Activist sticks up for taxpayers
By Dan Meisler
DAILY PRESS & ARGUS
Bill Johnston says he has been a political conservative his whole life — "That's the way I was raised."
But when Livingston County's five main school districts proposed a countywide millage in 2005, Johnston took the next step and formed a political action committee called the Concerned Taxpayers of Livingston County.
"That pushed us over the cliff. We had to defeat it," Johnston said. "It wasn't going to accomplish anything for the kids."
The millage failed, and the Concerned Taxpayers gathered about 120 supporters.
"There was a definite need" for a group like his, said Johnston, 66. "I am really surprised at how easy it is to accomplish something — a little bit of patience and not offending people is all you need."
It was a 2-1 victory, and we were outspent 4-1. A small correction is that the PAC wasn't involved in the millage which uses a different committee (ballot question). Times are tough in this economy and have been for a while. All units of government need to live within their means, just like the rest of us.
The PAC was formed the next year, so we can make sure our school boards are fiscally responsible. The Concerned Taxpayers Group will be conducting interviews soon, and endorsments decisions, if any should be out soon afterward.
When Johnston started scaling back his workload, he had more time for political endeavors. He said he's worked for Republican presidential candidates going back to Bob Dole, but at heart considers himself more of a Libertarian — "smaller government, lower taxes, protecting rights."
But he said he backs Republican candidates because Libertarians don't have the support to win many elections.
I'd like to see more of the republicans get back to smaller government, lower taxes, and protecting rights. That's another article.