To most DFLer’s the fear of former State Rep Doug Wardlow (R-MN) becoming Attorney General is becoming a reality. As the election draws nearer and the attention over Congressman Keith Ellison’s (DFL-MN05) alledged abuse grows the likelihood of a Wardlow victory becomes more apparent and could result in the first Republican holding the position in 47 years. The decision for many becomes a Hobson’s Choice (Taking what’s available or nothing at all.) one without a good outcome either way.
Today, Attorney General Noah M Johnson (Grassroots-Legalization Cannibus) candidate made the choice somewhat clearer. He has ended his campaign and is endorsing Ellison, but his name will still appear on the ballot. As you can see from his statement he is a person committed to the cause with a recognition his is not the right person for the job.
My statement regarding the Attorney General’s race:
My name is Noah M. Johnson, and I am the Grassroots – Legalize Cannabis candidate for the office of Minnesota Attorney General in this year’s election. I’m writing this in order to do something unusual for a political candidate—I am endorsing my opponent, Keith Ellison.
Before I explain why, I want to explain why I ran for office in the first place. It was not so that I could gain any power or fame, or even necessarily so that I could be elected to office. I ran because I believe deep in my heart that the prohibition against the drug marijuana which continues to exist not only nationally, but also in supposedly progressive Minnesota, is morally wrong. It is morally wrong because, from a utilitarian standpoint, a plant which does no harm to others and affects only its user should not be illegal, as it constitutes a restraint upon liberty without justification. It is wrong because marijuana is well known to be a safe alternative for medical purposes to opioids, and for recreational purposes to alcohol and tobacco, all of which are deadly and their use commonly accepted, and its legalization would boost Minnesota’s treasure through tax revenue. It is wrong because the enforcement of anti-marijuana laws is highly disproportionate in its effect on minority communities in comparison with Caucasians, to the point that the City of Minneapolis recently ended its enforcement against low-level offenses involving the drug, citing racial disparity, and all races have about the same rate of use, and furthermore, it is wrong because the most dangerous aspect of using marijuana is the potential for deleterious legal consequences to the user. It is wrong because it was made illegal originally because of racism in the 1930s, and enforcement against it was increased during the 1960s in reaction to the democratic liberalizations of that decade, and because it will be safer for citizens and for police officers to bring the business of marijuana out of the shadows and into the light of justice. In short, it is wrong to continue the prohibition of marijuana, and we as a society have a moral duty to make it legal.
On Wednesday, Keith Ellison endorsed the legalization of marijuana. That goal is the primary purpose of my campaign, and on other issues, Mr. Ellison and I share progressive values that have always served Minnesota well. He is concerned with the civil rights of the people of our state, and standing up for liberty and justice in the face of the direct assault upon those sacred concepts by the loathsome Trump administration. Mr. Ellison wants to protect the right of the people to quality and affordable healthcare, rather than sell out the health of our citizens to the benefit of the wealthy. He wants to help fix income inequality and make the prospect of an education affordable for our young scholars. He will continue Minnesota’s proud tradition of marshaling its legal resources to protect consumers from predatory businesses. He intends to defend women, and seniors, and LGBT people, and immigrants from those who would attack those groups to advance themselves, and he will serve as a steward for the environment of our planet, which will nourish us and our children for generations to come, but only if we do not allow it to be sacrificed to narrow interests, as Republicans would.
Now let’s talk about Doug Wardlow, the Republican candidate. In a perfect world, we would not have to talk about a mainstream political candidate who’s so far to the right that he has to pretend to be “apolitical” in his campaign—for the partisan office of Attorney General, no less, where he has said he will immediately fire all Democrats without regard to their individual histories of service to our citizens—and whose best appeal to the people of Minnesota is to terrorize them with regard to Mr. Ellison and his personal life. We wouldn’t have to talk about a man who worked proudly for a group like the “Alliance Defending Freedom,” which is so regressive and vitriolic that one of the nation’s premier civil rights advocacy organizations classified it a “hate group,” and rightly so, since it advocates the sterilization of transgender people and the recriminalization of homosexuality, which it believes is part of some agenda meant to destroy Christianity. Doug Wardlow wants to strip away your healthcare from you in order to serve the rich, and despite his protestations of neutrality, he will work in lockstep with Donald Trump and the narrow interests to raise taxes on the poor and middle class, lower them for the rich, fill our jails and prisons with nonviolent offenders and engorge the prison industry. Moreover, Doug Wardlow will brutalize Minnesota’s immigrant community for no other reason than the political benefits of stoking fear and ignorance. Make no mistake: Mr. Wardlow will do everything he can to help overturn the right to safe and legal abortion enshrined in Roe v. Wade and decades of subsequent law. His election would help further erode any semblance of checks and balances in a government stacked with authoritarians with no will to stand up to Donald Trump or fight for the freedom of our people. Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative or anything in between, we cannot afford to go as far backward as Doug Wardlow would have us go. Ronald Reagan himself would denounce Wardlow as a dangerous reactionary.
This appeal to you was not one I make lightly, and in certain cases is unwelcome by my colleagues and supporters. Nevertheless, my sincerest gratitude is with those people for their tireless support of our cause, and Keith Ellison is the right choice for that cause of justice, and to be Attorney General of the people of Minnesota.