The Onion skewers Ron Johnson

In a sense, you know you’ve arrived when The Onion is making fun of you.

“My Opponent Knows Where Washington Is On A Map; I Don’t, And I Never Will”

Do enjoy!

OBTW: Hopefully this won’t get him too many votes.

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Ron Johnson’s lack of plans for the economy, veterans — anything — focus of new Feingold TV ad

I have to say, it’s true. Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ron Johnson has glossed over huge swaths of major issues, from the economy to veterans benefits. As he said at the UW-Milwaukee candidate forum on October 21, “I don’t believe this election really is about details, it just isn’t.”

Too bad they don’t matter to you. The devil’s in the details, Mr. Johnson.

Perhaps that’s why Senator Feingold has received an endorsement from the Green Bay Press-Gazette, the first time the conservative paper has ever endorsed him. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has joined the Press-Gazette in endorsing Feingold, as has the Oshkosh Northwestern.

It’s also the focus of this new Feingold ad that shows how despite his millions of dollars in expenditure, Ron Johnson has not told us how he will help workers or veterans. Much like Richard Nixon, Johnson’s “secret plan” would be revealed after the election—assuming he wins.

Let’s hope Johnson doesn’t plan to bomb them out of existence, as did Nixon and North Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.

I think it’s much safer to presume that he doesn’t have one.

Either way, here’s the new Feingold campaign ad, “Whiteboard.” Enjoy.

For first time, Green Bay Press-Gazette endorses Feingold

The Green Bay Press-Gazette (a Gannett newspaper) has given its endorsement to Russ Feingold, the first time it has ever done so. Their reasoning: while there was agreement with Johnson on some principles, “Johnson seemed unable to further articulate his plan for job creation — especially for the middle class — during a recent meeting with the Green Bay Press-Gazette editorial board. Basic principles of restraint are one thing; a detailed proposal to spur job creation and get our economy moving is another.”

Indeed, Johnson has become well-known for his inability to specify anything that would create middle-class jobs. Lord knows that he doesn’t need to worry about his own job security, though IllyT rightly argues that that is what Johnson is after.

It’s no wonder people are coming back to Russ Feingold. They know he’ll do us right.

A brief summary of the free rides Ron Johnson has gotten from government

For a guy who claims to loath everything that Gubmint is and stands for, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ron Johnson has gotten more than his share of very substantial government assistance—some of it running to this very day.

I will use the text of a poll over on DailyKos to summarize it for you:

  • His wife’s family’s plastic plant (that Johnson now owns) was built on TIF land
  • Wife’s family’s plant (that Johnson now owns) used gov jobs grant to hire Johnson
  • Wife’s family used gov-subsidized loans to build plastic plant that Johnson now owns
  • Johnson served on the board of, and got help from, Chamco– the industrial development arm of the City of Oshkosh that specializes in handing out gov grants/loans
  • Johnson is a part-owner in the show “Hometime,” which airs on a gov-subsizized network
  • Johnson uses gov-subsidized prison labor at his plastic plant
  • Some of Johnson’s employees are on gov-subsidized BadgerCare
  • Johnson fought for, and got, $500,000 in state funding for renovations to the Oshkosh Opera House

(Thanks, Kos.)

Of course today Lisa Kaiser broke the story that five of Ron Johnson’s employees and their ten children are on BadgerCare. Which, if you listen to Johnson, is some kind of evil “socialist” parasitic drain of all individual freedom. Or something like that.

Just unbelievable. So it’s okay if he gets it, but not the rest of us? Or government assistance is bad now, but wasn’t for the past thirty years? Obviously it’s not if he’s been using prisoners and state-provided health insurance. Great way to save on your bottom line!

At least he paid his income taxes… which we can’t say about his company.

Feingold, Johnson in dead heat in last 2 weeks

Isn’t this always how it goes for Feingold? At least what we are told is that the good Senator somehow pulls ahead at the end of the race, squeaking by his latest millionaire opponent.

That is how it looks to be once again. Despite spending millions of his wealthy family’s money, and having millions more come in from out of state, Ron Johnson appears to be in a statistical tie with Senator Feingold. That trend has been emerging in recent days, with a new poll from the St. Norbert College Survey Center has Johnson barely ahead, 49 percent to 47 percent. The margin of error is 5 percentage points.

It’s coming apparent that Feingold may once again be saved by a superior ground game. But we are also seeing (or not seeing) Johnson as an invisible candidate who won’t reveal himself or his true feelings and opinions until after he wins election. That is a dangerous quality for someone who wants to be a representative of the people in one of our nation’s most respected chambers.

State income taxes are bad, ‘specially when your company doesn’t pay it

I’d say “color me shocked and surprised,” but really, it’s not at all surprising that Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ron Johnson’s company PACUR LLC hasn’t paid income taxes for years. And it’s not as if they’re not making money. Clearly, they are.

According to a finding by One Wisconsin Now, “tax records for both Johnson and PACUR LLC, which show Johnson had net personal state income tax of $645,092 between 1997-2008, an estimated $9.5 million in earnings. Over the same period of time PACUR LLC had zero net state income taxes. (Figures for 2009 were not available.) [Wisconsin Department of Revenue]”

Despite not paying the state a cent in income tax, the company did find a way to muster up a cool five thousand dollars to give to the Republican Governors Association. That’s gotta be nice. There’s nothing like stiffing your home state so that others can stiff their own states too.

At least Johnson paid some income tax in that same period. Who’d a thunk it, Republican senate candidates paying state taxes!

My question on Ron Johnson’s company using prison labor: Hiring after release?

A sad fact of America’s sprawling prison-industrial complex is that upon release, many former prisoners do not have work skills, to say nothing of the stigma that comes with a criminal record.

And by now–the news has been out for at least fifteen minutes now–it’s old news that, quoting the AP story, “Pacur Inc. and Dynamic Drinkware LLC, two companies run by Johnson, employ up to nine inmates at a time through a state Corrections Department jobs program.”

I’m fine with that. They get to let the state of Wisconsin pay for their healthcare. How can Johnson not like not having to pay for healthcare? Must save his company a lot of money.

While a company spokesperson called this the company’s “public service,” my question is this: Does either company hire former inmates upon their release from prison? Or do they just use them while they are inmates?