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Inside the Beltway

Washington politics and government with a New Mexico flavor

Gary Johnson’s Willie Nelson Endorsement Goes Up in Smoke

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It’s been a tough week for former Gov. Gary Johnson’s presidential campaign.

First, word comes  that his PAC – the Our America Initiative – has been suspended in Utah for failing to submit financial reports in a timely manner. This glitch won’t affect his presidential campaign financing because he can’t use that PAC money to run for president anyway. But it’s still embarrassing. That news was first reported by Veritas New Mexico.

Then, to add insult to injury, country music legend and famed pot smoker Willie Nelson rescinded his endorsement of Johnson today. Willie endorsed Johnson Wednesday in a move coordinated by the Teapot Party, which sprung up after the country music outlaw’s latest marijuana bust.

But Willie has had second thoughts, saying he’d vote for Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio,  if he were to run instead of Johnson. Willie is quoted on the matter at the Teapot Party’s wesbsite:

“My position is it too early for me to endorse anyone,” Nelson said. “And I think every one should vote their  own conscience….I think I will wait and see where he stands on other things. My bad. Sorry. I still think he is a good guy but so is Dennis and if he decided to run I would personally vote for him. If it came down to either him or Gary I’m already committed to Dennis. They both have said they support legal pot.”

Johnson’s campaign sent the following statement to the Journal today:

“We of course respect and appreciate whatever level of support Willie Nelson and the TeaPot Party offer.  What’s important is that Gary Johnson and Willie Nelson share a strong desire to give voice to millions of Americans who are demanding sensible drug laws and policies.  Gary looks forward to working with Mr. Nelson and many others to do just that.”

Nelson’s change of heart  isn’t surprising, really. The Austin-based musician has a long history of liberal viewpoints, and Johnson is at heart a libertarian conservative. Johnson and Nelson may agree on bringing U.S. troops home and legalizing weed, but probably not much else.

 

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