Jerry Johnson runs as Republican

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By John Barnhart

    Jerry Johnson, who lives in the Buchanan area, is challenging Delegate Lacey Putney for the 19th House of Delegates seat. Johnson is running as a Republican.
    A native of Atlanta, Ga., Johnson came to Franklin County in 1988. He has lived in Botetourt County since 2000. He is a retired building/electrical contractor.
    Johnson said that he is running for the House of Delegates because he wants to amend the United States Constitution. He believes that a state can initiate an amendment to the Constitution by adopting the amendment and sending it to the other 49 states urging them to ratify it. If 38 states ratify the amendment, it becomes part of the Constitution.
    According to Johnson, Article V of the Constitution does not state that only Congress can propose a constitutional amendment. He said that there is no place in the Constitution that forbids states from doing it.
    “As long as you can get three-fourths of them to agree to it, that’s the bottom line,” he said. “I will start that process.”
    Johnson wants to amend the Constitution so that there will only be one senator per state, rather than the current two senators; each state’s senator would be appointed by the state legislature, rather than elected. He would also amend the constitution to limit federal judges to three year terms. Judges would have to appear before the Senate to be reconfirmed. Currently, federal judges are appointed for life and can only be removed via impeachment for “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
    “That amendment, if ratified, will allow state legislatures to correct every problem that everybody complains about,” Johnson said.
    Currently, according to Johnson, there is little that the states can do.
    “They are forbidden by Congress and the courts,” he said, adding Congress isn’t “going to do anything.”
    He believes that having states appoint senators, rather than electing them, would eliminate all federal lobbyists.
    “They won’t be able to buy senators anymore,” he said.        Johnson also believes that his proposal would eliminate judicial activism.
    “No federal judge will render rulings that go against the Constitution,” he said.
    Johnson believes that the states are currently controlled by the federal government. He said society is a slave to the federal government and isn’t “smart enough to realize it.”
    Johnson believes he can get his proposed amendment passed by the Virginia General Assembly in four years. It will then take a few years to get 37 states, in addition to Virginia, to ratify it.
    “This is my sole issue,” Johnson said. “If this can’t be accomplished, none of the others make a difference.”
    He does, however, have a vision for some state-wide changes. Johnson said that he would like to see every state legislature require each person to reregister in order to vote. In order to reregister, each person would have to read a section of the Constitution out loud, write a section of the Constitution and demonstrate that they understand its meaning. They would also have to name the president, vice president, speaker of the House and demonstrate that they are aware of the political process. People would be videotaped while doing this.