frequent questions I get asked about Jeff Johnson are the following: 1) Why not Matt Dehn instead, and 2) What happened last time around? By the way, I am not the only one who gets asked these questions. Many on Jeff's campaign team also do, including Jeff himself. So, since it is early in 2018, that means it is now "go time". The engine is revved, and Team Jeff is ready to go!
First, let me address Matt Dean. Matt is a friend of mine, as well as many on Jeff's team. He is also a friend of Jeff's. Representative Dean is a fine man, a very smart and capable man - Minnesota is lucky to have him. I just wish this time around he was running for Secretary of State or State Auditor so I could support him. And by the way, please do not take this that Matt would not make an excellent Governor - he would. I just happen to think Jeff would make a much better one.
I am now going to talk about the last statewide election cycle. As it started out, I was on the Thompson/Benson team. Because I was a state delegate, Jeff called me once or twice to ask if he received the endorsement instead of Dave Thompson, would I be part of his team. I told him I would. Truthfully, both times I talked to Jeff, his views on every issue I brought up were clearly thought out and cogent. As much as I supported Dave Thompson, I knew I would have no problem being a member of Team Jeff should Jeff get the endorsement.
When Jeff and I had coffee a year ago November to discuss the possibility of another run, I laid it on the table to him. He is one of the nicest and most modest men I have met in my life. The nice part of Jeff can't be changed - nor would I want to ever see it changed. Jeff will be Jeff until he walks into Heaven. The modest thing however, I can help him with. I can be very braggadocios about the wonderful things Jeff has done while serving in the Minnesota House as well as a Commissioner in Hennepin County.
It is never easy going up against an incumbent. By the time Jeff got the endorsement, Dayton had most of his first term under his belt. Plus, he was also a former Minnesota Senator (albeit a lousy one) for a short time. What did that give Dayton? Almost 100% name recognition within the state. Jeff was well known in a good part of the metro, but not as well as Dayton in other parts of the state. Even with that, Jeff closed that gap quite a bit by the general election.
We can't change history. What is done is done. But we can learn from history - and that is what Jeff and his team have done. That being said, consider how this state would look right now if Jeff had won last time around. To start with, there would be no dysfunctional mess like we have right now between Dayton and the legislature. The size of our state government would have shrunk under Jeff. We would be able to do more with less. Our state taxes would have also shrunk, including the commerce killing corporate tax. And (this is the big one) - 100% of Social Security (just like in Wisconsin) would have been excluded from state taxation.
Well, Jeff did not win. But he can now. We can have a noticeably smaller and more efficient state government. We can have smaller taxes. We can stop driving our seniors out of state due to cruel Social Security taxation. We can reign in the out of control Met Council, and eliminate it. We can fix our highly inefficient and expensive MNSure. Heck, we might even be able to get our license tabs on time. The list goes on and on.
One final thing about Jeff being nice. When it comes to fighting for Minnesotans to get the most out of every tax dollar, Jeff can be as tough as he is nice. Jeff can make Minnesota Great Again. Make Minnesota hospitable to businesses and seniors once again.
When the caucus meetings take place next month, just remember how things could have been - and then how they will be with Jeff Johnson as our next Governor. The future is ours to take.