Blog Post: Why Judge Michael Johnson will beat John Lewis

A look at the 5th Congressional District race for Cascade Patch.

I am not a fan of John Lewis, as a Congressman. I love him for he has done in the past for Black people, however, I live in the world of “What have you done for me Lately.” (I do love Janet).

So, when I read that Fulton County Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson was running against Congressman Lewis, I jumped out of my seat at work. Here is why:

  • *Judge Johnson is a professional
  • *Judge is obviously a judge
  • *Well respected, and intelligent
  • *Experienced at local campaigning

Now, who will his base be? Young, African-American professionals, who supported Mayor Reed and Northside Whites. This coalition is more connected on the issues than one may think.

Both are interested in the economy, health care, and education. Both are moderately conservative and, more importantly, both groups are educated and not predisposed to emotional pleas of race baiting and speeches harping on 40 years ago.

I was at a fundraiser for Congressman Lewis this past campaign season and the speech I heard was a speech about his marches and fight for equality. Well, as I said, I love you for that. But, please do not insult my intelligence. What legislation have you passed that you can point to and say “this is what I have done for you lately.”

None. Nada. Zilch.

The argument I hear most often proposed for keeping Mr. Lewis is: “He is a senior member of Congress.” Well, a senior member of Congress with a historical legacy should rank higher than 236 out of 435 in bringing home the bacon.

What good are you to me if you cannot do the one tangible thing we need in the 5th and that’s federal funds? Yeah, Morehouse School of Medicine is happy every two years but what about Morris Brown or, for that matter, CAU?

“He is chair of subcommittee on ways and means, the most powerful committee on the Hill.” Well, what good does that do me, if over four years you have proposed no original tax reforms.
As an African-American professional, I would love to see some reform to our tax codes. And as a tax payer, maybe tax cuts should be viewed as a give back to the constituents who fund your re-election campaigns. And not tax increases for the rich so you can rally your seniors, and poor people to the polls.

The bottom line is Moses never saw the promised land. It is not fair to the Joshuas of this community to have to wait for their turn. This is not a monarchy,  it is a democracy with two parties. So if Judge Johnson or any other QUALIFIED young person wants to run against Lewis, or any of the other civil rights Lions who are holding on with their wrinkled fingers to a mantle of ineffective leadership, then run.

Build your base with young professionals who are appreciative but need something tangible to vote for not a past legacy.  Boxers who hang on too long, usually get knocked out cold eventually.

Editor's Note: This map shows the boundaries of the 5th Congressional District: 5th Congressional District map.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

PHILLIP G JACKSON May 12, 2011 at 10:44 PM
Jules May 13, 2011 at 02:25 AM
I'm fascinated by folks who think that Congressmen work for them.. Hum, no they don't. They are however elected to "represent" you on the FEDERAL level. This is NOT the same thing as what the Mayor, City Council, School Board & Fulton County Commission do. Half of what is being charged here would make fine fodder for any meeting in Atlanta, but not in DC. The Congressman has represented the 5th ably and with dignity, 90% of those years during all GOP dominated terms. The fact that we had a small window of 2 years in the majority isn't ever going to be enough for some people, like the author. I think that Judge Johnson will some day make a fine elected official, 2012 isn't that day. Rep. Lewis will out work, out fundraise and out charm anyone who thinks they can challenge him. He flew all over this country last fall to try and help Democrats in very tight districts hold onto their seats. We now see what the GOP/Tea Party dominated Congress looks like, no jobs, a war on women, poor people and the elderly. What we need is strong voices, clear voices and experienced voices. Additionally, unless the folks you've called out ask for earmarks and for durn good reasons half of them don't, how is the Congressman supposed to wheel and deal for them? I work on the Hill, the Congressman is one of very few respected people in Washington today. Judge Johnson should learn from him, not challenge him.
Janita Poe May 13, 2011 at 02:28 AM
Thanks Phillip and Jules. Great comments.
Shelley Wynter May 13, 2011 at 05:20 PM
wow, both comments do not at all and in any way to telling me why I should vote for him. And dems controlled house in 90s when republicans brought home more bacon in the state than the congressman . And respect on the hill should bring power and money not subcommittee chairmanships which do nothing. Sorry guys, history is to be respected NOT dwelled on.
Dave Walker May 16, 2011 at 12:01 AM
Michael Johnson has a massive chip on is shoulder, and is the poster child for the "Peter Principle". His has the legal acumen of a brick wall and is corrupt as hell. Best thing about all this is that all Johnson's skeletons will come out of the closet during the campaign so he does not stand a chance of beating Lewis. More importantly, Johnson's departure from the Fulton bench is a huge victory for all of Fulton County.
Stacey Hopkins June 07, 2011 at 04:05 PM
I think one of the reasons why Rep. Lewis has been in office so long is that he's been waiting to see who would rise up and be qualified to carry the torch. It remains to be seen if Judge Johnson is that person, but it would behoove all of us to be very sure of just what Johnson's stances and policy views are on the issues that affect all of his constituents and not just the Black professional community. That's what legislating is all about; we don't need an advocate for one particular contingent but a statesman who can represent all, equally and fairly. We must also be careful not to fall into the thinking that one person can solve all the ills and learn just how the branches of government work. I find it ironic that Mr. Winter has a problem with the federal tax code which aare at their lowest rates in over 50 years, but has no criticism for the state legislature who failed to come up with comprehensive tax reform this past session. State taxes are taking a far bigger bite. As for just what has Rep. Lewis done lately, one only need to look at his voting record. http://www.votesmart.org/summary.php?can_id=26820
Shelley Wynter June 07, 2011 at 08:57 PM
I cannot speak for Johnson's stances however I can pseak lewis' thanks to your attachment. Charter Schools and School choice -lewis not only has 100% support of NEA and UFT but he voted against DC Schools Vouchers. So much for in touch with district 5 parents. Immigration-La raza loves him. Now not to pit one group against another however to not support the interests of the majority of your constituents over those who do not live in the district is a little out of touch. Young black male unemployment-55% who has those jobs-young hispanic males and Rep lewis wants them to be all let in with no penalty. After they broke the law. No one person cannot solve the problems BUT do not now start to alleviate those in power WE elected of the responsibilty they do have and they ran on-My question is what happen to John Lewis who had to be forced to tone down his rhetoric at the march on washington for fear of offending Kennedy? The answer he has been coopted in to the very system he fought to change. It is why the Bible expressly tells Moses (Civil Rights GEneration) to move aside and give the lead to Joshua (Judge Johnsin, Kasim Reed, Obama, Alisha Thomas Morgan etc) generation. Change IS a GOOD THING or did we forget?
David Good June 29, 2011 at 06:38 PM
I've heard about all Congressman Lewis did back in the 60's from my parents and from him. I always here people ask what has he done for the district lately or up in D.C. That this Judge will bring fresh thoughts and all that. ive been around for almost 4o years and the one things I still see is people's human and civil rights being abused and taken moreso than anything else outside of finance, health and education. When people were speaking out against the genocide in Darfur, he went over to Sudan and protested and got arrested for it. When I look out across the world nothing gets change more than protesting. If people with fresh ideas will share with the congressmen and help then the 5th district will be better and better. Drafted legislation about tax cuts or benefits for our military and their family. He proposed that. Anytime there is a human or civilrights violation, he is there, anytime there is a benefit for the rich, he opposes it. He oposed NAFTA, oposed the wars but supported the various presidents when it happened becaue they were just that presidents. He voted to impeach the second bush saying he is not King on doing illegal wires, he is president. For the last 20 lears, he has been the senior chief deputy whip for the dems caucus, that is respect. Just to serve on the Ways & means is being respected.
David Good June 29, 2011 at 06:40 PM
The bible did not tell Moses to movie aside.... Moses died..... Moses my servent is dead, now Joshua lead my people over this Jordan.
David Good June 29, 2011 at 06:47 PM
People who don't rember just don't know. Abernathy, King, Shuttlesworth, and to another extent, Malcolm, Cleaver and Newton had to take power, the generation before them did not give it or move aside. The younger peole in their 20s and 30s had to take it and when they did the Asa Philips, Marion Anderson's and the DeBois then let them take it on. It was their fight, but they were part of it the fight and part of bringing america to a better place. it would be nice if one may step aside so new ideas and thoughts can step in but I'd rather have someone who will demand it and also there are many other elected seats he can go for unless he can really challenge Lewis. To challenge Lewis means not to say what he has not don because the 50 year olds plus in the 5 th district will say, well what have you done. We know what Lewis has done.
Ray Artis August 09, 2011 at 05:42 PM
This so-called right-of-center commentator is just another Herman Cain, Clarence Thomas, self-loathing type who does his own people no good. No, we don't have to all be in lockstep on all the issues, but name one, just one, issue in which the neo-con agenda serves people of color well. Go ahead. I'll wait. Well, out of time now, and we've reached a grand total of ...zero. Re-elect John Lewis !!!!
Shelley Wynter August 09, 2011 at 05:50 PM
@ray. this right of center commentator knew enough to know that Barack Obama was going to be president and supported him from the beginning. Where was your John lewis? Hanging on to hillary till she told him to support barack. This rigth of center, "self hating neo con" knows that his people are losing jobs to ILLEGAL immigrants and your john lewis wants them to get a free pass to take more jobs, this "self loathing black man" carries his ID like the rest of his brothers and sisters, your john lewis wants us and the whote folks to beleive black people are irresponsible, children who do not know enough to carry ID. VOTE MICHAEL JOHNSON FOR CONGRESS. Moses should retire. @ David God did tell Moses to hand it over to Joshua BEFORE HE DIED.
David Good August 09, 2011 at 06:29 PM
@ Shelley, no God did not. Joshua supported Moses., When Moses went up on that mountaintop and died. God came to Joshua and said: Moses, my servant is Dead. Joshua, son of Nun(sp) take the people and cross this Jordan, AS I WAS WITH MOSES, I WILL BE WITH YOU. God chose Joshua, not Moses. Joshua was brought up and trained to lead but he did not lead until Moses had died. Anyone who wants change and there is someone there who will not step down and there are those who will always vote for him then do it in support of and take care of community issues now, so the people in the community can see he is about doing something and not against Lewis but for the district and when it comes down to voting, maybe then people will vote for what you did now, rather what someone almost died doing for the people as a whole, 50 years ago.
David Good August 09, 2011 at 06:33 PM
Moses trained Joshua and God saw in Joshua a quality to lead these people to the promise land and because he served and as General defeated the Ameliaks, he showed God this quality and at the same time showed the people who were to cross that Jordan that he has this quality. He succeeded Moses when Moses died, no before.
KArnold September 05, 2011 at 03:28 PM
...Sorry my friend... not a snowball's chance in hell. Mr. Lewis will retain his Congressional seat until he so decides to retire. The balance of power remains in our favor and we sincerely plan to keep it that way... - M.A.N. from ATLANTA http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=616680623
Cheryl C.-E. April 13, 2012 at 01:35 AM
I have never met ANYONE in political office that was more charming and rights-supportive (for EVERYONE) than Mr. Lewis in my efforts lobbying GA.'s legislators...he certainly has MY vote. Besides, I wouldn't vote for a conservative, right-of-center ANYTHING; those are the very types of Dems who have time and again "broke ranks" and let Obama down...
Wesley Mapp May 21, 2012 at 08:51 AM
No he doesn't
Wesley Mapp May 21, 2012 at 08:55 AM
We have several civil rights giants on the hill. They are being challenged this year also. I will support another person with a sound platform. Stop looking at the pass it is the love you show for the people now. This is a never ending fight!
Wesley Mapp May 21, 2012 at 08:56 AM
Let the church say Aman!
Wesley Mapp May 21, 2012 at 09:02 AM
David replace the king, because he wasn't doing what was needed for the people right. How about that?
Wesley Mapp May 21, 2012 at 09:15 AM
I don't agree with some of this. Most of these jobs blacks don't want to do. Plus we are losing jobs because it was set up that we serve in the slavery of prisons. America is using the Latino the same way they are using us. Don't forget who we are dealing with here. What they want us to do is be divided and for now they are doing it. It says if my people who are called by my name.... Whites came over as immigrants and took this land. Government also calls blacks immigrants, but they are clearly mistaken we are the builders. What blacks need to do is stop depending and start BUILDING again. We don't have jobs cause the jails are enslaving our people. We don't have jobs because we forgot that we are the best builders and creators on this Earth. Open your eyes black people. We built Auburn Ave. We built our own homes (Alonzo Herndon 15 room mansion), we built they Great Wall, and the Pyramids.
Wesley Mapp May 21, 2012 at 09:50 AM
I heard that King told his disciples not to go into politics. If this is true why might he say this. Could it be you are bias, could it be you get caught up in the money being pushed your way, or could it be you become disconnected. I don't know. But if you don't have love for the people until the end of time than you have nothing. John 2:14 says what good is my brother... What are his deeds now, today I don't care about how I did this and that. He didn't do it by himself. If you are going to serve me in office than this fight should never end. You represent the ideas of the people that put you in office. You will not ride on the deeds you did in the past. Jesus continued his fight until the end. Sullivan continued his fight until the end. So why do I care. Well there were 7,000 blacks that showed up to a job fair last year put on by who the Cong. Henry Johnson and Cong. John Lewis. Job fair no jobs to say the least. No porter potties, no water, and no organization. But what did they have meetings, new reporters, and publicity. A group of people ask some of the assistants if they could reimburse them for water. Because 25 people passed out from dehydration and what did they say NO! The town hall meetings were scripted and were a commercial (Ad/ publicity stunt) for them. I hate he didn't run, but he won't get my vote (John Lewis)!
All Justices Concur May 22, 2012 at 07:14 PM
There is a greater song to represent the hero John Lewis ".....Never Does Anything Else For Me He's DONE ENOUGH." You people are amazing. Mr. Lewis gave more than any newcomer on the block is willing to give. Mr. Johnson may walk door to door, make many promises and shake hands, maybe. What water hoses, two legged dogs or four legged dogs has Mr. Johnson faced for the benefit of the people? As long as I have strength in my body I will support Mr. Congressman John Lewis. You people are not advocating to leave America based on what America "has done for you lately?" Outside of the many atrocities from slavery, rape, and murder committed against African Americans what has America done for Black people? For your information what African Americans have in this country was EARNED with blood, sweat, tears, prayer, faith, death, marches and voting., but you have the audacity to ask "what has he(John Lewis) done for you lately?" You "talented tenth" people's "opinion" on the value of political contributions of Mr. Lewis is disgusting.
Thom May 30, 2012 at 03:06 AM
Bravo! I support this article and Judge Johnson's fight to bring change to the 5th District. To this day I still can't get over how Congressman Lewis was one of the FIRST to come out and support Hillary Clinton for President, but then when the tides began to turn, he jumped on the Obama wagon. Right or wrong stand firm on your positions and don't flip-flop because it's convenient.
Dan July 31, 2012 at 01:13 AM
Forgive me, I'm only 40 years old. Could someone let me know what John Lewis has done for his district in the past 20 years? Anything?


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