The following is an e-mail sent out by Sen. Eric Johnson addressing the donations to Democrats.
Dear Republican Friends:
As a conservative Republican, I worked for 30 years to elect a conservative majority and to govern using the principles of less government, lower taxes, and defending the free market. I have been a precinct Chairman and a County Party Chair. I have licked envelopes and put up yard signs. I have raised and given more than $1,000,000 to Republican candidates and our party’s operations. Few have fought longer or harder than I to get here.
Yesterday, I informed the Senate Republican Caucus that I will run for Lieutenant Governor if Casey runs for Governor. As I did in the role of Minority Leader and President Pro Tem, I intend to pour every ounce of energy, experience, and enthusiasm that I have into my candidacy. As a result, I will focus the next two years on my district, my campaign, and solving the issues that threaten our state’s future prosperity.
Yesterday, I also gave a major speech that outlined my approach to solving one of those critical issues – improving our public education system. I believe that expanding school choice is critical to making Georgia a better place to live, work and raise our children. In addition to speaking out on this important issue at forums across the state, part of my effort to building public and legislative support for school choice has been reaching across party lines to build consensus.
My bi-partisan approach to helping children in failing schools seems to have led some to question why I recently made contributions to a targeted few Democrats. That’s a fair question. However, I believe that, by doing so, we help accomplish one of our long standing conservative goals – allowing parents the freedom to choose how and where their children are educated instead of the government. The Democrats I have supported are helping make school choice a reality. Importantly, they also live in districts that are beyond the reach of a Republican challenger.
I have worked with you for years to build our party. You know that I will never do anything to threaten our majority, but I will always work to accomplish our agenda. Once again, I have raised and contributed over $1 million to Republicans during our transition from minority to majority party. Anyone who would question my efforts to reach across party lines and help children in failing public schools is simply playing politics with an issue that transcends us all. I hope you will join with us.
Yours for a better Georgia,
Sen. Eric Johnson