Navy hero considers run against McHenry

According to the Hickory Record:

HICKORY - A Hickory military hero may enter the 2008 race for Congress.

Daniel Johnson, 31, confirmed Wednesday he is considering a run for the seat held by U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry.

. . .

Johnson received the Navy Marine Corps Medal, the highest honor awarded to an officer during peacetime, following a 1999 accident on the USS Blue Ridge during which Johnson saved a fellow crewmate.

. . .

A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Johnson returned there to attend law school a year later.

Johnson said a run for Congress, like his Navy and legal careers, would be another avenue of service.

“So far, my entire professional career, I’ve been in one type of service or another,” Johnson said. “(A congressional run) would be another way to serve a lot of people in a wide range of issues. It’s very appealing and something worth considering.”

Sorry for the large blockquote but I seriously don't know what to edit out of what national columnist George Will wrote about Johnson in October 1999:

In his eighth month on board, on Aug. 23, he was the safety observer at the aft mooring station as Korean tugs pulled the Blue Ridge into position to leave the harbor at Pusan. A tug was reeling in the messenger line, a rope about an inch and a half in diameter that is attached to the hawser, the big rope -- about eight inches in diameter -- that bears the weight in tugging and mooring. The tug was moving away and reeling unusually fast. Too fast.

What happened next happened very fast. The leg of Seaman Steven Wright, 21, from Pine Bluff, Ark., became tangled in a loop of the messenger line which, under extreme tension from the tug, dragged Wright across the deck and pulled his leg into a "chock,'' an oval opening about a foot long and eight inches wide through which ropes pass. The tremendous torque from the tug could have pulled Wright through the chock, ripping him apart.

"This part is a little bit fuzzy to me,'' says Johnson about what he did. "I tried to free him up.'' The official "summary of action'' recommending the Navy and Marine Corps Medal says:

"Immediately, without hesitation, and in the face of known risk to his own life, Ensign Johnson ran to the assistance of the entrapped line handler who was in imminent peril of losing the lower part of his leg. ... None of the other seven personnel on scene attempted any similar act or endangered themselves to such a degree to come to the entangled Sailor's aid.''

Wright's life was saved because his leg was not. He was freed when the rope severed his leg (and four fingers above the knuckles). But before that happened, as Johnson struggled to help Wright, the violently jerking line entangled both of Johnson's legs, dragged him to the chock, and severed both limbs below the knee. He also lost a finger.

Why did he act as he did? He says, matter-of-factly, that officers are trained to be responsible for the well-being of their men, and besides, that's the way his parents -- they are at his bedside this day, having made the seven-hour drive from Hickory for another stay with their son -- raised him. He would rather talk about the prostheses that will soon be fitted to the stumps of his legs.

"They say that if I want to I can run a marathon. The only thing that will limit me is myself.'' He is thinking of going to medical school.

What lies are you going to tell about this fine man, Pat? What lies are you going to perpetrate this time? Because that's the only way you're going to win. It's the only way you beat Huffman in 04 and it's the only way you could possibly win against this guy.


This would be awesome.

The contrast between Johnson and Patty would almost make me feel bad for the McMuffin. Isn't it interesting that so many people who have actually served in war are running as Democrats.

Too bad the word "chickenhawk" doesn't start with R.

The key word is almost

The contrast between Johnson and Patty would almost make me feel bad for the McMuffin.

I might have felt bad for him once. Now I'm thinking mostly that karma works.

Little Pat won't stand a chance.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Interesting. I was actually

Interesting. I was actually thinking about running against McHenry myself -- in the primary. I'm a former Marine who supports bringing home the troops -- so where does that put me in that race? :)

Ogre for Congress

Oh dearl Lord in heaven above I never thought I'd say that. :)

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Name Filing?

I wonder if they'd let me put that on the ballot as a nickname...

Yes, they'd let you run with your nickname.

Here in Moore County, there's a guy who's on the ballot as "Manimal". I kid you not. His real name is Greg Lawrence Prochaska. He's on the ballot as GREG L. (MANIMAL) PROCHASKA.

Go for it Ogre. It's the democratic process that makes our system work, and unlike Manimal, you won't be a joke candidate.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Vote Ogre

That would be an absolute riot. I bet that garners national attention. And I can already see the McHenry opposition ads: "Do you want to vote for an Ogre?" lol


an ogre than an (alleged) criminal

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"


Please run.

Scrutiny Hooligans -


Ogre for Congress!

That would be a kick in the pants, so to speak.

I dunno -- might give you

I dunno -- might give you guys too much to write about. If I did, it would be wide open, far right me.

From the little I read about Mr. Johnson, it would be a fun race -- because I don't think either of us would get into name-calling. Our positions on the issues would be different enough that we'd just explain our positions and let the people decide which one they like best. And how neat would that be to have two people running for a House seat that both want to withdraw troops? Either way we win!

Of course the real difficulty would be beating McHenry. I've met him and his machinery more than once. He's rather slick and polished. I think the Republican machine would unite behind him because I'd just cause too much darn trouble for Republicans if I were elected.

I keep wondering when the Republicans are going to get tired

of his embarrassing presentations and partisan nastiness. Just wait until he lies and grandstands against another Republican like he did to his primary opponents. They would get rid of him quick.

And, come on, do they think he's going to sit still in Congress? We've got two Republican Senators. Do they think he isn't going to try to take one of them down soon? He told his high school girlfriend "You'd make a great Senator's wife." I assume Republicans figure they're keeping both seats for a while. Do they really think this ambitious little worm isn't going to target one of them?

Republicans should pay you to run, Ogre.
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,

If they smeared Max Cleland as unamerican...

they could smear this guy too.

Cleland served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War, attaining the rank of Captain. He was awarded the Silver Star and the Bronze Star for valorous action in combat, including during the Battle of Khe Sanh on April 4th, 1968.

On April 8, 1968, Captain Cleland was the Battalion Signal Officer for the 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division during the Battle of Khe Sanh.[3]
“ On April 8, with a month left in his tour, Cleland was ordered to set up a radio relay station on a nearby hill. A helicopter flew him and two soldiers to the treeless top of Hill 471, east of Khe Sanh. Cleland knew some of the soldiers camped there from Operation Pegasus. He told the pilot he was going to stay a while. Maybe have a few beers with friends.

When the helicopter landed, Cleland jumped out, followed by the two soldiers. They ducked beneath the rotors and turned to watch the liftoff. Cleland reached down to pick up the grenade he believed had popped off his flak jacket. The blast slammed him backward, shredding both his legs and one arm. He was 25 years old...

David Lloyd was a gung-ho, 19-year-old enlisted Marine, son of a Baltimore ship worker, who went to Vietnam because he "wanted to kill Communists."

On April 8, 1968, he was in a mortar pit on a hill near Khe Sanh when he heard an explosion. Shrapnel bounced off his flak jacket. He ran to the injured officer, a man named Max Cleland. 'Hold on there, captain,' Lloyd told Cleland. 'The chopper will be here in a minute.'

Lloyd took off his web belt and tied it around one of Cleland's shredded legs. When the medics arrived, he left to help another injured soldier — one of the two who had gotten off a helicopter with Cleland.

That soldier was crying. 'It was mine,' he said, 'it was my grenade.'

According to Lloyd, the private had failed to take the extra precaution that experienced soldiers did when they grabbed M-26 grenades from the ammo box: bend the pins, or tape them in place, so they couldn't accidentally dislodge. This soldier had a flak jacket full of grenades with treacherously straight pins, Lloyd says. "He was a walking death trap."[4]

Due to the severity of his injuries, doctors amputated both his legs above the knee and his right forearm.[5]

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

You know they'll do this. Ralph Gonzalez,

McHenry's recently murdered friend, was exec director of the Georgia Republicans during the Cleland campaign. Both he and McHenry have run smear websites against Democrats when they were official employed by the Republican Party or the Democratic candidate's opponent. They don't seem constrained like Dems do to keep their hate-tactics confined to 527s or independents (like me!)

So, we can expect tactics just like this. He lied excessively and smeared his Republican opponents so we know he'll do the same to a Democratic one.

But did Cleland have a group like BlueNC to advocate for him?
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,

That was my first thought when I read this, Robert.

I don't think someone should be sacrosanct just because he or she is a veteran - but I do think that a non-veteran has no place calling the courage or patriotism of a vet into question. I was wondering how little Patty would attack Johnson first.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

I've seen the Inside of the beast...

I'll admit, I did run for public office one time. I ran for the state senate. It was quite an adventure, let me tell you. It started when I simply showed up at the board of elections and gave them my filing fee on the first day of filing. I just did the American thing and showed up and did it. It seems I forgot to ask permission.

The next day my phone was ringing off the hook. All kinds of Republicans were calling me, asking me who the heck I thought I was running for that seat (it was a STRONG Democrat district -- no Republican had ever gotten more than about 38% before). I even had one tell me that THEY had been planning to run for that seat for a long time. I think I annoyed a lot of people when I told that person, "Fine, go ahead and run -- that's why they have primaries." It was ugly because I forgot to ask first, apparently.

So no Republicans ended up running against me. But since I had done it the "wrong" way, I got zero support from Republicans. The party gave me $0. Other big-name and big-money elected Republicans refused to give me a dollar. But I ran anyway and really had a lot of fun. I raised less than $6,000 (mostly my own cash) while my opponent spent over $300,000. I ended up with 46% of the vote. I had tons of fun, met lots of people, but really did get tired by the time it was over.

With the 10th district, it's a HUGE geographical area. Last time I ran, it was in a relatively small area, so I could basically do everything myself (I had to). With such a large area, I'm not sure I could effectively cover it. I bet I could win some counties, but that McHenry machine is BIG and RICH. I'm also in Iredell, and have NO ties to the Hickory area where a lot of the voters in the 10th live. I could plan on no help from any political organization. McHenry would have hundreds of thousands to spend, and I'm sure he'd bash me if he thought I could beat him. Maybe I should just try for the NC House first...then again, since I'm for withdrawing the troops, maybe I could convince all the Democrats in the area to vote for me in the primary... :)

Dem machine will sometimes act in the same way

46% of the vote in a heavily Dem district is really good. Glad you had fun doing it. Have helped mom many times and it can be really hard work.....even in small districts.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Not asking permission?

It happens in both parties. Patsy Keever had a somewhat similar experience. I believe the record will show that the governor donated to her after the election. He was at pains not to be seen with her during, even when he came out for a flood tour.

His peeps in the district thought someone else should run and they did what they could to let local people know that she wasn't "approved." I think the problem was her lack of penis but I suppose it could have been her non-existent football record . . . I mean her low name recognition in that even-larger district.
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,

Winning Donations

I'm sure it does. You can bet that I had lots of people promising me money that never came through -- but if I won, I bet they would have started throwing money at me (unfortunately). Then again, I like not playing by the rules. It sure would be odd to have someone get a seat on Congress who didn't raise hundreds of thousands of dollars, wouldn't it?

Patsy didn't win

The gov just wanted to be able to say he'd donated to her even though he did absolutely nothing to help her win.
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,

Today's Politics

I think by far, that's the biggest problem with politics today. The two party system is set up so that you're either with the party, or you're out. The parties work hard to ensure that only those who they approve of will be elected. Often I see it done with cash bribes -- "Gee, we helped you get elected, now we expect this and that of you."

I'd like to see ballot access opened up so that there were 10 or 12 political parties in North Carolina -- and I don't even care which ones, I just want people to have more choices! But someone who supports ballot access change will not be supported by the current parties -- because they simply like their monopoly on power.

Maybe one benefit to a large number of "parties"

would be that voters might pay more attention to the man or woman running and not just a party label.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.


More choices, more informed voters. The 2 parties that are currently dominant actually paying attention to the will of their own members on a more consistent basis rather than what seems to play for a future political advantage. I would love to see this. I don't know if I'd ever not be a Democrat, but this would be an excellent thing.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi


I had to do a double-take on this when I first saw the link on DailyKos -- and was thrilled to see I read it correctly. Any Tar Heel basketball fan knows that Daniel Johnson's heroic act happened while his brother, Will, was suiting up for Carolina, and anyone who had the pleasure of meeting the Johnsons knows this is a terrific family with a serious commitment to service. This would be great for District 10 and great for North Carolina.


Midday Open Thread

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

Please keep us up to date on this

Anyone in the 10th, please keep us posted. If a "Draft Johnson" move starts up, I'll donate. (It may be a month or two -- I'm maxed out at the moment.)