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Myth V. Fact: The Real Johanns Record


Location: Lincoln, NE

During today's debate and in two subsequent press releases, our opponent and his campaign attempted to re-write history by engaging in several politically motivated attacks and making false allegations and misleading statements.

In an attempt to set the record straight, here are the facts on Mike Johanns' proven record working for real solutions to the challenges facing our state and nation.

MYTH: Mike Johanns Did Not Fight For Farmers And Ranchers

FACT: Mike Johanns Worked Across Party Lines For Real Solutions To Benefit Farmers And Ranchers Across The Country

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D) Thanked Secretary Johanns For His Work As Secretary Of Agriculture:

· Senator Tom Harkin: "Mike Johanns and I have had a good working relationship. I always found him pleasant to work with and I was very impressed by how involved he was in this farm bill process. Last year in particular he traveled all over the country to hear from farmers and others in rural communities most affected by agriculture and rural policies coming out of Washington. I felt that as Secretary, Mike Johanns had a positive effect on the Conservation Security Program, as well as renewable energy and biobased products." ("Statement of Chairman Tom Harkin On The Resignation Of Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns," Senator Tom Harkin Press Release, 9/20/2007)

Omaha World-Herald: "As U.S. agriculture secretary, Mike Johanns grabbed a bigger role than his predecessors in the crafting of a federal farm bill, pushed to trim spending on federal farm supports and pursued aggressive trade policies. As Johanns stepped down to run for the Senate in Nebraska, farm groups praised his work to promote renewable fuels, his dedication to opening overseas markets to U.S. farm products and his willingness to listen to all sides of a debate." (Joseph Morton, "Trade Is Johanns' Agriculture Legacy," Omaha World-Herald, 9/21/2007)

Mike Johanns Made 65 Proposals For The 2007 Farm Bill After Holding 52 Farm Bill Forums And Recording 4,000 Comments. Mike Johanns took into consideration over 4,000 comments over two years which were organized into 41 theme papers and studied by a team of USDA economists. His Farm Bill proposal focused on specialty crops, beginning farmers and ranchers, and socially disadvantaged producers.

· Mike Johanns: "We listened closely to producers and stakeholders all across the country and took a reform-minded and fiscally responsible approach to making farm policy more equitable, predictable and protected from challenge. We started with the 2002 farm bill and propose to improve it by bolstering support for emerging priorities and focusing on a market-oriented approach." ("Johanns Unveils 2007 Farm Bill Proposals," USDA Press Release, 3/21/2007)

Mike Johanns Opposed The House Version Of The Farm Bill Because Of The Proposed Tax Increase It Placed On Other Industries, A First Of It's Kind Proposal. "Johanns said as a member of the Cabinet, he told President Bush that he should veto the House version of the farm bill, which raised taxes on an industry that would pass the cost on to farmers. It's dangerous to open the door to taxing farmers to pay for the farm bill, Johanns said. The tax was taken out of the farm bill passed by both houses, and Johanns said he would have reluctantly voted for that version, even though it wasn't perfect." (Anna Jo Bratton, "Ethanol heats up Nebraska's Senate debate," Associated Press, August 23, 2008)

MYTH: Mike Johanns Supports Amnesty

FACT: Mike Johanns Has Been Clear In His Opposition To Amnesty Dating Back To His First Term As Governor.

Mike Johanns Opposed Amnesty As Nebraska's Governor: "The governor said he agrees with many of the task force's recommendations but not its call for amnesty. 'I'm very uncomfortable with a process that would, in effect, reward people for coming into the country illegally,' he said." (Omaha World Herald, October 18, 2000)

Mike Johanns Opposed Amnesty As Secretary Of Agriculture: "But (Mike Johanns) said he would oppose any bill that offers amnesty to illegal immigrants." (Associated Press, March 4, 2006)

Mike Johanns Continues To Oppose Amnesty As A Senate Candidate: "Johanns said his policy is very simple: 'No amnesty.' The second element of his five-point immigration policy is to strengthen border security …The third piece of Johanns' immigration platform is formulating an effective workplace policy that addresses those employers that hire illegal immigrants … The fourth plank on Johanns' immigration platform is addressed directly to those illegally in the United States: 'You need to honor our laws,' he said. 'You need to return and re-enter in a legal fashion. And do it in a way that honors the laws of the United States.' The final part of Johanns' immigration platform is, if a person who is illegally here in the United States is arrested for violating U.S. laws, he or she forfeits any right to be in the United States." (Grand Island Independent, May 29, 2008)

MYTH: Mike Johanns Has Not Been A Leader For Nebraska

FACT: Mike Johanns Has Earned Praise For His Common Sense Leadership And Real Solutions

Mike Johanns Earned The World-Herald's 1998 Endorsement For Working Across Party Lines:

· Omaha World-Herald: "(Mike) Johanns has often been a unifying force… His budgets generally win approval with little disagreement. He publishes his telephone number, allowing citizens to reach him at home… He works well with neighborhood associations. He communicates and explains. He has won bipartisan respect in the Capital City for seeking a cross-section of political views." ("Breadth Of Preparation Makes Johanns Best Choice," Omaha World-Hearld, 5/4/1998)

Governor Johanns Is A Consensus Builder Who Didn't Shy Away From A Challenge:

· Omaha World-Herald: "It would have been easy, from where Johanns sat, to say four years is enough and retire to what probably would be a lucrative law practice. But Johanns, a veteran of nearly two decades in public office in Nebraska, wanted to serve in the tough times, too. In fact, it may not be exaggerating to say he particularly wanted to serve in the tough times. He made hard choices and, of equal importance, managed to bring the Legislature to consensus on quite a large percentage of them.This is evidence of a steady and practiced hand on the tiller - which is exactly what Nebraska needs just now… His practice is to gather every possible detail, sift facts, analyze, talk quietly to other state leaders and get done what needs to be done." ("Johanns' Steady Hand," Omaha World-Herald Editorial, 10/15/2002)

Lincoln Journal Star Gave Mike Johanns The Nod For A Second Term:

· Lincoln Journal Star: "Four years ago, the Journal Star's opinion page said that Mike Johanns possessed a blend of tested experience, managerial aptitude and political philosophy that was particularly suited to the office of Nebraska governor. Johanns' performance as governor during the past four years has done nothing to change our mind." (We Endorse Johanns For Second Term," Lincoln Journal Star Editorial, 10/13/2002)

For more information on the differences between Mike Johanns and his opponent, be sure to read the Associated Press coverage of today's debate by clicking here:

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