Some of the core principles that guide my thinking on government and the issues:
- I believe that government can only exercise authority granted to it in the Constitution.
- I believe that people make better decisions about how to spend the money they earn than government.
- I support school choice and the empowerment of parents to control the education of their children.
- I believe the right to keep and bear arms for personal protection is a fundamental individual right.
- I am pro-life.
- My Christian faith guides every decision I make.
I have been clear about my health care priorities from the beginning: ensure Minnesotans have access to affordable health insurance that meets their needs. We have to drive health insurance costs down, and the only sure way to do that is get more competition in the marketplace. The best health insurance in the world is useless if you can't afford it.
And when it comes to Minnesotans with pre-existing conditions, we have protected them from discrimination for decades — as they should be — and that will continue when I become governor. Like you, I have friends, family, and members of my church who rely on health insurance to cover pre-existing conditions. There is no way I would abandon them. We will continue to guarantee affordable coverage to those with pre-existing conditions in Minnesota.
My opponent Tim Walz voted for Obamacare and now pushes for a complete government takeover of the health care system known as "single payer" where everyone in Minnesota will lose their current insurance and be forced onto one government plan. And Minnesota taxes will nearly double to pay for the staggering $17 billion a year in new spending in the state budget.
Our state desperately needs a fundamental change in the size, scope, and philosophy of government. In short, this means taking power away from government and giving it back to the people of Minnesota. We must--and will--create a mindset in government that it is a servant of the people, not the other way around. This will have a lasting, positive impact on Minnesota for generations.
Achieving this fundamental change will be the overriding mission of the Johnson Administration. As a start, I will push for term limits, initiate a top-to-bottom audit of the programs Minnesota taxpayers fund and veto any omnibus bill that does not adhere to the single-subject rule. And most importantly, we will rein in arrogant state agencies like the DNR, MPCA and every other bureaucracy that doesn't understand they exist to serve us, not control us.
Minnesotans are naturally welcoming of legal immigrants, who contribute every day to our great state. Minnesota will always welcome new arrivals who obey the law and contribute to society. But entering our country illegally should not be rewarded.
Minnesota has been extremely open to refugees in recent years: Minnesota has 2% of the nation's population, but 13% of the nation's refugees. The cost to communities has been very substantial. For these reasons I have called for a stop to the refugee resettlement program in Minnesota. As governor, I will meet with President Trump and Attorney General Sessions to explain this situation in detail and inform them that our participation in the program will end until we tell them otherwise.
My opponent Tim Walz is calling for Minnesota to become a "sanctuary state.” This would mean local law enforcement would be prohibited from working with federal agents tasked with enforcing our country's immigration laws. I will not allow Minnesota to become a sanctuary state and will work with the legislature to ban sanctuary cities in Minnesota.
Taxes & Spending
Government’s appetite for overspending in Minnesota goes hand in hand with the desire to push government programs and regulations into every corner of our lives. Reducing spending levels and increasing take-home pay will result in a badly needed explosion of economic activity, growth, and opportunity.
I believe we need to cut taxes and reduce the size and power of government. We’ll start by cutting income taxes - starting with the lowest income tax rate and license tab fees, ending the taxation of social security benefits and instituting an Automatic Taxpayer Refund when government over-taxes Minnesotans.
Despite the fact government spending in Minnesota has increased a stunning 53% in just the last eight years, my opponent Tim Walz is promising at least $18 billion a year in new spending and to increase our taxes to pay for it.
All Minnesotans deserve an economy where hard work is the only limit to success. The way to achieve this is to create an environment that encourages our small-business owners and embraces both the jobs of today and tomorrow. Our government has failed miserably to do this and instead has been a direct obstacle. This changes on Day One of the Johnson Administration.
The proposed Line 3 pipeline project is a good example of government getting in the way of job creation. Minnesota’s economy needs Line 3 and our families and communities need the thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in investment this project will bring to our state.
It is unclear where my opponent Tim Walz stands on this project and his running mate Peggy Flanagan has a history of protesting recent pipeline projects.
I believe that parents, not the state or the education unions, are the best decision-makers when it comes to the education of a child. We must empower parents to make those decisions and allow teachers the freedom to teach without unending interference from politicians.
To begin this process, we will radically simplify our K-12 education funding formula, start to eliminate some of the many state mandates on our schools and teachers, and do everything possible to allow real education choice for every parent in Minnesota. As governor, I will confront head-on the political indoctrination of our kids in some of our public schools.
The state and federal constitutions are not lists of suggestions, but the concrete operating rules for our government. I view the Constitution as my job description as governor.
Transportation is the lifeblood of Minnesota’s economy and also directly impacts quality of life. By employing common sense and long-term planning there is no reason we can’t achieve great roads and solve our broader transportation issues without breaking the bank.
The Johnson Administration will focus transit money on a world-class bus system. In the Metro, I’ll base my transportation funding decisions on projects that relieve congestion and provide mobility to the citizens of Minnesota.
There is no more important issue than protecting innocent life. Not only is this a moral issue, recent breakthroughs in science and technology have made even more clear that we must protect the life of the unborn. I am Pro-Life and believe in the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death.
The role of government in our lives should be as limited as possible, but providing for the public safety of all Minnesotans is one of the most important jobs of government. I’m proud to receive the endorsement of the Police Federation of Minneapolis for this campaign.
While I have always supported alternatives to incarceration for low-level, nonviolent offenders and believe strongly in providing second chances for those who make mistakes, we have one of the lowest incarceration rates in the country and violent criminals must be locked up and very violent criminals must be locked up for a very long time. Under my administration, Minnesota will be a safe place for law-abiding citizens and a terrible place for violent criminals.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Minnesota’s economy was built on agriculture and our natural resources.
That’s not to say that farming, logging and mining are the only parts of the economy that matter, but they provide the rock-solid foundation upon which many other industries have been built.
Yet government is doing little but getting in the way of people who work the land. Government permitting too often harasses farmers, miners lose jobs because of bureaucrats and regulations and loggers often are treated as pariahs.
I grew up in rural Minnesota. I know what a blessing our natural resources are, and that the people whose livelihoods depend upon using them are better stewards of the land than any bureaucrat in St. Paul.
I believe we can have copper/nickel mining in Northern Minnesota AND protect our environment. I'll be an advocate as governor to move these projects forward.
The U.S. Constitution is unequivocal: “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
Self-defense is a fundamental individual right and creating new “gun control” restrictions on law-abiding citizens will only leave guns in the hands of criminals.
My opponent Tim Walz completely changed his views on the Second Amendment during this campaign, making it difficult for voters to trust him on this and other issues.
I’m on the ground fighting the Met Council every single day on the Hennepin County Board. The damage this organization does is not hypothetical to me and I will work aggressively to eliminate it entirely and start over with a limited regional body (without taxing authority) to coordinate sewer and water service lines and an integrated bus system.
We cannot “tinker” with the Met Council. It must go.