consultants are sandburs

Friday, November 13, 2015

Anoka County's SD35 - Roger Johnson, so far, is the presently unopposed DFL candidate for the Senate District seat Branden Petersen is vacating. The Republicans (as in the Pesidential contest) presently have multiple candidates wanting-and-hoping, and that party will CAUCUS, convene an Inner Party decision making confab, date certain.

Roger Johnson - DFL
May the force be with Roger Johnson. In a November 12 posting, the DFL's Facebook page - this link - and source of the Johnson photo - describes the Johnson candidacy. Whether there will be other DFL party contestants remains unclear.

As one not a Facebook fan, and expecting others might feel the same about Facebook, Crabgrass quotes the full DFL page's release with readers invited to either read it here, or there:

Senate District 35 DFL - October 12 - As promised, we have news tonight of a candidate for the upcoming Senate District 35 special election...


The expected resignation of Sen. Branden Petersen (R-Andover), effective October 31, 2015, will necessitate a special election within 45 days thereafter, to be called by Governor Mark Dayton.

Long-time community resident and activist, Roger Johnson, in response to a “Draft Johnson” effort, has agreed to seek the endorsement of the Senate District 35 DFL party to fill this impending vacancy. His wife, Vicki, soon to be President of the Anoka Philolectian Society, is eager to support him in this new leadership role.

According to Wes Volkenant, SD 35 DFL Chair, Johnson is the perfect candidate for this Senate seat. “Roger Johnson has lived in this Senate District for 41 years, sent his children to Anoka-Hennepin schools, MnSCU Colleges, and has a granddaughter enrolled at Anoka Ramsey Community College. Johnson has never slighted his attention to and participation in boards, committees and events that are an important part of the civic life of Anoka County and this Senate District,” according to Volkenant.
“Johnson spent 10 years working on the Parent Legislative Team of the Anoka Hennepin School District, and 4 years as a Commissioner on the City of Coon Rapids Board of Adjustment and Appeals. When Anoka County was promoting its land for a new Vikings Stadium, Johnson was an eager participant in the County Ambassador group. He worked to promote passage of every levy referendum of our local public schools in the last 20 years, and served on 3 special task forces of the school board to downsize schools and adjust the school day. He is the past president of the Coon Rapids Lions Foundation that gave over $100,000 in scholarship monies to Anoka Ramsey Community College, Coon Rapids Community Scholarship Association and Crossroads Alternative High School.” said Volkenant.

Today Johnson continues to be actively involved in our community. He serves as a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee of the Coon Creek Watershed District, a Board Member of the Emma B. Howe YMCA, and is on track to become the president of his Lions Club in July of 2016. Roger Johnson serves on the college president’s advisory committees at both ARCC and NHCC (where he spent 35 years as a professor of physics and engineering). Of special interest to Johnson is his promotion of the MetroNorth Chamber of Commerce’s Workforce Development Committee, which he chaired and continues to attend, as well as being a founding member of the Chamber’s Workforce Development Foundation, acting as its Education Officer. “Some of my current volunteering efforts will likely have to be curtailed,” Johnson admits, “when I am elected to serve my district in the Minnesota State Senate.”

“I am aware,” Johnson added, “of the interest that a half dozen or more conservatives have in maintaining their hold on this Petersen seat. Of particular note is the interest of former House member Jim Abeler. I consider Jim to be a friend. In fact I encouraged Jim to move to the Anoka County Board where he is sorrowfully needed to bring a modicum of reasoned compromise to the budgeting process there. That would provide him with quicker access to his personal health-client base, his considerable real estate investments, and his large and growing family, all of which deserve his focused leadership,["] Johnson advised. “It’s time for someone else to handle advancing our progressive local citizens’ issues through appropriate state legislation. And I will work tirelessly to earn the trust of every voter, regardless of party affiliation,” Johnson concluded.

A few things to note (tracking the release in sequence). First, "philolectian" is a new word to me, and perhaps to readers, meaning "love of learning;" with ABC Newspapers having reported of the Philolectian Society's scholarship program. Lovers of history may be interested in a webpost about the Society's founder and a bit of its exemplary early activity:

In 1890, [... Anoka pioneer physician Dr. Flora Aldrich] was elected the first president of the Philolectian Society – “Lovers of Learning.” The group was a social club exclusively comprising married women, originally limited to 15 members. In 1892 the Philolectians rallied to assist in the establishment of the first public library in Anoka. They increased the group’s membership to 50, circulated a petition and scoured the area for books, periodicals and furniture. By 1894 the library was formally opened to the public, but the work of the Philolectians was not over. For years the woman held a variety of social events to provide promised financial support for the library.

So, our present excellent county library system had a private sector origin, something followers of the other party might find of interest. "Bibliophile" was a known word, "philolectian," a new one - so let that be the "bonus factoid" of this post.

Moving on, Johnson's Chamber involvement and being a Lion of the kind that need not fear dentist Parker, are noteworthy. Crabgrass readers may well notice that Johnson expresses the same dismay noted here that Jim Abeler did NOT decide to seek the County Board District 1 seat, a far, far, better seat for Abeler to seek given incumbency, and the current spirit among the majority of that Board.

Jim, why, why, why, WHY did you not focus upon being a likely upgrade to the County Board; that being a question which brings us to the Republicans, Abeler and the dwarfs.

On the dark side of the force. Abeler stands head and shoulders above others seeking the GOP candidacy for the 2016 general election - call him the twilight side of the force; others being a pure moonless midnight shade of darkness.

As to GOP caucus matters, those having access beyond the Politics in Minnesota paywall may look online here and here, or check the SD35 Republicans website "News" in hopes of gaining caucus and candidate information. Readers finding information there about the candidate names and caucus scheduling are urged to post a more detailed link via comments.

Last, regarding Johnson, ABC Newspapers reports on the Johnson DFL candidacy, here. (Further info on candidate Johnson can be found from 2012 ABC Newspapers reporting during his earlier candidacy for a Coon Rapids Council at-large seat.)

While LinkedIn has several "Roger Johnson" entries, this entry is likely candidate Johnson's.

The CFB candidate registration page for Johnson is online here, and the MetroNorth Chamber's sparse online reporting of its Workforce Development Committe, here. The CFB page is important for its providing contact information for those wanting to make a direct snail-mail campaign contribution, as it appears candidate Johnson has not yet opened a candidate website with PayPal capability.

Johnson appears to have a broader grounding than several of the GOP candidates as well as a more progressive spirit. Executive work on behalf of the Chamber suggests Johnson is more a moderate than a dedicated card-carrying liberal; with progressiveness of attitude a relative thing. (For instance, given the GOP batch, Abeler among them clearly is far and away the more "progressive" candidate they offer. Faint praise, certainly for a conservative such as Abeler, but Jim is well known and we can only feel great regret he did not select the County Board as his next hoped-for venue.)

While not hunting down online CFB registration information for the several SD35 Republican hopefuls, if any reader has that information and would send it via the sidebar email address or otherwise, or provide it via a comment, such help would be appreciated.

_________FURTHER UPDATE_________
The Johnson CFB registration notes a "web address" that presently exists but has no active campaign related content, nor other detail, yet.

It appears Johnson's site is still in preparation so that readers might want to bookmark that page and check it later.

_________FURTHER UPDATE_________
Johnson's firm per the NorthMetro Chamber's website is noted here, with Roger's spouse Vicki Johnson listed as contact person; see, also, LinkedIn noting Johnson family ownership of the business since 1977, i.e., for thirty-eight years, doing, "Negotiation and Mediation in the private and public sectors. We work to negotiate employment contracts for individuals and groups of employees."

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