Hypocrite Ron Johnson Breaks Own Rules on Campaign Finance
Millionaire Johnson Calls For "Rapid Disclosure" on Internet,
But Refuses to Hold Himself To The Same Standard
Republican Senate Candidate Ron Johnson, who is hiding behind a $9 million negative ad campaign but refuses to offer solutions on how to create jobs or reduce the deficit, did take one actual position in the closing weeks of the campaign — embracing the Supreme Court's "Citizen United" decision that opens the door to virtually unlimited money to be spent by corporations on elections.
In a recent debate Johnson said he supported the "Citizens United" decision and said:
"Let’s make this very simple. Let’s have total transparency and immediate, slash rapid disclosure on the Internet. Then we know who, which, who, you know who is supporting each candidate, and we know it right away."
[Wausau post debate press conference, 10/11/10]
As a candidate, Johnson has failed to live up to his own standard on multiple occasions.
Upon entering the race, he missed the deadline to file his legally required Personal Financial Disclosure by more than a month. When he finally filed the document, the media reported that he had been hiding up to $315,000 in BP Stock from the voters, even while he was defending BP and Big Oil on the campaign trail.
When Johnson filed his campaign finance reports, he filed paper reports and refuses to file his senate reports electronically, even though FEC records show that many Republican and Democratic Candidates — including Alaska's Joe Miller — voluntarily file electronically.
Senator Feingold voluntarily files his reports electronically, and has sponsored legislation to require all Senate candidates to do so.
Because Johnson doesn't file electronically, it can take as many as 17 days from the filing date for voters to be able to access the information. This makes it much more difficult for voters to learn who is donating to Johnson's campaign during the last days of the campaign.
Finally, Johnson failed to file his legally required pre-primary report on time in September, opening the campaign to possible civil fines from the Federal Elections Commission, which issued a warning letter on Sept. 3.
"If Ron Johnson can't meet his own standards as a candidate, what would he do as a Senator?" said Mike Tate, Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. "Wisconsin deserves a Senator who doesn't think he lives by a special set of rules, and they have that in Russ Feingold."
Johnson has called for "rapid disclosure" on the Internet on at least one other occasion, telling the Milwaukee Press Club:
From my standpoint I think campaign finance laws should be pretty simple, total transparency, very rapid reporting of what donations come in.
[Milwaukee Press Club, 9/24/10]