Family Advocate Aims High: Barbara Johnson Wants Massachusetts Governorship

September 7, 2002


A staunchly independent and pioneering lawyer and political activist, Barbara C. Johnson, announced her candidacy for Governor of Massachusetts. Johnson, an outspoken advocate for court reform -- especially in protecting innocent parents against false accusations of child abuse and domestic violence in divorce actions -- said that these often fraudulent accusations are known as the "nuclear bomb" of the divorce business.   Barbara's independent run has been bolstered by a state wide grassroots constituency, many of whom are divorced dads that been directly affected Family Courts.

Barbara Johnson is running on a broad platform including a slate of government reform focusing on individual rights -- the equal rights of fathers in custody and visitation actions, protection of all parents in cases of false accusations of child abuse and domestic violence, problems with adoption and unfair termination of parental rights  -- and the ever-present fiscal, social welfare, constitutional, and elder issues facing the state.

Broken Courts

"Reproductive and marital fraud would not be crimes without state legislated and judicial enforced gender biases in the laws.", notes Barbara.  "A women getting pregnant should not mean a man has been forced into indentured servitude.  Shotgun marriages and forced fatherhood should be things of the past.  We must offer men the same reproductive rights women enjoy."

"I want to give rebirth to due process and equal protection by restoring fundamental fairness in the court system," Barbara said. "The current laws relating to domestic violence are of questionable constitutionality because they're the only laws that allow the court to treat someone as a criminal without letting him confront his accuser."

Barbara stressed that the courts allow women to abuse these laws in apparent attempts to gain advantage in divorce proceedings, especially when children are involved.  A divorced parents' right to his or her children and the corresponding right of children to both parents are one of the major civil rights issues that Barbara wants to address as Governor.

Barbara notes that "various studies have shown that between seventy to ninety percent of divorces are initiated by women."  In business when a contract is broken there is compensation to the injured party.  "Contrast this to Family Courts" says Barbara, "where when a marriage contract is brok en, one gender is overwhelmingly rewarded for breaking the contract while the other is punished both financially and emotionally."

Barbara asks, "Are we dealing with a 'justice system' or 'legal system'"? "We have to question if justice is in the current system."  The failure of the justice system can be seen when:

A basic precept Barbara wishes to reestablish is that people should not have to purchase justice.  "A simplified legal processes, on-line forms,  night and weekend court hours would all be a step in the right direction."   The judicial branch provides a necessary function in society and needs to be more accessible and less costly to fulfill it's role.  For example, hundreds of laws, both state and federal, impose government opinion on marriage and divorce.  Far too many.

"If a man can't see his children" she said, "he shouldn't have to pay child support. If a woman didn't get her child support, you'd see how fast the kids would see their dad."  "Shared parenting is realchild support," says Barbara.  "Sharing actual expenses - clothes and activity costs - should be all that the State requires.  Following a divorce, parents need to establish separate, independent existence."  Parents continue to be parents and need to provide both time and financial support to the children, but should not need to subsidize the other parents existence.

Massachusetts has long been a leader in providing social services.  "What we need to do", says Barbara, "is continue that tradition while lessening government waste.  Consumer also need protection from predatory business practices."

"Tenants should be given ownership of abandoned housing."  Barbara points out, "There is pride in ownership.  Give a family a house or an apartment to call 'theirs,' a can of paint will quickly replace the 6-pack at the end of the day."

Barbara wants to lower interest rates on credit cards.  "There is no reason that the banks are charging such high rates of interest when the real interest rates are so low."

Barbara wants line-item vetos in order to lower taxes.  "Additional property tax is not the way to go. . . . Capping the property tax of low- and middle-income people is something I'd like to see."


High on Barbara's list is the improvement of the quality of education. Vouchers would be the test of supply and demand in the education arena.  Home-schooling is also an option she is considering very, very strongly.  She wants to see that certain standards are in place.

MCAS is another area that has caught her attention. Reports are that in top school systems with top students, MCAS is too restrictive and cuts the time available for interesting studies.   In the lower-performing systems, MCAS not only helps measure the progress of low-performing students but it ALSO calls attention to the problem presented by low-performing teachers or a municipality's low-quality educational plan.

Bottom line

"The list is longer than a 25-second sound bite, so these cases do not make the 11 o'clock news on your favorite television station or the front page of your favorite newspaper." she says,  "The facts are too many.  The legal issues are too complex.   So the public is not aware of the failing legal system until they are bit on their own bottom."

Ask Barbara why she is running for Governor, "Only someone who understands the disease which is gnawing away at our people, at our families, at the legal system itself, should sit in that chair to make rapid change possible and educate the people of Massachusetts to the erosion of due process and equal protection of all our laws."

"The financial rewards of many, many millions of dollars from the Federal government to the State and its many institutions are destroying families at an enormous rate."  Barbara has made a family's right to stay together or to be reunified  one of the major civil rights'  issues in her campaign for Governor.   Government's encroachment on it's citizens constitutional rights has affected too many American's right of self determination and free will.

Simplified laws, a reformed judicial system, and restoration of constitutional rights will  provide for a leaner government, lower taxes, and personal freedom as promised by the Constitution.  A return of control of our government to the people.

People need to be reawakened to the voting process.  Voters and nonvoters both need to know that their votes can count.  Major offices are usually won with less than one-third of the eligible voters casting ballots.  Far too many people have become complacent and fail to vote.  Those who do not vote out number those who do.  Time to change things.  People need to vote.

For those who do not vote, get out and vote for a change.  For those who vote but don't like the choices of the past, vote for a change.  For those who vote for the parties that have brought us to our current state, vote for a change.  Vote Barbara, vote for a change.

For more information on Barbara's run, please visit her web site at