Why should you hire JJ?
Let me share my vision of Utah’s future — one that won’t be achieved by one person or a small group of elite insiders, but by all of us together.
Today, bureaucrats decide too much of what our children study and do at school. That’s wrong.
Yet last December, Congress gave the Department of Education veto power over Utah’s education plan when it passed the Every Student Succeeds Act — only after Gov. Herbert vigorously lobbied Congress to pass the controversial legislation. The message to Utah teachers and parents: “Federal bureaucrats know better than you.”
No matter the issue, local decision-making is better.
As governor, I will end the Common Core mandate and data-mining SAGE testing.
We shouldn’t force local school districts into a one-size-fits-all program. Instead, we must empower principals and parents with budget and hiring and firing authority with input from parents, teachers and local school community councils.
During his two terms, Gov. Herbert has increased taxes again and again.
Last year, when Utah had a $739 million surplus, he imposed gasoline and property tax increases. He claims he cut taxes 34 times, but few will ever see them because those special-interest tax cuts pale to his broad tax increases paid by hardworking Utah families.
I’m done with tax increases. That’s why I’ve signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge promising I won’t increase taxes as governor.
Limited government means limited taxes.
Some may say this sounds too good to be true. To which I respond, I’ve built a career analyzing budgets and stretching dollars — while still providing great service. I’ve done it in the business world and I’ll do it for Utah. Government spending more of our hard-earned money cannot be the solution to every problem.
Rural Utah and public lands
Currently, Utah has a tale of two states: a more robust economy on the Wasatch Front and a struggling economy in much of rural Utah where access to public lands is increasingly restricted by an overbearing federal government that thinks it can manage lands better than we can. Well, the federal government is wrong.
I'm from a family of eight boys and, when I was growing up, if any one of the Johnson brothers was in a fight, all eight of us were in that fight. I won’t leave rural Utah to fight the behemoth federal government alone.
The time to act is now. I’ll lead the fight to transfer the public lands to the state — even if it means suing the federal government.
Utah is a great place to do business — I know firsthand, having helped build a $2 billion business that employs nearly 2,000 Utahns. I’m well-positioned to share that message with companies around the world looking to do business in Utah.
But, no matter what the billboards say, government doesn’t create jobs — businesses, entrepreneurs and hardworking Utahns create jobs.
Government should create a fertile business environment so the economy can continue to grow. And while our business atmosphere appears healthy, heavy regulation and licensure laws still suffocate innovative and disruptive businesses from competing in Utah. For example, outdated laws protect established businesses, but stifle new businesses like Tesla, Airbnb, Uber and Lyft.
I will do away with excessive and needless regulations — particularly those that distort the market to protect certain businesses. To that end, I’ve committed to call a special session of the Legislature to repeal outdated and bad laws.
Gov. Herbert is running for his third term. He can do that because Utah is one of only 14 states without term limits. Utah is filled with talented, intelligent and capable people with fresh ideas and new perspectives. There’s no reason for Utah to have career politicians in our executive office. I’ll get a two-term limit put on the governor’s office.
I’ve traveled the state visiting with thousands of Utahns. Many of you have put me through a rigorous interview process. I’ve been tested by your questions and inspired by your stories and concerns.
I’m ready to lead Utah to a brighter tomorrow. I can — and will — win this election.
As you cast your ballots to hire Utah’s next governor, I ask you to hire JJ.
Jonathan Johnson is a Republican candidate for governor and chairman of the board of Overstock.com. He and his wife Courtney have five sons and reside in Holladay, Utah. Learn more about him at www.HireJJ.com.