Republican Jonathan Johnson has been making visits around Southeastern Utah to meet with voters about his plans if he becomes Governor of Utah and what he can offer to the communities.
His visit started in Emery County which allowed him to see a view of the Power Plant in Castle Dale where he saw a safe and productive plant that had nothing but blue skies above, white steam rising and no haze in sight. If elected Governor, Johnson talked about how he would fight back on the EPA regulations and the war on coal, “When the EPA is making law is what the regulations are I think they are breaking the constitution. The Constitution always anticipated that Congress would make laws. Congress is kind of giving up what they were suppose to do and let these agencies do it. I think that’s a good argument against the lot of the over regulation that the EPA is doing. The second thing I think is important to help us win this war against coal is to get the public land, the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service land transferred from the Federal Government to the State Government because we’ll always of the EPA to fight but I’m willing to be the tip of the spear and fight that fight but today we are also fight the Department of Interior and limited access to companies that want to extract. If as a state we own that land and we’re managing it locally we’re going to do so responsibly but we’re going to do it in a way that makes the land productive.”
Another hot topic in Southeastern Utah Johnson was asked about was the Bears Ears matter down in San Juan County. “I think it’s absolutely wrong that the President can sign away Utah land without Utah having any say in it, whether it was the Grand Staircase Escalante that President Clinton signed away or whether it’s Bears Ears that I’m fairly confident that President Obama is going to sign away. To me that’s giving away what should be Utah’s land. It frustrates me that the Governor hasn’t been and the Governor’s office hasn’t been more aggressive in the last eight years to try and get BLM and U.S. Forest Service lands transferred back before this because no matter what we do now I think before President Obama leaves office there’s going to be another national monument whether its Bears Ears or somewhere else,” said Johnson. He is committed that when he is Governor he will bring a suit against the federal government to get that land transferred back so that four or eight years from now, no matter who the President is we are not looking at yet another monument.
Johnson touched base on a couple education topics. He is not a fan of the Common Core Standards due to the fact that they are dictated from the top, down, whether it’s the Department of Education in Washington or the State School Board in Salt Lake, they have no local control aspect of it. He would like to see the local school districts determine what the standards are for their area so parents may have more input. Of course the State School Board would have a say as to whether or not those standards are at an acceptable level. Secondly, with the legislator passing a law and with the Governor signature this year, SAGE testing is no longer used to evaluate teachers each year. Johnson feels that with that in place, there is absolutely no reason to use the SAGE testing. There should be a test designed to measure the student’s overall performance at the end of the year and the results should factor into their grade.
Johnson touched briefly on the JRI (Justice Reinvestment Initiative), he felt that although the State had good intentions it shifted the costs from the State and Prison to counties and jails. But like most good ideas he felt that it needs to be refined over time.
As far as the unemployment in Utah especially in Carbon and Emery County, Johnson would like to see state ownership of the land so that we are able to extract the precious minerals and fuels that are in the ground as well as look for other alternative industries to bring into Carbon and Emery Counties to utilize what we currently have such as the railroad and the citizens who have the know how, the do and hard work ethic.
When asked why constituents should vote for Johnson for Governor he stated, “I’m not a career politician, I’m not trying to become a career politician. I want to do things that make Utah better and if those are safe and popular in politic things they’ll be easy but I think there is plenty of things that aren’t safe, aren’t politic, aren’t popular but are right. Whether its fighting to get the public lands transferred, whether it’s getting common core and the federal government out of our education system, whether its saying no to Obama Care expansion that we saw the Governor really push with Healthy Utah. I’m going to make hard choices.”
If put into office the first thing Johnson plans to do is put a term limit on the Governor and take it to the people. He has seen with Governor Hurbert running his third term has a trapping of power. “Look I’m a constitutionalist, I’m not going to pass laws that violate the constitution. Not going to do things the government should not be involved in. I’m not going to do things that we can’t afford. I’ve promised I won’t increase taxes and I think it can be done. I like having that constraint because I think for too many politicians that answer is more money, more money. I think hardworking Utahans and the businesses that they run and built together are the economic engine of Utah and we need to keep more money in our families and businesses pocketbooks and bank accounts,” stated Johnson.
To learn more about Jonathan Johnson visit his website at http://hirejj.com/