It’s kind of a slow season in North Dakota politics. Evidence supporting such a statement can be found by reading this article from Say Anything Blog’s Rob Port, that Rep. Dan Johnston (R – District 24) has two filings involving collection agencies on his public record.
As you’re probably aware, Johnston officially announced his candidacy for State Treasurer just two days ago. It’s to be expected that such a move would result in some folks turning over any stone possible to see if they can find something nefarious in his past.
To be clear, I personally believe that it’s fair to go looking. Yet, it seems to me, that Port is stretching a bit on this one.
In both cases, the defendants are Rep. Johnston and his wife. The 2011 filing sought judgment for $1,066.52. The 2018 judgment was in the amount of $705.63. And in both cases, the debts were satisfied.
I just don’t find these problematic. For one, it’s not as if Dan Johnston is the first person to have ever been sent to collections. And speaking as one of those who has been, I can tell you it’s not always because of “a rough financial patch”.
We reached out last night to Johnston. According to him, the 2018 judgment appears to have been a mix up on a medical bill by their insurance company. It was ultimately corrected, and apparently the debt was paid by the insurance company themselves.
Oddly enough, my wife dealt with a similar situation for us yesterday. We unexpectedly received a collection notice in the mail for a medical bill that we had thought was resolved with our insurance company. After a phone call — and an acknowledgment that we are not responsible for the bill — we were assured that it will be resolved. And this wasn’t the first time this has happened to us. Perhaps you’ve had similar experiences too.
As of this publication, the Johnston’s are still trying to track down the source of the nearly nine year old judgment from 2011 which, again, was also satisfied. Should this really disqualify Dan Johnston from consideration for the Treasurer’s office? I just don’t think that it does.
Even if we suppose that the 2011 filing was “a rough financial patch” for the Johnston family, how would that make him unfit for office today? Are we really going to take a debt that was satisfied from nine years ago and make it the standard for disqualification? Ridiculous.
Furthermore, Johnston informed us that he currently has an “excellent” credit score— with three different credit bureau’s. And he even provided screenshots to The Minuteman to prove it. I’ll post those at the end of the article.
You’ll notice that Johnston gets dinged a bit on his credit score, because he has no mortgage payment. That’s right. The Johnston’s home is bought and paid for. Not too shabby if you ask me.
What’s especially interesting about Rep. Johnston’s credit report is that it says his “payment history is excellent”. That tells quite a different story than the one some might come away with after reading Rob Port’s article.
Each person will ultimately have to decide for themselves, but I’m just not seeing these debts — again, both of which were satisfied — as being problematic at all. It’s a great big nothing burger on a slow day in politics in North Dakota.
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