Michael Johnson makes the case for a run against John Lewis

Former Fulton County judge Michael Johnson on Monday made his case for next year’s Democratic challenge to U.S. Rep. John Lewis to Lori Geary of Channel 2 Action news.

Said Johnson: “You can’t change the results of the game without sometimes changing the players in the game.” Watch it here:

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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29 comments Add your comment

Romegaguy

June 28th, 2011
9:46 am

Atlmom

June 28th, 2011
9:58 am

I vote against incumbents, at least 99% of the time. I certainly vote against an incumbent who has voted 100% with nancy pelosi.
And against an incumbent who has been in office over 20 years.

Jim: does Mr. Johnson have a website?

Samuel

June 28th, 2011
10:06 am

John Lewis went and got tested for HIV yesterday to raise awareness after getting Atlanta millions for HIV/AIDS treatment and facilities funding and this guy comes out on the same day and says you need to change the players in the game? To what? To a more self absorbed, self gratifying, fly-by-night nobody? Go DO something with your time and stop talking about yourself.

Jack

June 28th, 2011
10:10 am

While Congressman John Lewis, a well-respected, honest, hard-working, and incredible man was spending his Monday afternoon spreading awareness of (and soliciting donations for) HIV/AIDS research in Atlanta, Michael Johnson was attempting to gratify his own selfish political desires, and line his campaign coffers with money.

If we want to discuss someone who has the interests of Atlantans in mind, we should look no further than the Civil Rights hero who continues to fight for us day after day. Shame on you, Mr. Johnson.

Atlmom

June 28th, 2011
10:11 am

wow samuel. are you one of those people who thinks *their* representatives are the best ever – it’s everyone else in government who is the problem?
The problem is that we need new blood every few years. we are NOT getting it. We are doing the same thing and getting the same results – but we keep saying how govt isn’t doing a good job (unless you think they are, then you really are missing a lot of what is going on).

Kimberly

June 28th, 2011
10:12 am

Interesting, Michael Johnson spent Monday working to defeat a respected Congressman, and the Congressman spent Sunday and Monday working to defeat HIV & AIDS.

On Sunday Rep. Lewis attended Antioch Baptist Church to speak to congregation about the importance of testing, then on Monday ( National HIV/AIDS testing day) took a HIV/AIDS test on camera. http://www.11alive.com/news/article/195914/3/Rep-Lewis-takes-HIV-test-on-camera

HIV/AIDS is a serious issue in the 5th, why isn’t Johnson speaking out about that? What is Johnson’s position on testing and education? Oh yeah, no one knows because he doesn’t have any record on issues.

Aquagirl

June 28th, 2011
10:20 am

Kimmie

June 28th, 2011
10:24 am

@Atlmom, I’m not sure I’m following your logic. The way federal representation works isn’t piecemeal.
We can’t just change one or two people out and expect the entire congress to change. If you are serious about systemic change, then you need to push for real campaign funding limits ( no Citizens Uniteds, enforcement not dismantling of McCain Feingold) and term limits for everyone in Congress.

Until it’s tackled as whole, brining new folks in won’t change a thing. In fact it weakens the district’s ability to leverage power. I know it’s hard to hear this, but I’ve been on the hill working for limits for years, and until there is agreement with 435 congress members, seriously nothing is impacted by one or a dozen new faces. Just look at 2010, 94 new people went to DC, what’s changed? Nothing, the grid lock only got worse.

td

June 28th, 2011
10:26 am

Atlmom

June 28th, 2011
10:11 am

I agree with you 100%. I always vote against the incumbent in the primary for just the reasons you stated.

CatherineAtlanta

June 28th, 2011
10:26 am

Congressman Lewis is always working for the people of his district, as well as people across the country and around the world. Could Judge Johnson have worked behind the scenes, like Congressman Lewis, to assure we got the funding for the Atlanta Streetcar? Does Judge Johnson meet with people in the district to listen, educate, and inform his potential constituents about their concerns and his ideas? I’ve never met the guy, and I’ve lived in the district for over 15 years. Congressman Lewis has been through both Republican and Democrat rule at the national level – neither stops him from doing his work as a congressman.

Atlmom

June 28th, 2011
10:34 am

catherine atlanta: i don’t WANT the idiotic federal money!!! why should we have to send money to DC in order for those people to ‘decide’ which projects are okay to fund? and it’s only done based on which rep they like the most. I really HATE when I see lewis’ (or any other politician) ’s name on these ‘projects.’ How about keeping the money here so that the states can figure out what is best for their constituents rather than paying the ‘DC tax.’
The system is horribly broken.

Kimmie: it’s a start. I can only do so much. But Lewis really isn’t an effective legislator. As I said he votes with Pelosi 100% of the time, which means she says: vote this way, and he does. How is that in any way representing a district in GA?

WE NEED NEW BLOOD. ALL THE TIME in government. Otherwise, we get what we have.

Just Nasty & Mean

June 28th, 2011
10:34 am

John Lewis won’t even debate Johnson. Anybody that can’t form words shouldn’t debate.

Don’t you know?? John Lewis marched in Montgomery! That gives him a free ride to do NOTHING for the rest of his life on the taxpayer’s dime. .

If I were a voter of the 5th District, I would be OUTRAGED at the lack of representation, legislation or work from my Congressman. …But that’s just me…

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

June 28th, 2011
10:49 am

John Lewis supported Hillary Clinton until he realized he was practically the only one in his congressional district not supporting Barack Obama.

Now John Lewis supports illegal immigration, an organized army of invasion for conquest, whose marching orders are openly published (Viz. “The National Pastoral Plan for Hispanic Ministry”), on behalf of the same Roman Anti-Christ which ran the slave trade for over two thousands years, and whose American Fifth Column assassinated Dr. King and President Kennedy.

The above commenters begging to keep their jobs in Mr. Lewis’ office may not be entitled to retirement on our dime, but our confused congressman now serving America’s false elite certainly is: it’s time for Mr. Lewis to retire.

Atlmom

June 28th, 2011
10:50 am

just nasty and mean: but you haven’t met many of the people in this district. when asked what he has done to represent us, people talk about his marching with king 40 + years ago.

Rev. Joshua

June 28th, 2011
10:52 am

Atlmom – John Lewis represents the 5th district (my district) which is overwhelmingly progressive and is one of the few bright blue oases in the red sea of fundamentalist ignorance that is Georgia Republicanism. I’m so grateful to be part of the only congressional district in Georgia that is consistently progressive, and I’m proud to have John Lewis representing us so well.

Congressman Lewis is a genuine hero who cares deeply about his district. I can’t imagine even considering someone who would have the temerity to vote against him.

Julez

June 28th, 2011
11:01 am

I’m not sure I understand your point about Pelosi? Do you mean that he supports Healthcare, a woman’s right to choose, LBGT rights and human rights and equality? Because if so, I don’t see the problem.

Based on your comments about incumbants, does this mean I can count on you to come up to north fulton and help defeat Tom Price? Will you go to Lynn Westmorlands district to defeat him? It’s funny cause I ONLY ever heard this marlarky when it comes to Lewis

Dirty Dawg

June 28th, 2011
11:21 am

I don’t know this guy Johnson but I’ve been worried for some time that John Lewis has lost his energy for ‘the fight’…and fight we must if we’re to save this country from the Right-wing idiots intent on turning the entire Nation as ‘red’ as Georgia is. Unless John’s staff has improved over the past decade, they can’t carry the fight for John and, let’s face it, it’s long-past time for John to move on to taking life a little easier.

I’ll be paying close attention to this primary and looking to see what kind of candidate this guy is, or indeed if any others come along that offer an even greater promise to ’stand up to these damn wingnuts…to fight the good fight…and to win the damn thing’….and I’d do the same thing in Price’s, Westmoreland’s, Gingrey’s, Broun’s or Kinston’s Districts, but I don’t live there, I live here.

Julez

June 28th, 2011
11:28 am

If I had to make a critique of Johnson, it would be that as a Judge, we never knew what he stood for. Rather than coming out with platitudes and less than gracious comments about a 20+ service to our country, how come I can’t hear what his position on issues are?

Oh, I get quite cranky about this anti incumbent snark.. would you say this to generals serving? Would you say this about a long serving CEO? Would you say this to a teacher who spends decades at the same school? Why the target of a congressman? I find it odd that in this one instance folks get all self righteous about longevity and experience.

Mr.SouthMetroAtl

June 28th, 2011
12:35 pm

I’ve made my position known about John Lewis and all other long term politicians who have locked down key political offices. I celebrate and respect the sacrifices people like Lewis have made for a better mankind but what is anyone doing in political office that’s old enough to draw social security? This doesn’t include the handsome pay they get to serve in office and other perks.

I’m going to take a close look at Michael Johnson. John Lewis should have retired from office at least a decade ago. He’s getting lifetime achievement awards and yet he’s sitting on the roost like he’s the only one capable of doing the job. I have a problem with that. Who has he groomed to take baton and keep running with it?

We need fresh politicians with a progressive platform and the will to get things done. John Lewis doesn’t have that….and of course he doesn’t need it as he’s riding off the coat-tails of history and a largely nostalgic and somewhat ignorant public that will drop the votes for him out of familiarity…..but don’t ask them what he’s done in the past 4 years to get re-elected.

Let’s give the future a chance!

CatherineAtlanta

June 28th, 2011
12:39 pm

Seems to me we do have term limits – they’re called elections. If you are unhappy with your elected leaders, then maybe you should consider running or recruiting someone to run, against them.

As for Congressman Lewis “losing his energy”? Seriously? Have you seen him lately? He is fired up. He’s still speaking up on issues here in Georgia and across the country. I’ve seen him several times over the past few months and I don’t see any indication that he’s lost his energy to fight.

A Conservative Voice

June 28th, 2011
12:45 pm

@CatherineAtlanta

June 28th, 2011
10:26 am
Could Judge Johnson have worked behind the scenes, like Congressman Lewis, to assure we got the funding for the Atlanta Streetcar?

Kind of a bad example…..this will be nothing but a money pit and will be bankrupt after five years because of low usage. John Lewis needs to exercise his “civil rights” and get out of politics.

Julez

June 28th, 2011
3:20 pm

So, let me see if I have this straight.. all of Michael Johnson’s qualifications boil down to “he’s not john Lewis”?

Chief Wiggum

June 28th, 2011
5:33 pm

It sort of looks like the same as “seminar callers’, where several folks came here supporting Lewis saying the same things…like you had a sheet to work from or something.

Not my district, but my opinion is that John Lewis is a one-note song. He’s become so tied to his history in the civil rights movement, everything he does has to do with race-baiting.

It does appear that Lewis is trying to woo another constituency, with all the comments we see here. Probably the changing demographics of his district, race-baiting will only get you so far these days.

Last Man Standing

June 28th, 2011
5:58 pm

CatherineAtlanta:

“Could Judge Johnson have worked behind the scenes, like Congressman Lewis, to assure we got the funding for the Atlanta Streetcar?”

Streetcar?

Wow!

Dirty Dawg

June 28th, 2011
6:07 pm

Well if John is full of fight then he’s keeping his lantern under a bushel basket, cause you never see or hear from him – I mean how many times do I have to endure the Prices, Brouns, Kingstons, Westmorlands, Gingreys, etc., of this state.

I think my position is that I’m for anybody, incumbent or no, that will run on the Congressional Reform Act. Namely that would be a proposal to amend the Constitution – The 27th Amendment – to accomplish a number of things like: Members of Congress would no longer enjoy tenured pensions – you’re paid while you’re in office, and when you’re no longer in office you participate in an individual retirement plan that you contributed to (like the rest of us) and Social Security, both only once you become eligible. And all the money, by the way, that’s in the current Congressional pension plan would be transferred to the Social Security fund…the current, sweetheart, healthcare plans offered to the Members would be changed and set up much as what the rest of us have – plans ‘negotiated’ through either a ’single payer’ or, again, the ‘open market’ – with a prescribed percentage to be contributed to by the ‘employer’ (us) and the participant (the member)…Congressmen can no longer ‘vote’ themselves a pay raise – salaries would increase annually based on the CPI or 3%, whichever is lower…all contracts with Congressmen – past or present will be voided and government will no longer be allowed to contract with current or former members of Congress – ever, for anything.

Now I realize this doesn’t deal with all the ‘campaign contributions’ that have made members of Congress rich over the centuries, but it’s a start. Then we can call on the ‘winners’ to get going on the 28th Amendment – Public financing of all campaigns and the elimination of all campaign contributions….now that ought to bring some true sanity to the process.

Now if Mr. Johnson wants to run on that platform, or if John Lewis wants to, I don’t care. I’ll support ‘em. Of course John would have to forfeit – if not give back – all the money he’s received, or expects to receive from AIPAC, et.al. In which case I think he’d chose to retire now and be grandfathered in.

Last Man Laying Down

June 28th, 2011
6:12 pm

You all may remember that no one thought Ms. McKinney could be beaten. I imagine the Lewis campaign is aware of that fact. While Mr. Lewis is a fine man, who was a part of the CRM, his time has come and gone. How many middle class black voters under 40 are tied to voting for him because of his legacy. And why would his legacy entitle him to retire or die in office? And why does an unmarried man, who is a seminary graduate and assumedly celibate, need to take an AIDS/HIV test? To show support to the intown gay community? If so, that is nothing but grandstanding. I say, here comes the Judge. Mr. Lewis, with all his years of service, has little influence in Congress and if the only reason folks will vote for him is his legacy, then they shall receive for what they ask; very little.

Last Man Laying Down

June 28th, 2011
6:47 pm

To Last Man Standing: Good one. Now how about, “The Streetcar to Nowhere”. While the intention is nice, it’s a waste of money. Either spend it on another more useful project that moves more people more efficiently (”A Rail to Somewhere”), or back to the taxpayers.

Last Man Standing

June 28th, 2011
8:15 pm

Last Man Laying Down:

I would opt to giving it back to the taxpayers. Streetcars had their time and use, but that was some time ago. If the fed is just hell-bent on spending money we don’t have, they should invest it, as you say, in something that moves more people with greater efficiency.

Dirty Dawg

June 29th, 2011
9:50 am

To compare John Lewis’ chances of getting beat to Cynthia McKinney’s is to ’skin your ignorance’ on why she, ultimately, lost and why John won’t. Cynthia, as Jimmy Carter’s experience would underscore, had the nerve to suggest that Palestinians needed to be treated more fairly by Israel…that brought the house down on her…from all over the country money poured into the coffers of whoever was running against her at the time…the AJC, along with the rest of Cox Enterprises, went after her with a vengeance…Andy Young and John Lewis himself wouldn’t support her – and you know why, at least with John? Because he’s at or near the top of the list of campaign contributions from the AIPAC – no way he’s gonna side with Palestinians on anything. It’s time for John Lewis to retire…he may be a hero and all that but he’s long since stopped being an effective legislator – if he ever was one.