Lucky No. 13 - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Call her ... conventional Lucky No. 13

Ruthie Johnson headed to Republican national convention ... again

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Posted: Saturday, August 11, 2012 12:00 am

COEUR d'ALENE - Ruthie Johnson doesn't mind telling people she's 88 years old. The embarrassing part, she said, is her birthday is Aug. 4 - same as President Barack Obama.

"At least I have a birth certificate," Johnson said.

That's not surprising talk. She's among the hardest core Republicans in a hard-core conservative state.

And her Republican loyalty is paying off this month.

The GOP grande dame was presented with a $500 check by a local Republican group, covering her round-trip airfare to attend her 13th - consecutive - Republican National Convention.

"I was just floored," she said about receiving the money.

She is one of Idaho's 32 delegates at the Aug. 27-30 convention in Tampa, Fla., and she has her Mitt Romney buttons ready to go.

"The thing that I've been impressed by is that he took over those Olympics in Utah," she said. "They were losing money, (and) they were going to cancel the Olympics. Not only did he make a success out of it, he made money on the thing."

With a country that is $16 trillion in debt, she said, Romney is the man needed to turn it all around.

The North Idaho Pachyderm Club decided to pay for her trip to repay her for all she has done for the local chapter.

Johnson is one of the founding members, was a longtime chapter board member, and has a nearly 100 percent attendance record, arriving at meetings even when she had to hobble in with a fractured foot.

Pachyderm Club president Bob Brooke said Johnson's national convention attendance record is extraordinary.

"She's known as 'Mrs. Republican' in Idaho," Brooke said. "She deserves it, and it's something we could do. We're a Republican group and she does a lot for the Republican party."

He added, "I would submit to you that probably, if any, only one or two other people have done what she did when she goes to Tampa."

Johnson said she has been a delegate 10 times, an alternate delegate twice, and attended once as a guest, at her first convention in 1964. That was when Barry Goldwater was nominated in San Francisco.

Johnson, a Hayden Lake resident and Wallace native, has been a party precinct committeeman for 62 years and was former Idaho Congressman and U.S. Sen. Jim McClure's Coeur d'Alene office representative for 24 years.

Johnson has been married for 69 years to her husband, Wayne, who supports her political involvement. They have three grown children, two sons who are doctors and a daughter who has nine children.

"I have an awfully patient husband," she said. "He would encourage me to go (to conventions) if I wanted to, and he always found it interesting."

For all her political passion, she has only met one man who became president - Ronald Reagan.

She sat at Reagan's right-hand side at a dinner meeting in Salt Lake City in 1980, months before the presidential candidate captured the White House. (Salt Lake City was not the national convention site in 1980. Detroit was.)

"(Reagan) was so easy to talk to, unbelievably easy to talk to," Johnson said. "He's got a good sense of humor, and was just so relaxed."

At conventions, she loves connecting with friends and meeting new people - Dick Armey, Pat Buchanan, and journalist David Broder, to name a few - and discussing politics. She enjoys learning about legislation, and helping to form the party platform.

The travel to conventions has been great, but she hasn't seen much of the cities she has visited.

"If you're interested in what's going on at the convention, you go and you stay in the hotel, you're picked up in a bus, (and) you go to the convention center," she said. "Then you get picked up in a bus and you get taken back to the hotel."

The days can be long and stretch late into the night.

Johnson grew up in Shoshone County, which was very Democratic at the time, like her family, she said.

"I became Republican when I learned to read," she said. "I always thought my family were Republicans and didn't know it, because they wouldn't ask for help from anyone."

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  • Joseph Jr posted at 6:22 pm on Tue, Aug 14, 2012.

    Joseph Jr Posts: 512

    Romney bailed out the SLC Olympic scandal (bribes, corruption, etc.), by going to Washington DC, rubbing elbows with cronies and magically received a few hundred million in federal tax payer dollars... and took it back to UTAH. Yeah, it was a success!

    Romney took money from taxpayers in 50 states, to fund the mistakes of Utahn's. Utahn's did benefit! Oh boy, oh boy! The corrupt phonies were rewarded.

    Romney did not ask Utah taxpayers (85% LDS) for funds to bail out the SLC Olympic scadal,

    Obama and Romney both equal disaster for the U.S. Obama's had 3 1/2 years to prove he is not fit to be president.

    I won't vote for either. I'm not ancient, but haven't missed an election since Ross Perot ran.

  • Joseph Jr posted at 11:36 am on Tue, Aug 14, 2012.

    Joseph Jr Posts: 512


    Remember, Obama really doesn't know when or where he was born. Why are you supporing Mitt Romney?

    Romney used hundreds of millions of federal tax dollars to bail out the fraud and corruption by the Salt Lake City Olympic Committee. ROmney is now trying to take credit for that. Using tax dollars earned by hard working American's to bail out dishonest people from UTAH?

    Utah is proud to boast a 85% LDS population. If my memory serves me correctly, those involved in the corrupt scandal, were LDS. Do you disagree? Please feel free to correct me on any of this.

    COULI: Rememer, 50% of the adults in this nation, pay nothing in state and federal taxes.

    You've got a good point about wealthy conservatives, but you forgot wealthy liberals: Both manipulate the middle income wage earners. Both parties are corrupt.

    Wealthy people typically have businesses and write off much, if not all of their profits (investments in their companies).

    There's a reason Mitt Romney does not want to make his taxes public.

    Middle class who do not own a business (again "write off's") and are dis-proportionately taxed. I have paid the maximum in Social Security for years (there is a maximum the government can take regarding SS, and you do not need to be wealthy to hit that tier). I have almost no "write off's."

    The lower income rarely pay taxes (federal or state). They are on the receiving end of "programs" funded by the middle class and sometimes (not always) the wealthy. Hate to say it, but the lower class income earner's, are always in line for programs paid for by middle and wealthy income earners.

    Just a fact: I don't care what a person's religion is, not matter how absurd. I don't care if they are an athiest either. I do care about our nation, and the fact that it has gone from 6 Trillion to 13 Trillion in debt, in just 3 1/2 years. Six Trillion was unacceptable.

  • chouli posted at 9:36 pm on Sun, Aug 12, 2012.

    chouli Posts: 1294

    have fun Ruthie. :-)

    when will the middle and lower income americans figure out that their republican party doesn't give a rip about them and uses them for their votes. their allegiance is to corporate america and the wealthy. since when did tricke down ever work to help the average american?

    you, my friends, are just batteries for the matrix.

  • EddieCox posted at 8:40 pm on Sun, Aug 12, 2012.

    EddieCox Posts: 56

    Keven, Oh, so YOU are one of the 1% that we hear so much about. The redistribution of wealth has been only upwards for the last 10-12 years. Look at the charts. The rich keep getting MUCH richer and the middle and lower income earners have been getting poorer. So if you truly are worried about anyone stealing from you, it is because you (the very rich) have been stealing from the rest of us (the 99%) for years. It is time to STOP redistributing the wealth upwards and let the rest of us keep what we have. Those who Ruthie is supporting clearly want to ensure that their wealthy friends (and themselves) can continue on their path to riches while the rest of the country scrapes to get by.

  • EddieCox posted at 9:35 pm on Sat, Aug 11, 2012.

    EddieCox Posts: 56

    I wonder how Ruthie is going to feel when and if she realizes that the Republican Party she is supporting is not the same Republican Party that she used to support.
    It's really sad when people like Ruthie are misled. I wonder how she will feel when she realizes that Barack Obama actually DOES have a birth certificate. The fact that having the same birthday as the President of the United States is an embarrassment to her just illustrates that she is putting party before country.

  • ancientemplar posted at 7:47 pm on Sat, Aug 11, 2012.

    ancientemplar Posts: 1287

    Kool-Aide must taste really good.

  • Keven Johnson posted at 4:33 pm on Sat, Aug 11, 2012.

    Keven Johnson Posts: 1490

    kind of 'off topic' but It wasn't Palin who sabotaged McCain's candidacy - - it was John McCain!

  • jmowreader posted at 4:20 pm on Sat, Aug 11, 2012.

    jmowreader Posts: 1495

    There are several things wrong here.

    First problem: President Obama is a natural-born citizen of the United States. He was born to an American-citizen mother in the Kapiolani Women's and Children's Hospital, Honolulu, Hawaii. The birther schtick got old about two days after it started. It needs to stop. Now.

    Second problem: Romney was brought into the Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee chairmanship not because they needed money. They did--when Romney came in they were $379 million short, but after President Bush committed about $450 million in federal funds to the Olympics and the TV sponsorship deals came through, they were okay--but the bigger problem were two members of the committee, lawyer Tom Welch and used-car salesman Dave Johnson, who bribed 10 members of the International Olympic Committee in order to win their votes when the time came to choose a city for the 2002 Olympic Games. We kept the Olympics because Romney got rid of all the crooks on the organizing committee.

    Third problem: The REASON we are $15 trillion in debt is Bushonomics: cut taxes, start two wars and bury the war spending off the books. One of the first things Obama did was to put the war spending into the budget. It's more honest--scratch that, it's the only honest thing you can do--but it makes the numbers REAL bad, And the only way we can get out of this debt crisis involves raising taxes and putting the military on a severe diet. Romney is talking about "closing loopholes" because he wants to lower tax rates. Loopholes are deductions, and the last time the US went on a loophole-closing binge--during Reagan's second term--the savings and loan industry collapsed when the loophole it depended upon (passive loss, which is the only thing that makes commercial real estate leasing profitable) was taken away. Close all the loopholes. That's fine. But lowering tax rates when the US needs more money is the governmental equivalent of asking your boss for a pay cut when your whole check already goes to paying your mortgage.

    And finally, Romney's choice of Paul "Vouchercare" Ryan as his running mate means Romney's worry isn't how to get to 270, it's how to not lose all 50 states. I think he's going to lose Arizona because of this, and before last night I didn't think that was possible.

  • Keven Johnson posted at 4:06 pm on Sat, Aug 11, 2012.

    Keven Johnson Posts: 1490

    I bet you're right that Ruthie's family were there for those who needed help, as I'm sure Ruthie is too. The difference is that progressives (I won't say democrats because many republicans are just as guilty) want to steal from me, and redistribute my wealth as THEY see fit to make themselves feel better!

  • Keven Johnson posted at 4:04 pm on Sat, Aug 11, 2012.

    Keven Johnson Posts: 1490

    Thank you Mary. I just love how some of these commenters hide behind fake names to attack an 88 year old lady who has never resorted to personal attacks against her political opponents.

  • Keven Johnson posted at 3:59 pm on Sat, Aug 11, 2012.

    Keven Johnson Posts: 1490

    Flash, why don't you talk about issues that you disagree with Ruthie on, rather than resort to name calling and personal attacks on a very nice classy lady who has spent a lifetime working for the betterment of her country.

    I can (and do) disagree with Ruthie on a number of things, one of them being her support for Mittens Romney for the republican nomination. But to attack her personally as you have says much more about your character than it says about Ruthie Johnson. (and no, we're not related).

  • Mary Souza posted at 3:36 pm on Sat, Aug 11, 2012.

    Mary Souza Posts: 814

    Ruthie is a lovely, intelligent, dedicated woman whom we are lucky to have as a gem in our community. She's got more knowledge and class in her little finger than the total sum of several of the commenters here. Thanks for all you do, Ruthie!

  • yourneighbor posted at 2:54 pm on Sat, Aug 11, 2012.

    yourneighbor Posts: 224

    The United States? Well at least we have the rest of the word laughing, maybe we should just seperate the states Gop on the top Dems on the bottom and instesd of pointing fingers and name calling lets point guns. May the best party win.....

  • ProIdaho posted at 2:31 pm on Sat, Aug 11, 2012.

    ProIdaho Posts: 265

    Mr D.
    Nice. I love how Liberals always fall into the "if it isn't my way, then the other side is the devil" position.

    No funding for schools........Really? Are you actually attempting to say Replicans want NO funding for schools or is it that Idaho has a budget deficit and cuts MUST be made. Try being honest.
    No living wage for workers.........Huh? What does that actually mean to you? That every employer (no matter the economic situation of the business) MUST pay what you think they should. Try owning and actually running a business and come talk to me how that can be accomplished.
    No freedom for women and pregnancy issues..........again huh?Please be specific. Last time I checked, Abortion was legal and available from Planned parenthood in Idaho.

    Lastly, get your facts right about which party WANTS the working class poor and desperate. Democrats promise more govt. spending and involvement, which only leads to more dependance on those programs and money.

  • angryNIdaho posted at 2:07 pm on Sat, Aug 11, 2012.

    angryNIdaho Posts: 81

    I hope I'm HALF AS CRAZY when I'm 88!

  • truthistruth posted at 12:03 pm on Sat, Aug 11, 2012.

    truthistruth Posts: 3

    Don't mind the nay-sayers, Ruthie! The GOP respects and honors our vital, active seniors. What could be better than having a member of The Greatest Generation representing Idaho at the convention! You Go, Girl!!!!

  • Flash Gordon posted at 9:28 am on Sat, Aug 11, 2012.

    Flash Gordon Posts: 1686

    Ruthie Johnson is a neanderthal that in all probability watches that foreign owned conservative television network that outsources the news.......

  • cd1013 posted at 9:22 am on Sat, Aug 11, 2012.

    cd1013 Posts: 249

    I think it's wonderful that they are sending her for years of waving the banner. But her last quote is typical of the mind set of those in the GOP. I'd asked Mrs.Johnson if even though her family wasn't one to ask for help I'd bet they were there for those who needed it and there lays the difference of the two parties. It's not about "hand outs" it's about a "hand up".

  • mister d posted at 7:46 am on Sat, Aug 11, 2012.

    mister d Posts: 1531

    Embarressed about having the same birthday as Obama - what a foolish thought. That is the least of your problems if you are backing Romney. Idaho has big problems and is one of the most backward states because of the leadership of only the Republican party - the partyof NO - no funding for education, no living wage for workers, no freedom for women and pregnancy issues. Keep the working class poor and desperate but support business owners totally. This thinking is what has continued to increase the wage gap between the rich and the average citizen.

  • acid posted at 7:24 am on Sat, Aug 11, 2012.

    acid Posts: 45

    Congratulations on turning 88!!!! But REALLY, is sending an 88 year old to the rep. national convention the BEST person you can send? Unless you have figured out that Romney doesn't have a chance and so you might as well send this little lady. I watched this play out in the last election when the Rep party put Palin up and sabotaged McCain's run for office.

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