When one’s deep in politics, not much can be shocking. So you know when something surfaces that actually serves to that effect, it’s surprising to say the least.
We now have seen Ron Johnson testify against the passage of the Child Victims Act, which was before the Wisconsin state senate committee in January 2010. The bill would have given victims of priestly pedophilia a three-year window within which they could sue their molesters.
Looking at Bice’s story on this, I find it further troubling that Johnson, who is now trying to gain ground on his not being a lawyer, said this to Bice:
“Actually, had I not been put on the clock (in the state Senate), I would have made another statement,” Johnson said. “I can’t think of a penalty that would be too harsh for these guys. I don’t think people that prey on children deserve a second chance. I guess God can give them one, but I sure don’t think our courts and legal system should.” [Emphasis added.]
Really? So the molesters face no worldly repercussions? And their victims would not be able to obtain even a trifling compensation for their pain?
I can’t even begin to express my disgust at Johnson’s belief that these heinous crimes should not be punishable by law. What Mr. Johnson needs to realize is that we have things like laws and norms to help build and ensure the proper functioning of our society. When a person is injured, they have a right under law to seek compensation. God knows it may not ever truly repay them for what happened. But it’s something. And it’s a civilized course of action. What would happen if we did not have such means of recompensation?
Put that aside for a moment and consider this: when Johnson testified before the state senate, he did not identify himself as bearing an interest in the outcome of the bill. He identified himself as a businessman. Deep in the million-mile-an-hour testimony, he briefly mentions that he serves on a Catholic board, but he failed to specify that it was a Diocesan finance board that handles claims against offending priests, that had an active lawsuit against it, and would have been effected by the passage of this bill. That is a serious omission of fact.
MSNBC’s Countdown WIth Keith Olberman has the video.