The oddest invitation? A luncheon with Ron Johnson

“REGISTER NOW” declared the e-mail from WisPolitics. It’s on Monday 26 July. My son might be born by then, perhaps I could attend. (No, family before politics, right?)

While I don’t quiver with anticipation at the idea of a luncheon with Ron Johnson, my eyes jumped to this line:

Join us at the Madison Club for lunch on Monday, July 26, for a look ahead to this year’s election with GOP U.S. Senate candidate Ron Johnson. The events are open to the public, and the price for lunch is $19.

Hmm, $19 for the privledge of attending a luncheon (I love how that word rolls off the tongue) with Ron Johnson? Well, my son should be born by then. But, family before politics, right? We’ll see. But then my eyes jumped up to this line:

The 2010 luncheon series is sponsored by The Wisconsin Bankers Association, Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek, University Research Park, Wal- Mart [sic.] and Xcel Energy.

Wal-Mart and Xcel Energy are publicly traded companies. Does Ron Johnson have stock in Wal-Mart or Xcel? I’d be surprised if he didn’t have some Wal-Mart stock. And we know that Ron Johnson’s got plenthy of BP stock, which explains why he wants to drill for oil in the Great Lakes. So why not hold on to some Xcel Energy (XEL) stock as well?

This is not to suggest that there’s any sort of a conflict of interest being set up here; this is an explicitly partisan event designed to be a channel for Johnson’s message. I just find it odd that all these soundly Republican interests are combining to sponsor a luncheon that you have to pay to get in to*, just to hear the presumptive Republican candidate for the U.S. senate.Will Dave Westlake also get a turn at this? I bet you dollars to doughnuts that a luncheon (mmm, luncheon) with Westlake would be far more interesting than the one with Johnson.

* All that big money, and you still have to pay to get in? Oy, that’s devotion.

Author: Jason Haas

Jason is an elected member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, occasionally moonlights as an amateur gardener, and is a proud father of two, or three, depending on how you do the math.