MNGOP governor candidate Jeff Johnson taking heat for 9/11 truther connection

JeffJohnson.jpg
Screengrab of Jeff Johnson
"Sponsoring events and giving a platform to people who believe the terrorist attacks on 9/11 were an inside job is irresponsible and hurtful to those who lost their loved ones that day," ABM's petition says.
The Alliance for a Better Minnesota is petitioning to demand that Hennepin County commissioner and 2014 MNGOP gubernatorial hopeful Jeff Johnson apologize for attending a 9/11 truther event held last Friday at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

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The event, which also featured (of all people) former AM 1130 political talker Bob Davis (see an event flier listing all the participants here), was headlined by Ben Swann, a former TV anchor-turned-reporter who recently raised eyebrows with his piece "Reality Check: More Americans Are 'Rethinking' 9/11?"

In the piece, Swann raises the same questions about the allegedly mysterious collapse of the World Trade Center #7 building as those raised by Minnesota 9/11 Truth in a full-page ad taken out in City Pages last week.

Days after the 9/11 anniversary, Johnson, whose website betrays no hint of viewpoints anywhere outside the Republican mainstream, was spotted at the Humphrey event. ABM reports that he did more than just attend -- his campaign logo "was promoted on event materials, tweets from the event claimed that his campaign staffed a table in the lobby, and the candidate attended the event himself," an ABM press release says.

"The claims made at this event are an abomination to the people of Minnesota. They are insensitive to the victims of these tragedies and their families," Carrie Lucking, executive director of Alliance for a Better Minnesota, said in the release. "Jeff Johnson should be ashamed of supporting these hurtful groups, and Minnesotans deserve an apology and an explanation from this man who wants to lead our state."

For what it's worth, Johnson's appearance at the event also drew the ire of some on the right. From John Gilmore's Minnesota Conservatives blog:
What appalled me last Friday wasn't that this infection of the Minnesota Republican Party finally brought to town their own political Cirque du Soleil, it's that republican candidates who think themselves serious and reputable attended, even sponsored this crime.

Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson was physically present before the VIP dinner but, from what I was told, didn't actually sit down to sup with the devil. Twitter has the photos. His campaign logo was featured on the scrim in the auditorium before the main event...

I'm not like my liberal friends: I don't seek to extinguish speech with which I disagree. Let a hundred 9-11 flowers bloom. I do think, however, that lines can be drawn and cogently at that.

If you're offering yourself up for elected office as a republican in Minnesota, you have no business associating with ideas that make ourselves the murderers of ourselves, which is precisely what the Truthers believe. That you did so disqualifies you. Republicans should support anyone but them.
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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52 comments
royroge
royroge

If you beleive that forged steel can melt by jet fuel then you obvously dont beleive in science. Steel melts at 2750°F. Jet fuel  burns at 500-700F.  If that makes me a truther then I am glad to be one. I am an engineer and I can tell you that it is impossible for the planes to bring down those buildings. Building 7 was a controlled demolition as well. Never in the history of the world has a steel building ever been brought down by fire. That is reality. That deserves investigation. Black balling everyone including hundreds of family members that don't beleive the BULL of the official story is a bad way to have any crediability and sell the news. Please go back to science class and learn how to write with a little understanding.

Tony LaLonde
Tony LaLonde

This is really pathetic. Ben answered the direct question of being a truther last Friday morning on the radio and said, "No." He reaffirmed it at the event. The event had nothing to do with 9/11. It was about community activism. And as far as Jeff, he simply coincided at an event with activist he's trying to get an endorsement from. How does this make City's facebook feed? A little bias maybe...

Matt Connell
Matt Connell

Yeah I'm gonna say it: 9-11 was a total inside job. I've read the 9-11 Commission Report, I've personally met survivors, and have made an educated decision. I'd love to have a few minutes debating with Carrie Lucking about 9-11, because I'm guessing she couldn't tell me how and why the untouched building 7 fell out of nowhere, why hundreds of eye witnesses including survivors both saw and heard explosions detonate before WTC collapsed (Marvin Bush was head of WTC security at the time, GW's little brother), and how and why nanothermite, a military-grade explosive has been found throughout the debris, and why 99.99% of the debris was hauled away and scrapped before the FBI could even begin an investigation. Nor could she explain to me how an airliner managed to sneak into the most protected airspace on Earth by an untrained pilot, hit the Pentagon square on leaving ZERO wreckage and debris, and penetrate through 7 walls of 4ft-thick concrete, leaving at most a 45ft hole when a a 757 is 125ft wide, why every security tape that could have filmed a plane going into the Pentagon was confiscated within an hour of the "attack" and have still yet to be released... among many other things for which I highly doubt she has an answer. I can't believe more people aren't asking questions, but then any common sense question re 9-11 is met with hate, insults, and plain ignorance of the facts.

Ray Minneapolis
Ray Minneapolis

I demand an apology from Carrie Lucking for trying to frame Truth moment activists as "hurt groups".. She's obviously trolling some propagandized agenda. That old lie about being disrespectful of the families is OVER. The FAMILIES WANT THE TRUTH. Carrie Lucking does not speak for them, or for Minnesota!

Ray Minneapolis
Ray Minneapolis

Carrie Lucking is full of SHIT when she says "The claims made at this event are an abomination to the people of Minnesota. They are insensitive to the victims of these tragedies and their families," Carrie Lucking, executive director of Alliance for a Better Minnesota, said in the release. "Jeff Johnson should be ashamed of supporting these hurtful groups, and Minnesotans deserve an apology and an explanation from this man who wants to lead our state."

Ray Minneapolis
Ray Minneapolis

The Alliance for a Better Minnesota is WRONG here! Ben Swawn is a great journalist and Jeff Johnson should be commended for attending this Truth event. It's a shame ABM is trying to propagandize Minnesotans against reality.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

im on this dumb mailing list from Carrie , i just sent here this:  

"im so sick of your partisan tricks. i thought your bullshit orginization was a good thing but after a recent propaganda attack on some dumb hick repulican candidate, jeff johnson, i was left with a bad taste abotu your obviously astroturf org


freedom of assembly, freedom of ideas - are these ideas lost on you? since when cant an american go wherever he/she wants? since when dissent a bad thing?
you are a shill hiding behind some hoity toity email marketing wizard
remove me from your bullshit astoturf money grubbers"

24hRx.
24hRx.

Carrie Lucking (and the Alliance for an Ignorant Minnesota) crying “victim sensitivity” for petty political points is an insult to 9.11 victims.  I would say she should be ashamed, but it doesn’t appear she is capable.  Hypocrisy, however, she has mastered.

sosmpls
sosmpls

City Pages has a full page ad for an event by 9/11 third tower conspiracy nuts. Yet because Mr. Johnson is a Republican, they find it necessary to gloat about his so-called controversy.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

I don't care what events Jeff Johnson goes to.  You can't get out among a group of Republicans in Minnesota without being around a lot of crazy people.  I don't know what happened on 9/11/01, except that the Elites used it as the excuse to ram through their rainy-day wish list to install a repressive, neo-feudal fascist agenda, and everybody saluted the flag and let it happen.  So whatever a bunch of loonies want to say about who stood to gain from what happened on that day, they're unlikely to be willing or able to point out all the beneficiaries.

Jeff Johnson shouldn't be elected Governor of Minnesota, or Hennepin County Inspector of Ditches for that matter.  He's a simple-minded, authority-worshipping twat who should bugger off back to Detroit Lakes and leave intelligent people alone.  Go to his website.  Read his own claims in his own words.  That will be 5 minutes of your life utterly wasted, which you'll never get back and you're that much closer to death without one flicker of enlightenment.  

Jeff Johnson seems dimwitted, subservient, and offhandedly callous; not clinically insane.  How's that for an endorsement?  His attending some 9/11 Truther-Palooza is the first interesting thing I've heard about him, actually.

And what the hell is the Humphrey School of Public Affairs doing hosting that event?  That whole building is in need of an enema, and this sort of pandering to loonies of means is just another log on the fire.

Alirox
Alirox

Terrorists - mostly Saudis - were responsible for the WTC/Pentagon attacks.

The US government was behind taking down Building #7 however.

theoko
theoko

"I'm not like my liberal friends: I don't seek to extinguish speech with which I disagree."  And I'm not like my conservative "friends"- I'm not an infant who thinks anyone who opposes what I have to say is trying to extinguish freedom of speech. 

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

Since when is everyone so high and mighty

since when is the 1st amendment not applicable to all?

this is nonsense and a political attack.  The only reason the 2nd amendment exists is to protect the 1ST. 

This dude is entitled to go to any event he wants....this is AMERICA


Matt Connell
Matt Connell

I don't get it. I'm not a fan of Republicans but I just don't see why he owes an apology. Can't we have a discussion first?

jbturnstone
jbturnstone

Freedom in free countries isn't free.

broneeho
broneeho

Bottom line: Ben Swann isn't a "truther," so the entire allegation is flawed. This is ABM simply attempting to create negative press on Jeff. The fact that they're going after him means they take him seriously.

As for Gilmore? Who knows. Does anyone take him seriously anymore? (full disclosure: I purchased the ebook "Bachmannistan")

Drewey
Drewey topcommenter

I don't agree with this guy politically but since when is it a bad thing to try to understand multiple sides of a very confusing situation. I don't have the answers but the official story is littered with wild stories and scientific improbability. I find it so odd that an attempt to understand what really happened that day is looked at by so many as hateful or disrespectful to the dead.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

What? A politician that believes in science? SHAME THIS MAN!

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@Matt Connell maybe the videos from pentagon security cams are not being released because it is an embarrasment ...ever think of that


swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@sosmpls What's the problem?  City Pages shouldn't take money from nuts?  You have to be awfully wealthy to live up to that kind of purity.  Now, that doesn't mean you have to pretend you don't think they're crazy; just because you took money from them.  Indeed, if City Pages kept mum on these Truthers just because they let them buy an ad; that would be hypocritical.  I think CP's actions show the opposite of the point you're trying to make.

And gloating over Jeff Johnson because he's a Republican is indeed a stretch.  Easier and better to gloat over him because he's a dipshit.  Read his website.  But make yourself a stiff cup of coffee first, and don't operate any heavy equipment for a few hours, or try to make any meaningful decisions.

keny1
keny1

@swmnguy 

And furthermore, who the fuck are you to tell him to go back to Detroit Lakes? Just because you don't care for his politics, somehow YOU think that you have the authority to tell him that he has no right to run for office? Who the fuck do you think you are? Because you have made the decision that you are "intelligent"?

If you are so fucking high and mighty, why don't you run for office? And if you did, and even though I disagree with your political stance, I would be the last one to deny you a right to run. Even if you went to a 'Thuther' meeting. 


keny1
keny1

@swmnguy 

And can you explain to me what makes his website any different than what Mark Dayton's was when he was running last time? At least this guy isn't buying his campaign with daddy's money.

And look at what a WONDERFUL job Dayton is doing. What has he accomplished so far?

Higher taxes and gay marriage. Wow. I am so impressed. Oh I forgot about the pull-tab thing.................................

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@Alirox thanks for clearing that up. makes sense....if you dont know how to reason

j.reiter
j.reiter

If you are not trying to extinguish what he is saying then why are you so contemptious towards the message?  When I was a liberal in college, the general consensus was that 911 was an inside job, and that Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld were all traitors; now that BHO is the president that changed?  Is he the black messiah that you substitute Jesus with because of Atheism?  I don't get some of the people that talk on here; just a bunch of self-serving ass clowns that don't really have a solid opinion but won't hesitate for a moment to let you that your opinion is wrong.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@theoko thats a great dictum or whatever but i dont think its directly applicable in this instance

theoko
theoko

@digitalprotocol Yes, and freedom of speech indicates that people can respond with speech (in this case, a petition).  Please don't cite the 1st amendment when you clearly don't understand it.

babycarrot
babycarrot

@broneeho How is he not a truther?? Have you been to his website? Claiming that the U.S. government was behind 9/11, which is what he's doing by claiming Tower 7 was brought down by a controlled demolition, is exactly what truthers believe.

j.reiter
j.reiter

You mean like the Holocaust?  Ernst Zundel was deported from the United States to Germany where he was sentenced to 5 years in prison for questioning the official estimates.

sosmpls
sosmpls

@swmnguy @sosmpls You're right, you can't expect "purity" from the paper that feeds off of child-sex-trade ads. The Back Pages are notorious, yet City Pages not only keeps mum, they claim it barely exists.

j.reiter
j.reiter

@Alirox,

15 of the 19 were citizens of Saudi Arabia, 2 from the UAE, 1 from Egypt and 1 from Lebanon.

Larry Silverstein is not part of the U.S. government.

You need to learn how to reason.

theoko
theoko

@j.reiter I'm trying to find coherence or something in your post that tracks, but finding nothing of the sort I'll respond as best I can. 

1) Liberals thought 9/11 was in inside job, per your experience "being a liberal in college".  My experience being a liberal in general tells me you're pulling that out of your rear and it doesn't contain an ounce of truth.

2) Why I am I so contemptuous (of the Truther) message? Note, I cobbled that coherent question together as best I could from the raw material of your post.  It's my best guess as to what you're asking.  I would guess that I view Trutherism contemptuously for the same reason that (sane) people view Birtherism or holocaust denial contemptuously: a general aversion for conspiracy theories and the tin-foil hat-wearers who peddle them.

3) Finally "treating something contemptuously" does not equate with "extinguishing it".  Stupid ideas still get aired, treating them like stupid ideas does not limit free speech.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@j.reiter Who is this directed towards? 

@theoko shared some good insight

this is not a conversation about 9/11... this is about freedom of choice and freedom of assembly.  also about cheap political attacks

what dont you get?

j.reiter
j.reiter

Tomorrow will be a better day for you @babycarrot. They always are after a night of crying yourself to sleep.

Drewey
Drewey topcommenter

Lol. Yea, questioning how a building perfectly implodes due to fire damage alone...that's exactly like being a holocaust denier. Man, you're a fucking moron.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@sosmpls  Well, now, that's a little different.  And a very good point.  I don't think anybody is alleging that "Truthers" are engaged in illegal activity, or human trafficking, or obviously and directly harming people physically.  So I think CP should sell ads to "Truthers" and take their money, and if they see fit, then criticize or mock them.  Why not?  

Now if they wanted to take money to run an opinion ad from a group that advocates in favor of the child-sex-trade, an ad that did not facilitate that activity, I would find that gross but within the realms of responsibility.

But to actually facilitate unlawful and clearly harmful behavior is altogether different.  And while I urge caution on would-be censorious types, The Back Pages is notorious for good reason and clearly crosses that line.  You're right about that.

WatusiJenkins
WatusiJenkins

@theoko

Regarding 3):

You mean like when gun-control advocates state that fewer guns in America would equate to less crime even though FBI statistics and a recent study by the CDC (commissioned by President Obama) show the exact opposite, but the the gun-control advocates still say that fewer guns would equate to less crime? 

j.reiter
j.reiter

1. So you are a "Truther" in regards to my education.Just FYI, smartass, “Truther,” and “Birther” are not a words.

2. The official story of 9-11 is a conspiracy theory which goes: OBL conspired to organize Al Qaeda from a cave in Afghanistan that had a dialysis machine to hijack 4 commercial airliners, crashing them into U.S. landmarks.

3. He didn’t air his ideas; he attended a forum that was discussing alternative viewpoints.It is obvious that you are a radical liberal in the way you think it is proper for public figures to act; the mainstream thinks it is important to listen to people in order to serve them politically.Maybe you should try it rather than just going about telling everyone else how they are wrong.

4. You’re a dick.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@theoko DP is correct...you are way off


im top commenter buddy, move along

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

High and mighty theoko. That one who only believes in science if that "science" is on her side. Rock it out girl

j.reiter
j.reiter

It was direct towards theoko (I have no idea how to tag in this blog). I basically agree with you DP, this is not about 911, it is about how non-thinking voters just like or hate the government depending upon who is in office. 

keny1
keny1

@j.reiter

You know goddamn very well that if Johnson were a Democrat, and if a right-wing organization demanded an apology, the likes of theoko and swmnguy would be defending him saying, "Well, he does, after all, have to right to explore different trains of thought. How fucking dare the GOP try to make him apologize for attending a discussion forum!!" 

In case you haven't figured it out by now, most of the nut-job Liberals who post on here are so fucking brainwashed by their own party, that they have lost all what was left of any common sense that they had to begin with. Like digital said, this is nothing more than a left-wing propaganda attack to silence Johnson because they cannot fathom the fact the Dayton is losing ground (especially after the Vikings pull-tab fiasco and his tax, tax, tax, and spend agenda) and that there may be a viable chance that a GOP candidate could oust him. 

If Mark Dayton had attended this discussion forum, you would have not heard ONE WORD from Alliance for a Better Minnesota. 

Because, of course, they contributed to his campaign.

j.reiter
j.reiter

@theoko: how about instead of just picking versus and phrases as you see fit, you actually read the entire document. I think we can all agree that you are just being lazy and manipulative.  You are one of those people that writes an entire research paper and then looks up supporting references after the fact. 

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@theoko the bill of rights is in numerical order for a reason. 

this man is being attacked by leftist propagandists over nothing more than attending a group gathering. it is a non issue

theoko
theoko

@digitalprotocol @theoko Actually I do.  The thinking behind the 1st amendment is that it fosters a crucible of public debate.  Ideas would be aired, attacked and defended and hopefully the general public's sense of reason would adopt the best idea.  A petition asking someone to apologize for an association is in no way an infringement of the 1st amendment.  The idea that even if it were, using the 2nd amendment to defend it is equal parts moronic and psychopathic.

Alirox
Alirox

He's a dumb cop, babycarrot. Don't sweat it.

babycarrot
babycarrot

@j.reiter What is that even supposed to mean? That's just a vaguely insulting comment with seemingly no purpose.

j.reiter
j.reiter

Somebody had a case of the Mondays...

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