The Johnson Campaign

It remains a sleeper campaign.

In October, the Newnan newspaper dutifully reported Eric Johnson’s talk to the local Rotary Club.

That’s about as much notice the Savannah candidate for governor has received since he resigned from the state Senate on Sept. 15.

Johnson, the former Senate president pro tem, is running a distant fourth among seven GOP candidates in recent polls.

But he says his below-the-radar posture suits him just fine — and well it should, some Peach State political pundits say.

I still say he winds up going into the runoff. I think he’s playing his cards right for now.

70 comments

  1. fishtail says:

    I wonder if the Speaker’s current troubles will spill over onto Eric. He was Chair of the Joint House-Senate Committee that completely absolved Speaker Richardson on the AGL lobbyist conflict of interest charges. He did not conduct an investigation or call any witnesses. Swept everything under the rug. Business as usual for another Georgia GOP legislator

    • AthensRepublican says:

      Austin Scott is the candidate running for Governor that is most closely tied to the Speaker and has been a strong defender of him. Remember his post over a year ago on this forum. He signed: “Regards,
      Austin Scott
      Supporter of Glenn Richardson Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.”

  2. fundy1611 says:

    You basically have four candidates that have a shot. Oxendine speaks like a girl, Handel is pro-abortion, and Deal is incredibly boring. Johnson is the only adult in the bunch and the only one who can beat Roy Barnes.

    • Handel is pro-abortion…

      Is that actually true… or did she simply refuse to sign some pledge to oppose abortion in cases where the woman is incestuously gang-raped by her father and seven brothers and doctors determine a 99% chance that she will die during delivery? I can’t keep track of what it takes to pass the abortion litmus test these days.

      • Silent Outrage says:

        Karen Handel is Pro Life. She does have two exceptions – rape and the life of the mother. This is exactly the same as National Right to Life.

        “No exceptions” is an unrealistic and impractical position.

        • ByteMe says:

          “No exceptions” is an unrealistic and impractical position.

          So’s having the government intruding on the medical relationship between a woman and her doctor. But few see the irony.

          • NorthGAGOP says:

            Nice to see a candidate who doesn’t need to pander in order to win an election.

            Handel wins on experience, ethics, and proven track record of getting things done.

          • drjay says:

            i have said before i am supporting EJ, but i have met Sec. Handel and know people working for and supporting her and yes i doubt very much that she would be 100% pro abortion if she lived somewhere else–i find the assertion utterly absurd in fact…

          • fundy1611 says:

            @NorthGAGOP,

            Pandering?

            “She was born into a family of sportsmen and first fired a gun when she was eight years old.”

            “Marriage is between a man and a woman only. To anyone who thinks otherwise, I say, “Bring it on.”

            “Karen is a strong supporter of the FairTax.”

    • fundy1611 says:

      Non-issue.

      “Usually, society complains about sentences that are perceived as too soft. Granted, this sentence was harsh. But it was MANDATORY under the law. Life comes with accountability for our decisions. Genarlow Wilson could have selected different friends to hang with. He could have joined millions of law-abiding teens all over the country enjoying New Years’ Eve without alcohol, drugs and sex. He could have left the hotel when “the fun” started. He didn’t. He made a choice. Now his life has changed forever. That is sad. I hope other young men and girls will learn from this tragedy and avoid his errors.”

  3. fundy1611 says:

    Sanctity of life is not predicated on method, mode, or circumstances of conception. Either you believe a fetus is a human being or you don’t.

    Per Handel’s website: “As a matter of law she believes society may allow for exceptions in cases of rape, incest………”

    That folks, is not pro-life. Not a big deal, she just needs to stop referring to herself as pro-life and be straight forward.

  4. AthensRepublican says:

    I believe Eric Johnson is the most competent candidate running. He won’t need a couple years to figure out what to do as Governor. He will know on day 1. He is probably spending most of his time raising money. I do agree he has a name ID disadvantage to overcome though.

    • Silent Outrage says:

      I wonder who finishes in last place – Eric Johnson, Austin Scott, Jeff Chapman, or Ray McBerry.

      They are all currently tied!

      • AthensRepublican says:

        Point taken but it will be interesting to see who raises the most money to get their message out.

        • Silent Outrage says:

          Well, any of those four will need five fold of the money as Ox, Karen, or Deal – who are all better known and have much stronger and voter rich bases.

          I mean, why give Eric Johnson $2 million just so he comes in 4th place and not 6th place?

          • drjay says:

            different times are different times but EJ fits the model for past ga guvs much more so than the other front runners if you look strictly at resumes…

          • drjay says:

            that really wasn’t my point, although i am supporting EJ, it was more a comment to those who think being a statewide official and having higher name i.d. at christmas the year before the primary is somehow some big hurdle that a “lowly state senator” won’t be able to overcome–you know the way governor’s shrenko and bowers and massey and ginn were able to bowl over their lesser opponents form the state legislature…zell was ltguv and before that his old boss maddox was the last guv not to come out of the leg…

    • AthensRepublican says:

      Talking about Johnson? 16 years as a legislative insider could not hurt in light of the budget issues the new governor will likely be facing. Every governor of Georgia for the past 30 years has had extensive legislative experience, seems Georgians expect that.

      • Silent Outrage says:

        He’s never run anything in his life. He’s also got some serious ethical baggage and is an all around dishonest person.

        He can raise $2-3-4 million dollars, it doesn’t matter. He has a lackluster message that isn’t catching on and at best, if he breaks folks are in for a shock when they look at his actual ethics, past support for liberal Democrats, and his addiction to living the high life off of lobbyists…

  5. Game Fan says:

    Again we see from “fundies” (not that there’s anything wrong with it) but, like with Dr. Paul, we definitely see a complete lack of recognition of the pro-life Constitutionalist in the race who also may actually be the strongest pro-life candidate (Ray McBerry). This is a legitimate political gripe. That being that when “fundies” enter the political arena, they often do so as corporatist/status quo cheerleader. And once again, this is just an observation from a fiscal conservative, Constitutionalist, pro-choice self-identified Republican.

    • fundy1611 says:

      Anyone with a clue knows that McBerry is not a serious candidate and will be running for governor until the day he dies.

      • Game Fan says:

        Supporting the candidate one likes based on the issues generally has a positive effect on whatever agenda he/she espouses as others try to close the gap. (Poli-Sci 101.) Now, if you’re simply trying to “pick the winner” then have at it Mr. fundie.

        • Game Fan says:

          Now if you’re not here simply “predicting” then, as a Fundamentalist, and political expert, certainly you already have your own favorite candidate based on the issues. So, either way, how about it?

  6. ieee says:

    Criminal Johnson needs to get out of politics and stay out. That is how he could best serve Georgia and the United States.

    Recall that he fought very hard to keep Genarlow Wilson imprisoned. He even forced himself to watch the child porn videotape in order to better polarize his righteous opinion of it (had to be told by federal prosecutors that that was illegal and he should stop). Johnson thinks it is appropriate to imprison a person for 10 years if they have oral sex with a classmate who is 2 years younger.

    He is also happy that the Sex Offender Registries have defined a nicely convenient group of people for him so that he can dream up useless harassments and punishments and retroactively apply them to all of those people. I wonder what harassments he has dreamed up recently. I wonder what it is these days that he has decided that he would like for all of those people not to do. If it sounds good the Criminal Georgia Legislature will pass it for him.

    Criminal Johnson has proven that he will create laws that uselessly and retroactively harass people all for less than zero real benefits. He was the Georgia senator who created the bill (which became law) that made it a serious crime for any person listed on a Sex Offender Registry to photograph, videotape, etc. any minor anywhere unless there is consent of a parent or guardian (better get it in writing!).

    Frankly, as a parent, if we can have these laws for people who have been conveniently grouped for harassment, why can’t we just go ahead and make it illegal for everyone? I’m not sure why someone should be allowed to photograph my children just because he/she has only beaten children to death (accidentally, of course!) and done nothing sexual to an adult (in order to be Registered).

    Even true morons/Registry Mongers have to admit – this is a damn useless law that will truly do nothing good. Forget about the approximately 100 legal ways around the law. The law has and will “work” just like Registration itself does. It will harass all of the people on the Registries, including the vast majority who are doing nothing more than living normal, productive, law-abiding lives.

    And for anyone else listed on a Registry who has any other intent? It will do absolutely nothing at all to make them even think twice about doing anything. In fact, I’ve heard so many Registered people say that nothing has ever made them want to break the law than Registration does. And for the Registered people who don’t say that, they feel that. Criminal Johnson’s laws will only increase that.

    Wait, I know. We will catch a criminal photographing children before they go molest someone and thus will prevent a heinous crime. Except that there isn’t a chance in a billion that that will happen and that would ultimately likely only help contribute to further crimes anyway. Oh well, as long as it makes us feel good, I guess it’s a good law. Keep them coming, Criminal Johnson.

      • ieee says:

        I’ve been listed on a Registry for well over a decade. For something quite minor, I will add. I’ve never harmed a child and never would. But I cannot be employed at a business that is located “too close” to a school, day care, church, or whatever else the Criminal Georgia Legislature cares to dream up in the future. Of course, there are numerous other restrictions all based around that huge lie of “protecting children”. And, in the meantime, people who have only gravely harmed children or killed them may live right across the street from any school that they like. You see, it evidently just takes way too much effort to makes these little insignificant laws make sense, doesn’t it?

        I wasn’t defending anyone, let alone “society’s worst monsters”. If that is what you think it was about then you missed the ENTIRE point. (And BTW, if you think “society’s worst monsters” are the people listed on the Registries, you are truly showing your ignorance.)

        I was simply pointing out that Criminal Johnson will gladly violate basic American principles and harass a hated minority of citizens, all for no benefits at all. That makes him a scumbag. The people who support that are too.

        • fundy1611 says:

          So you’re a registered sex offender and calling Johnson the criminal? I would stop if I was you. You look ridiculous.

          • Game Fan says:

            Actually, many on this site have expressed the idea that the criteria for “sex offender” be narrowed so as to focus in on some of society’s real predators.

        • macho says:

          I don’t know what you did, because you’re choosing to be ambiguous, but I don’t think a 16 year old having sex with a 15 year old should be labeled a sex offender for his or her entire life. There ought to be some sort of one or two year age difference exemption.

          • ieee says:

            This is a reply to “Game Fan”, I put it here because there was no “Reply” link under his comment.

            Game Fan: You are right that there are plenty of people on the Registry who should not be, but that’s a given. I really don’t think any informed people are even debating that any longer. Of course, based on the huge, lengthy history of the Georgia legislature’s completely idiotic mishandling of its “Sex Offender” laws, none of that means they will actually do anything intelligent about it. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they did the opposite. They don’t really care much about facts.

            But, the ultimate problem is that we probably shouldn’t be Registering anyone. There is just simply no doubt that it is very counterproductive. It could be useful if people would use it properly, but that will never happen in this country. Even if that could happen, all the rest of the laws that Registration has enabled (e.g. Banishment, e-mail Registration, Halloween BS, etc.) are clearly worse-than-worthless and need to go. And I’m sorry, but there are no decent Americans who support what the federal, Georgia, and thousands of local governments have been doing and that is retroactively adding punishments and harassments to this convenient group of people (i.e. Registered people) that they’ve listed for targeting. There just aren’t.

            Also, if these Registries and the rest of the BS is so great, it is completely indefensible that we have not already expanded it to include most people convicted of felonies. In Georgia alone, I am certain that there are tens of thousands of people who have been convicted of felonies who are more dangerous to people around them, including children, than a very large percentage of the people on the Registries. It makes no sense at all not to Register those people and apply all of the retroactive restrictions to them.

            And even further and ironically, most people who have committed sexual offenses, especially against children, are some of the people that we gain the LEAST benefit from Registering. That is because they don’t just simply attack children, they groom them. And that is fairly easily preventable by responsible parents or guardians. It really is. And even in the cases were it might be more difficult, there are far more effective methods for protecting your children than messing with the negligibly useful Registries. They are just a huge panacea that wastes a huge amount of resources that could instead be applied to actually trying to reduce sexual offending.

            And yes, I understand that few people really give a damn about any of that or any other facts. They are perfectly content just gittin them there SEX OFFENDERS!!!

    • AthensRepublican says:

      You make “Criminal” Johnson sound even better. I am glad he worked so hard try to protect Georgia children. Perhaps, Vermont might be a better suited place for you to consider relocating to?

      • ieee says:

        Oh yeah, Criminal Johnson “worked so hard try to protect Georgia children”. If that is what you think he did, what he was trying to do, or what his law did do, then you are really, really showing your ignorance. He didn’t have to work hard to inflict his law upon Georgia. He definitely worked much harder talking and bragging about it. He thinks that it might have helped win him some votes, but in reality, it did the opposite.

        I won’t be moving from Georgia because that is what scum like Johnson would like. No, I will be here to vote against him and do whatever else I legally can to impact his life. His laws have illegally impacted my spouse and my children, so pretty much anything is fair game.

        Lastly, if you think Criminal Johnson sounds good then I would have to suggest that you take just a small, cursory look at what Georgia’s laws have actually done. Take a look at the uninformed idiots who support the laws and then look at who does not. If I were you, I wouldn’t get my facts from or listen to Georgia’s politicians concerning this subject. That would make you a real fool. I would start with what EVERY SINGLE EXPERT who ever spoke or wrote about the subject has said and even directly told the legislators on numerous occasions. Unless, of course, you are like Georiga’s legislators and are so arrogant that you believe you know more than they do.

        • AthensRepublican says:

          If you did nothing wrong perhaps your frustration should be directed at whoever prosecuted you. Eric Johnson did not target legislation at you (unless of course, you are a predator). Keep screaming about it though and maybe spend some money running some TV commercials, do a few direct mail pieces, maybe some phone banking on that issue. I am sure Gov-Elect Johnson will thank you.

          • ieee says:

            What are you talking about? I did not say that I did nothing wrong. And Johnson most certainly did target legislation at me. His legislation affects (very likely illegally) every person in Georgia who is Registered. Less than .8% of the people on Georgia’s Registry are officially classified by the state as “predators” and there are very little additional punishments applied to those people. Nearly all of the retroactive punishments, including Johnson’s, have been applied to every person on the Registry.

            Johnson received death threats when he was running his stupid mouth about Genarlow Wilson. If he is elected governor perhaps whomever people made those threats will return with a vengeance. I had (and have) very mixed feelings about those threats. On the one hand, it is very sad that in the United States we can’t have good people be lawmakers and do their best to help the people and entities that they govern without fear of illegal reprisals. That sucks.

            On the other hand, Johnson and many more of Georgia’s legislators, with respect to Wilson and also Georgia’s “Sex Offender” laws in general, are pretty much just criminal thugs and they often aren’t trying to help anyone or anything beyond themselves. They have definitely passed laws that they surely knew were illegal. They have definitely passed laws in direct opposition to all known facts. They have definitely conducted a propaganda campaign designed to incite hatred against a minority of citizens in order to benefit themselves. They have definitely deliberately spread lies and misinformation. Legislators who do that are criminal thugs. They need to be stopped. Johnson has acted like a criminal and I do personally believe Georgia would be better off without him around. We need real leaders. We need to get rid of most of the current legislators.

    • Joshua Morris says:

      I don’t have all the numbers I’ve seen in front of me right now, but I believe that it actually is smaller per capita than in 1997, when factoring inflation. Even if I’m a little off, I’m sure there has not been any real budget growth in the last decade that does not line up with population growth and inflation.

  7. Aleq says:

    Can any one tell me who the only native Georgian, life long Republican with a High School diploma and a UGA Grad that is running for Governor who is that man?
    Hint Not Johnson not a Georgian
    Not Deal not a life long Republican
    Not Karen Handel-
    of the top three it would be interesting if one of them were a Native Georgian, and a life long Republican and a College Graduate. Gosh I always want more out of my candidates.

    • macho says:

      Because Ox was born in GA we should vote for him, what an intellectually shallow reason. You’re arguments might play at the local flaggers meeting, but this message board is a tad bit more thoughtful in the analysis of candidates.

      You better hope somebody doesn’t come out with a “name the candidates who aren’t ethically challenged” list.

    • AthensRepublican says:

      You could be describing Glenn Richardson’s good buddy Austin Scott. He was a UGA graduate and a life long Republican. I don’t know if he was physically born in Georgia though so I guess that alone would disqualify him. Though I do think he was elected to the House shortly after birth.

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