Tim Johnson Watch

Representative Tim Johnson was elected to represent the residents of Illinois' 15th Congressional District in Central Illinois. His constituents should know what he's doing.

Location: 15th Congressional District, Illinois, United States

A concerned citizen of Central Illinois.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Decisions, decisions ... Part III

An anonymous commenter asks why it matters that Tim Johnson hasn't picked sides in the race for House Majority Leader:
If Johnson would have picked his choice already you would be bitching that he got paid by someone. Now that he hasn't picked you bitch about that. What ever he does this blog will spins it.
That's a fair question. TJW is no fan of any of the three candidates, so I agree that, in this case, there is no course of action Johnson could take that TJW would approve (save, perhaps, taking a public stand that the Republicans need a fourth option, like Chris Shays (R-CT), who is committed to genuine reform). In other words, I agree that in isolation Johnson's failure to pick a candidate doesn't matter much.

However, in the context of Johnson's overall record, TJW believes that Johnson's failure to pick sides in this contest is revealing of his overall mous operandi -- which is to avoid whenever possible taking a position on controversial issues, especially when doing so might annoy someone in the leadership. There may be no "right" position on who should be Majority Leader, but there surely was a right position on Tom DeLay's proposal to change House ethics rules so that he could remain Majority Leader even if indicted, yet Johnson ducked the vote. There surely was a right position on President Bush's proposal to gut Social Security, yet Johnson avoided taking any position in the hope (correct, it turned out) that Bush's plan would go away for lack of support. There surely was a right position on Bush's decision to cut wages for construction workers working on Katrina reconstruction, but his office would not respond to my inquiry concerning his position on the issue. There surely is a right position on whether Bush should make public records of his dealings with convicted GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff, but Johnson avoided constituent questions on that issue as well.

The stated purpose of this blog is that Johnson's "constituents should know what he's doing". How he is conducting himself in the GOP leadership contest is part of the mosaic of information that his constituents should have.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Johnson is going for John Shadegg most likely. You bring up that Johnson doesn't want make any hard choices becuase he doesn't want to up set leadership. That is just down right funny. If that had any weight then Johnson would be voting with the party and the leadership all the time. Look at his votes and not just a few votes and tell me who votes with the Dems more than Johnson inside the GOP. I would say Johnson give the GOP more problems than a sure votes as you like to spin it. You make it sound like Johnson is in the running for leadership spot scents he just always votes with leadership and the President. This blog just keep becoming a bigger joke each day. Spin this however you like because we all know you will.

8:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, Johnson only breaks with the GOP when it doesn't matter -- when there are already enough votes for the GOP platform that it won't hurt if he throws a bone to the rest of us.

The unions, farmers, African-American community, environmentalists and others in this district are waking up to Mr. Johnson's ways. It's becoming clear that when it really matters, Johnson supports the GOP and their extremist agenda.

That's why Tom Delay gave $25,000 to Johnson.

8:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you say ANWR! Can you say the budget last year! Like I said earlier spin it as you want. I bet you anything Tom DeLay is kicking him self right now for giving any money to Johnson. Are you really tell me if DeLay could do it all again he would give Johnson a dime. NO he wouldn't!

I can't talk for all the groups you said but I can talk on behalf of one because I'm one. I'm a farmer and Johnson has fought for agricultural in Illinois. Last year when the budget came out the President wanted to cut the USDA and agricultural funding for 6%. Johnson from day one said no to the cuts. The left hates the energy bill but it is going to make ethanol more used in Illinois and the nation. The energy bill makes the US use 7.5 billion gallon by 2012. The where is the dems on ethanol? Thats right they are not any where to be seen. Johnson supported CAFTA. I know you guys hate CAFTA but about every Illinois agricultural group support CAFTA because they knew it is break down the tarriff that Illinois farms are facing. On US corn and bean the US farmer is facing a 10 to 45% on our crops when sold to Central America County. With this agreement it means more money in my pocket. Next Johnson said no to USDA on closing FSA office in the 15th district. These offices are important to farmers. Please tell me what Johnson hasn't done for Illinois agricultural?

8:43 PM  
Blogger Philosophe Forum said...

The USDA budget is about agribusiness & not the farmer. FSA & RD have their S&E budgets reduced every year. Less field offices is a direct consequence of less employees.

The GOP agenda is strictly about providng money to agribusiness. The family farmer has no chance against that. Large commercial farm operations receive a disproportionate share of USDA's budget. In Illinois, about 58% of the 2004 appropriation went to approx. 10% of the recipients. We're losing family farms for a reason.

Ethanol is good in the 81 flex-fuel vehicles only. There are no consumer incentives to use the alternative fuel, & it's not cost-efficient to use E85 on a regular basis. One consumer has written Fortune that he gets "17% fewer miles per gallon from ethanol, but the price is generally not 17% less than regular unleaded. When the price of unleaded goes up 5 cents, the cost of E85 goes up 5 cents too." The person's experiences agrees with the current studies that ethanol is sometimes less efficient than gasoline, with mileage upwards of 12% worse depending on conditions.

With current technology, it takes more petroleum to make ethanol than the ethanol
replaces. More accurate studies (many funded by the Corn Growers Assoc.) show that there is a positive return. The real breakthrough occurs with the advent of cellulosic ethanol.

Drilling ANWR is a lose-lose. It's really a stepping stone to off-shore drilling. The oil companies really want to establish operations in whale migration paths. They don't settle for a little death & destruction. They prefer to go all the way.

So. IL has the highest unemployment rate in IL. CAFTA hasn't helped. It's only made the quality of life worse.

DeLay's not kicking himself. Johnson votes with him over 90% of the time. It's money well spent to him. Both Johnson & Shimkus are bad for So. IL. Hastert & DeLay control them making IL a colony of TX. Now Rove's backing Topinka. The GOP wants IL & it's 21 electoral votes. Residents deserve better. Dr. Gill & Dan Stover are definitely better.

12:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you please tell me what ideas Gill and Stover has came up with for agricultural? NONE! Also are you tell me that you would rather have Kerry and Clinton doing agricultural policy? Why don't you take a poll and see if farmers would rather have Kerry/Clinton/Pelosi or Hastert and Frist writing the next Farm Bill. I bet they pick the GOP. Sen. Clinton is one of the people most aganist ethanol. The dems has no ideas for agricultural. If you do please let me hear them.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Philosophe Forum said...

I know that the GOP agenda is whatever Hastert, DeLay, & Rove say it is. Not a good thing:

1) Farm subsidies for agribusiness will continue to increase while family farmers will disappear.
2) Weakened environmental legislation will allow large farm operations to continue poisoning ground water resources & the Gulf of Mexico with pesticides & animal waste.
3) Corporate businesses will continue seeing record profits at the expense of the the quality of life for Central & So. IL residents.

You have legitimate questions that deserve answers. Send them to Gill & Stover. I'd like to hear their answers myself. There's a candidate forum in Collinsiville on 02/27. Maybe someone will ask Stover. It's also good questions for debates later this year -- if the incumbents agree to them

12:50 PM  
Anonymous David Gill said...

I recently had lunch with a group of farmers up in Livingston County, and their message was loud and clear: they want to know why Mr. Johnson helped push through an Energy Bill which gives billions of our tax dollars to the Big Oil companies (which are already turning obscene profits each quarter), but which only throws a few crumbs in the direction of alternative fuels grown from their corn and beans. These guys are fully prepared to help us push forward with wind, ethanol, and biodiesel-- if only they had representatives who had the right priorities! I explained to them that they simply had to check www.fec.gov to see who was financing Mr. Johnson-- when ExxonMobil, Ameren, Exelon, and Dynegy write those checks for thousands of dollars to the Johnson campaign fund, they expect something in return. It's this system of legalized bribery that keeps American farmers from having billions of dollars invested in the infrastructure necessary to fully develop alternative energy in America. With more than 95% of my financing coming from individual contributors, I'll stand up for our farmers as they try to help themselves, America's economy and security, and the envronment.

2:25 PM  

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