Superior Telegram, Superior: Sen. hopeful's business got $4M in special aid
By Dinesh Ramde, AP Writer, Superior Telegram
MILWAUKEE — U.S. Senate candidate Ron Johnson regularly criticizes government subsidies to businesses, saying the financial help interferes with the free market. A plastics company co-founded by the Republican, however, received its own form of aid decades ago, county documents show.
Pacur LLC received $4 million in low-interest loans in the 1980s to buy equipment and expand its plant, according to Winnebago County documents obtained Thursday by The Associated Press. The loans were part of a state-run program in which tax-free bonds are sold to investors, and the proceeds lent to a company at low interest rates.
Pacur benefited from the program twice. The company, which makes plastic packaging materials, won approval in 1983 to receive $1.5 million through the sale of the special bonds. About two years later the Oshkosh company was approved to receive another $2.5 million.
On the campaign trail, Johnson criticizes subsidies, saying it should be up to customers — not the government — to pick winners and losers in the business world. He also told WKOW-TV he never asked for government aid for his business.