Ruane Cunniff says it’s voting against Jim Johnson for re-election to Goldman Sachs’ board. After reading the letter it sent to investors, I can see why. Let’s just say Johnson’s career has been associated with a strikingly high number of groups and organizations that, in the fullness of time, turned out to be doomed. Let’s call the roll: the Carter administration, Walter Mondale’s 1984 election campaign, Lehman Brothers, Fannie Mae, John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign–and he’s still going strong. One look at that list, and I’m surprised the Goldman people let Johnson anywhere near the building. One wonders how he avoided getting involved with, say, Countrywide, too. (Wait. Never mind.) Then there are the two companies, United Healthcare and KB Home, that were involved in options backdating scandals when Johnson served on their boards. On the other hand, Johnson heads Goldman’s compensation committee; one of his big seling points seems to be the gift he has for coming up with innovative ways to overpay executives. They must think that’s worth the risk. . . .