The 3-minute interview: Brian M. Johnson

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Local,Alana Goodman

Johnson is the executive director of the Alliance for Worker Freedom, which promotes free and open markets and fights legislation the group considers anti-worker. He is originally from Rocky Mount, N.C., and he has lived in the Washington area since 2006, currently in Georgetown.

What did you do before joining the Alliance for Worker Freedom? I was the grass-roots campaign director in North Carolina for the Bush/Cheney campaign in 2004. Then I moved to Brussels, Belgium, got a degree from the business school ICHEC in international trade and economic development. Then I came back to North Carolina and started grad school, and then went to Washington, D.C., and finished grad school at George Washington University.

How did you first become interested in workers' rights? I guess it was when I was studying in Brussels and realized that the United States has a huge competitive advantage against other countries. There are international labor organizations and international labor standards that want to overregulate the U.S. work force, which hurts our competitiveness.

What is your favorite thing about working in D.C. politics? You actually feel like you have the potential to make a difference even if your goals may be thwarted day after day. [Because of] the proximity to the White House and the Capitol, you feel like you're making a difference, even if sometimes the road may be long and bumpy. And it'd be kind of hard to do federal lobbying if I lived in Indiana.

Besides workers' rights, what are some of your other policy interests? Actually, the Alliance of Worker Freedom is a subgroup of Americans for Tax Reform ... I'm also the federal affairs manager at ATR, where two of my issue responsibilities are energy and the financial services. So short answer, energy and financial services. - Alana Goodman

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