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ICYMI: UpNorthNews: Companies and Executives Sent Jobs Out of Wisconsin—and Sent Money to Ron Johnson

Sep 02, 2022

ICYMI: UpNorthNews: Companies and Executives Sent Jobs Out of Wisconsin—and Sent Money to Ron Johnson

“In 2014, Johnson [said] outsourcing had been ‘quite beneficial to America.’”

MADISON, Wis. – A new report details how Ron Johnson has praised outsourcing all while taking nearly $80,000 from companies that have shipped Wisconsin jobs overseas.

UpNorthNews: Companies and Executives Sent Jobs Out of Wisconsin—and Sent Money to Ron Johnson

Key Points:

  • Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson has received $77,400 over the years from people and firms engaged in outsourcing work to other states and countries, according to a review of campaign finance records provided to UpNorthNews.
  • Johnson, a two-term senator who said earlier this year he would not ask a hometown manufacturer to locate about 1,000 new jobs in Oshkosh, has a history of comments that suggest he supports outsourcing jobs.
  • “To me, it makes no sense for American workers to produce high-labor-content products,” Johnson said in September 2020 to the Commercial Association of Realtors-Wisconsin, as reported at the time by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Let the billions of people around the world do that and provide us these goods—high quality, dirt cheap.”
  • In 2014, Johnson told the Journal Sentinel outsourcing had been “quite beneficial to America.”
  • Most recently, in February, Johnson said he would not ask Oshkosh Defense to make Wisconsin its base for manufacturing a new generation of US Postal Service trucks—even though the company based in his hometown had recently won a government contract to build 165,000 vehicles. Instead, the firm is likely going to put the jobs in South Carolina with a non-union workforce
  • Johnson’s pro-outsourcing sentiments have struck a chord with some of his campaign donors, according to Federal Elections Commission records of contributions to his campaign and affiliated political action committees (PACs).
  • Executives from the Briggs & Stratton Corporation have donated nearly $9,000 to Johnson during his career. In 2021, Briggs & Stratton laid off 228 Wisconsin workers because it was cheaper to import a similar product from China. In 2010, Johnson took $1,000 from Briggs & Stratton CEO Todd Teske, who in 2021, ended his company retiree benefits as the company went under but took an $8 million golden parachute for himself.
  • In 2010, Johnson also received $3,400 from the president of Northern Engraving, a company that in 2021 moved 180 jobs from La Crosse to Mexico, claiming labor was cheaper.
  • Eaton Corporation and its executives donated $4,200 to Johnson, even though between 2014 and 2021 Eaton laid off 425 Wisconsin workers and outsourced their jobs to Mexico and China.
  • Johnson also received at least $23,500 from Pitney Bowes, Inc., which in 2014 and 2015 outsourced jobs from Wisconsin to Panama, the Philippines, and India.
  • Johnson furthermore received at least $7,400 from executives of HUSCO International, a company that had $350,000 in state tax credits revoked in 2016 after it outsourced 90 jobs from Waukesha.
  • Assurant, which in 2013 offshored 130 jobs from Milwaukee to India, provided at least $5,500 in donations to Johnson.
  • Johnson also received $4,000 from RockTenn, a company that in 2013 laid off 125 of its employees in Milwaukee and transferred their jobs overseas, and  $20,500 from Anthem Insurance Companies/Wellpoint, Inc., a company that in 2012 outsourced Wisconsin jobs overseas.

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