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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Getting the Scoop Directly from Judy Johnson

Matt from MN Publius attacked Plymouth Mayor Judy Johnson, who is running for the state senate in Senate District 43 (Plymouth/Minnetonka area). I was curious about this, because he implied Judy had attended the Michele Bachmann fundraiser with special guest President Bush. I wrote Judy and asked her about this, and she replied on the record:


No, I did not attend any Bachman fundraising event.

I did attend the Healthcare discussion at the Marriott - so did Bonoff by the way - we saw each other. Healthcare is an important issue in our state and I appreciated the discussion by the HHS Secretary and the other distinguished guests on the panel - no "hob nobbing" at all. I promptly returned to Plymouth to prepare for my council meeting. For the record - since MNPublius is so interested in my schedule - I was at a TwinWest Chamber meeting just ahead of the Healthcare event - again working as mayo on city issues - and I did other city business just prior to that.

My campaign volunteers attended the Minnetonka Festival on my behalf - my husband was NOT there. I was chairing my city council meeting that night as the Mayor of Plymouth - doing the important business of my constituents as I do each day. I had a study session that began at 5pm on the city budget with my council and staff. The regular council meeting began right after that at 7pm and went until about midnight. (Yep, I went home after that to sleep if they want my full daily schedule - they need to get a life)

About 200 citizens were at the Plymouth City Council meeting and it was broadcast on cable tv to thousands of people in the community. If MNPublius did their homework and cared about FACTS - they would know I have my priorities straight by serving the people of my community in my official capacity as mayor and would certainly know that is why I was not at the Minnetonka Festival. I also sat with the Mayor of Minnetonka and the former Mayor of Minnetonka at the President's Healthcare event that day and gave my regrets that I couldn't attend their festival in celebration of their 50th year, due to my city council meetings that night.

I am not "missing in action" and people who make this charge are surely uninformed and just resorting to misrepresenting my STRONG record of dedication to public service for a decade. Once again, false and negative attacks are the "item du jour" on the MNPublius menu. I am doing my job, working tirelessly, representing all citizens as mayor and working hard on my campaign, as well.

Thanks, Eva, for keeping an eye on this and for helping me get the FACTS straight. My focus is on good government and sound public policy as always.

Last year on the MNPublius blog: "My biggest beef with Judy Johnson? Well, besides the fact that she's been disaster for the balancing books in Plymouth during her time as mayor there, she is a staunch supporter kicking evolution out of public schools."

AGAIN, FOR THE RECORD: Plymouth is one of the best run cities in the state and nation with a Aaa bond rating, low debt per capita, one of the lowest tax rates of cities over 25,000 in population, the sixth largest city in the state with over 70,000 people and over 50,000 jobs - the only "disaster" is their sad efforts of inaccurate reporting of my city's fiscal strength and our sound budget which is adopted annually with expert staff advice, strong citizen input by a seven member non-partisan city council. Plymouth is smart, innovative, collaborative and award-winning when it comes to our finances. (By the way - the DFL SD43 State Rep. candidate serves with me on the Plymouth City Council and has served for six years.)

Additionally, I do NOT support teaching or mandating ID in schools - I have NEVER sought to get evolution instruction out of public schools - that is a lie - my daughter just had 10th grade science last year in our public high school school. I fully support the curriculum which includes evolution education. As a mother of four attending public schools for 13 years - I have great faith in our local school board elected officials, teachers and curriculum experts in the district and know they do a great job teaching our children - that is one of the reasons we moved to this community in the first place.

Post this on their site if you want - I welcome it.


Here's what Judy Johnson said in response to a question at the Twin West Chamber forum about Intelligent Design.


Q: Intelligent Design, where should it be taught, if at all and which school class and why?

JJ: For anybody out there who is not sure what that is I bet the people in the education community might know what it is but I will tell you I learned of this term a few weeks ago, so first of all Im going to define it and I hope Terri ????

Intelligent Design is I believe a movement where they are working on um putting in principles of creationism into the classroom um versus evolution. I just wanted to set that up for people who might not know what that is. Ah for me as a candidate and also me as a parent. Education of my children is very important. I have four children in the Wayzata school district and I can say and it (touches?) the curriculum greatly. I think the most important thing for me as a parent of children who are being taught scientific principles is that we give people the option of of learning all different points of view um I personally dont believe in evolution but Ive never been one to say that my children shouldnt be exposed to that in the school system. On the other hand I do believe in creationism and we do teach that at home and I want my children to in a classroom have those kinds of discussions about how did we get here where are we going um how is the world created what are the scientific principles behind it what are the (things?) we cant explain ah that go into ah science and our whole world so this is something I'm learning a lot about right now because I believe there are political attachments to all of this um for me its just something where I think we need to teach all points of view.

Judy is persuasive on all fronts except for her claims about her position on creationism. I continue to have reservations about her position on that issue. The MN Publius kids clearly hadn't made an effort to contact Judy Johnson prior to attacking her.