Monday, November 9, 2009

Johnson to Speak at UNM

Boy, former Gov. Gary Johnson has been in the news more this last couple of weeks than he has in the past, say, seven years.

The former gov will be speaking Tuesday night at UNM with a former federal drug task force leader about "their joint campaign to legalize and regulate all drugs."

The former task force leader is Matthew Fogg, a former U.S. Marshal.

The event is sponsored by a group called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP. They describe themselves as a "15,000-member organization representing cops, judges, prosecutors, prison wardens and others who now want to legalize and regulate all drugs after witnessing horrors and injustices fighting on the front lines of the `war on drugs.' "

The event, scheduled at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Lobo Rooms A & B, in the Student Union Building at the University of New Mexico, is on the eve of an International Drug Policy Reform Conference in Albuquerque.

Johnson told me recently he's about to launch a 527 group which will have a Web site for Johnson to promote his ideas on issues. The main purpose of a 527 is to raise tax-exempt money. There's also a "grassroots" group not affiliated with Johnson, promoting a presidential campaign for the libertarian-leaning Republican.

Some have suggested in recent days that Johnson is "downplaying" his views on drug policy these days, perhaps in anticipation of a presidential bid. This speech would suggest otherwise.

UPDATE: The Gary Johnson 2012 Facebook page is touting a cocktail party fundraiser "to kick off the launch of Gary Johnson's Our America Initiative." That's the PAC I mentioned above.

The party is noon, Thursday Nov. 19 in Albuquerque. The cost is a $500 a person, which means they must be pretty serious about wanting to raise funds. An e-mail from Josiah Schmidt, one of the folks behind the Facebook page, says Johnson himself will be hosting this party.