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C’mon, the Tribune endorsement makes perfect sense

Friday, Sep 30, 2016

* My Twitter feed is exploding about today’s Tribune endorsement of Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson, calling him a “moderate” former Republican governor.

But let’s put the nod into the context of Johnson’s reign as New Mexico’s governor

…Johnson made it his top political priority to install a school voucher system (an effort that failed because of the legislature’s opposition). He also annulled public employees’ collective-bargaining rights, slashed funding for social programs, reduced taxes for the wealthy, implemented one of the country’s strictest welfare-reform programs, and pushed for harsher sentencing laws. […]

He rejected minimum-wage increases and backed “right-to-work” bills. And in 1999, when public employee unions’ right to collectively bargain was set to expire, Johnson vetoed a bill to extend it. Thanks to Johnson’s actions, AFSCME’s Carter Bundy told me, ten thousand government workers saw their wages frozen. “He was incredibly hostile to labor,” said Morty Simon, an attorney who represented labor groups in the ’90s. “We were just totally shut out of the Gary Johnson administration. No contact, no nothing.”

That’s pretty much the same agenda that tronc supports here. He’s a nearly perfect fit. He even reversed himself and opposed the death penalty.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


49 Comments
  1. - G'Kar - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 10:54 am:

    And this endorsement came after he had, in his own words, “Another Aleppo moment” and could name a single foreign leader.


  2. - Graduated College Student - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 10:56 am:

    Johnson’s nickname was “Governor No” due to his propensity to veto just about everything. Sound familiar?


  3. - jerry 101 - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 10:59 am:

    He also failed to have an audit performed of the state government throughout his tenure. I’m not aware of any other state that fails to have an annual audit performed, but New Mexico didn’t have one under Johnson!


  4. - @MisterJayEm - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 11:00 am:

    Rich is correct.

    If you could see the world as reflected in the Tribune’s fun house mirror, the Gary Johnson endorsement would make perfect sense.

    – MrJM


  5. - sal-says - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 11:00 am:

    tronc: Continuing its proud tradition of cluelessness and irrelevance.

    tronc lost its editorial way years ago, as it has repeatedly demonstrated regarding IL government.

    And, as usual, tronc is totally wrong about its ‘not a wasted vote’: Of course it is. And, tronc recommends BrainFreeze Johnson? Perfect.


  6. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 11:04 am:

    If there was ever a year for a protest vote in Illinois this is it. Illinois is a lead pipe cinch for Hillary and establishment Republicans are avoiding Trump like the plague so why not?

    Johnson and Weld were both popular Republican governors in purple or blue states. Johnson won his first term over an incumbent 50-40% and then his second term 55% to 45% after cutting the 10% annual growth in the budget. Terms limits did not allow a third term.

    Weld was also a two term Governor reelected by the largest margin in Massachusetts history.

    Of course the only thing we hear about these guys today is the fumbled answer on Aleppo.

    It would be great to have these guys on the debate stage arguing policy instead of focusing on insults from 20 years ago.


  7. - Anon - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 11:06 am:

    This is why it’s getting harder to take the Tribune seriously.


  8. - Jeff Trigg - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 11:08 am:

    If he gets 5% in Illinois, Libertarians get ballot access for statewide in 2018. It’s not all bad, Democrats.


  9. - And I Approved This Message - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 11:08 am:

    Lucky - I think a candidate for president of the United States who was stumped as to weather Aleppo was an animal, vegetable or mineral, and who days later couldn’t name one world leader he admired is a little short of ready for prime time. Irrespective of how popular he was in New Mexico. It’s embarrassing.


  10. - thunderspirit - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 11:09 am:

    I’m a bit surprised by the endorsement due to the non-partisan editorial board’s blatant partisanship.

    But yes, Johnson has always sounded like the Tribune’s perfect candidate.


  11. - wordslinger - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 11:09 am:

    Plus, Johnson scores killer ganj.

    He should probably refrain from firing up, though, before going on national TV. That dude has been chronically baked the last couple of weeks.

    Either Trump or Clinton will be president come January.

    If you can’t make up you’re mind between those two very different candidates, you’re just making a fool of yourself pretending to take an informed “stand” on anything.


  12. - Marx - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 11:15 am:

    You’re quoting Jacobin Mag? Jeez.


  13. - Ducky LaMoore - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 11:16 am:

    ===If he gets 5% in Illinois, Libertarians get ballot access for statewide in 2018. It’s not all bad, Democrats.===

    Yeah, just what the democrats need, someone to siphon votes away from the anti-Rauner crowd. Challengers almost always perform better 1-on-1. You think Blago would have been reelected by the huge margin he was if it weren’t for Rich Whitney? And there will most likely be an unpopular democrat in the White House to boot. And believe me, the troncs know this.


  14. - Aldyth - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 11:17 am:

    Has the Tribune become in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana. Johnson makes no secret that he enjoys it, on occasion, and is in favor of legalization.


  15. - jim - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 11:22 am:

    didn’t want to endorse trump, couldn’t endorse hillary. makes perfect sense, and as an added benefits, irritates partisans on both sides.


  16. - ZC - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 11:22 am:

    Nothing to see here, in multiple senses.


  17. - cdog - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 11:22 am:

    and to think tronc decides what’s important enough to publish.

    scary.

    (Colbert tore up Johnson last night.)


  18. - Politix - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 11:24 am:

    This is why I canceled our subscription a year ago.


  19. - Graduated College Student - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 11:26 am:

    Lucky

    In his first election, Johnson beat a 3 time New Mexico governor…who was 30 years older than him, clearly going senile, and confronting a strong 3rd party candidate on his left flank during the 94 Republican wave…with a plurality.

    For reelection, Johnson faced the (former at the time) Mayor of Albuquerque and Albuquerque Mayors are about as popular in the rest of the state as Chicago Mayors are in Illinois.

    Johnson’s tax policies, while mostly opposed by the legislature under him, would be taken up by his successors and passed. New Mexico is currently facing something like a half-billion dollar budget shortfall…for a state that has a budget of about 18 billion.


  20. - wordslinger - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 11:27 am:

    – And believe me, the troncs know this.–

    3D Chessmaster Troncs?

    Based on the level of mature reasoning evident in their edits, I’m thinking Candyland players.


  21. - Trapped in the 'burbs - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 11:28 am:

    From the people advocating for a Katrina style catastrophe to hit Chicago and who called an offer to buy them at double the value of their stock a bad deal, comes more evidence that they are a joke. Can we stop pretending that they are a legitimate news source?


  22. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 11:31 am:

    I wish Weld was at the top of the ticket- much stronger than Johnson and no gaffes for the media to focus on


  23. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 11:32 am:

    Somewhere Corinne Wood is laughing.


  24. - Anon - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 11:38 am:

    Thanks for posting this, Rich. Surprisingly, I’m still an undecided voter. I was considering Johnson, but not anymore. I had no idea he was a union-buster. I still don’t know what to do if a vote for Clinton is a vote for Rauner. I can’t bring myself to do anything that helps him.


  25. - @MisterJayEm - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 11:43 am:

    “Of course the only thing we hear about these guys today is the fumbled answer on Aleppo.”

    To be fair, we’ve also heard that when asked to name his favorite foreign leader — or any foreign leader he admires — Johnson was unable to come up with an answer. http://www.npr.org/2016/09/29/495896880/watch-unable-to-name-a-foreign-leader-gary-johnson-has-another-aleppo-moment

    Talk about a brain-tronc!

    – MrJM


  26. - Amalia - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 11:56 am:

    cowards. they know that they are helping Trump but refuse to endorse him. if you cannot tell the difference between what happens under each of the two most likely to win, you are not responsible. Johnson is a total lightweight.


  27. - Jose Abreu's next homer - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 11:56 am:

    My co-worker just cancelled his Tribune subscription and told the guy on the phone it’s because of this endorsement.


  28. - frisbee - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 11:58 am:

    I liked Johnson when i met him in 2009 but he hasn’t sharpened up his game and his unforced errors of late are reinforcing the fringe concept of third party candidates. Nevertheless i still wish he and Jill Stein were in the debates but polling blah blah blah…


  29. - Jeff Trigg - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 11:58 am:

    Did someone forget to tell Illinois Review that Rahm Emanuel and the Cook County Democrats happily took Trump’s campaign donations?


  30. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 12:14 pm:

    The Trib and the Libertarians deserve each other:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Psp0A-zJgU


  31. - Ducky LaMoore - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 12:15 pm:

    ===My co-worker just cancelled his Tribune subscription and told the guy on the phone it’s because of this endorsement.===

    Trump supporter or Hillary supporter??? And cancelling a paper over an endorsement? In a country of such privilege, we are sure turning mighty thin-skinned. We have been spoiled for so long.


  32. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 12:32 pm:

    Johnson is apparently very lacking in international politics knowledge. He gives pot smokers a bad name.

    It is fitting that the Trib would endorse a candidate who represents potentially very damaging anti-government, anti-tax policies.


  33. - Team Sleep - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 12:40 pm:

    Fifteen years ago this fall - which almost hurts to type - I took my required course on international politics. It was an awesome class and we had some real knock-down, drag-out arguments but we always had a good laugh afterwards. We talked extensively about third parties and coalition governments, and it was timely given Ralph Nader’s candidacy the previous year. We had a routine, hardy debate about whether legit third parties would ever “work” or be accepted in America. It is incredible to think that even a decade and a half later - and even with such disgust over major party nominees - third parties and third party candidates are almost looked upon as the lepers in American politics. There is no real reason for it. I understand that Governor Johnson is tilting at windmills (so to speak) but he is not some fringe kook. The man is a two-term governor - and his running mate is not only a two-term governor but also a former U.S. Attorney. That blind partisans fail to understand why people support these two is almost as befuddling.


  34. - ArchPundit - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 12:40 pm:

    I want the two people from the Tronc video to read the endorsement on camera. No useful purpose other than my amusement as they throw in tech buzzwords as if they meant something.


  35. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 12:41 pm:

    You mean Gary Johnson, L-Aleppo?


  36. - pundent - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 12:51 pm:

    =they know that they are helping Trump but refuse to endorse him.=

    This presupposes that an endorsement by TRONC means anything. This was the “safe” choice for TRONC and has Rich points out is consistent with their ideology. They don’t have to part with their conservative leanings and can claim that they didn’t support a racist, sexist demagogue. Johnson will barely register in Illinois.


  37. - Keyser Soze - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 1:01 pm:

    Is he really a stoner? How about the editorial board?


  38. - walker - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 1:17 pm:

    Michelle Flaherty at the top of his/her game.


  39. - Joe Bidenopolous - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 1:27 pm:

    Great points.

    Also, had tronc endorsed Hilary, it would’ve added to the already loud voices demanding the governor take a stand, and tronc certainly wouldn’t want to put him in more of a sticky wicket


  40. - Biker - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 1:32 pm:

    So who will Michael Ferro make the Suntimes endorse?


  41. - Cheryl44 - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 1:33 pm:

    Why didn’t they just suggest we write in Rauner?


  42. - anon - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 1:39 pm:

    === If he gets 5% in Illinois, Libertarians get ballot access for statewide in 2018. It’s not all bad, Democrats. ===

    Does Rauner want the Libertarians on the ballot in 2018?


  43. - Team Sleep - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 1:43 pm:

    1:39 - good question, but with Gary Johnson polling well amongst younger voters then I think the Dems would be worried as well.


  44. - Enviro - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 2:21 pm:

    Didn’t the Tribune editorial staff read Eric Zorn’s excellent article about Gary Johnson?


  45. - striketoo - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 2:35 pm:

    Trump makes more mistakes in an hour than Gary Johnson has in his entire campaign.


  46. - Left Leaner - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 3:54 pm:

    The Chicago Tribune - adding one big brick to its road to irrelevance.


  47. - Wensicia - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 4:07 pm:

    You can’t be proud of your vote unless you choose Johnson? As usual, the Tribune dismisses anyone who disagrees with their, um, principles, including many of their own subscribers.


  48. - HRC2016 - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 4:34 pm:

    They were never going to endorse HRC and couldn’t endorse Trump because Rauner refuses to make any comment on all of the crazy things Trumps says and he won’t say if he is voting for him. They are just following their leader.


  49. - wordslinger - Monday, Oct 3, 16 @ 9:41 am:

    –How could the Democratic and Republican parties stagger so far from the political mainstream?–

    Say the big brains who must have just staggered in from a long liquid lunch on Lower Wacker to endorse a fringe candidate who will be lucky to get five percent of the vote.

    Clinton and Trump will combine for somewhere around 90 percent of the vote; 90 percent is the definition of mainstream. There were contested primaries and millions of voters selected the Democratic and Republican nominees. Johnson got the nomination in a phone booth caucus.

    What charter school did the troncs all go to that left them so ignorant of English, mathematics and logic? Do they ever put their scribbles to the test before publishing?


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