ICYMI: Ron Johnson and His Family Have a Really Nice Private Jet
MADISON, WIS. – A week after an ethics complaint was filed against Ron Johnson, a new report detailed just how luxurious the private jet Ron Johnson flew around the country was. Despite him clamoring against COVID-19 safety protocols, he spent the year jetting around the country in his private plane. Ron Johnson has spent his entire career in the Senate looking for ways to enrich himself instead of working for Wisconsinites.
- The US Senate Ethics Committee is being asked to look into how Republican Sen. Ron Johnson has been using taxpayer funds to fly between his Florida vacation home and Washington, DC. A complaint was filed Wednesday by a constituent following a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report that said Johnson had billed taxpayers for 19 flights over an eight-year period.
- The constituent, Claudia Pogreba of Madison, noted “Senator Johnson first used government funds to pay for travel from Fort Myers just one month after the Senator’s family was apparently involved in the purchase of a vacation property in Fort Myers.”
- The Journal Sentinel report included reaction from attorney Jacquelyn Lopez…“The rules are clear,” Lopez said. “A senator may not use taxpayer dollars to fund personal travel to or from a family vacation home. As a matter of federal law and Senate ethics rules, senators may only use official funds for travel that is essential to the transaction of official business.”
- This is not the first time Johnson has come under scrutiny for the way he travels to and from the nation’s capital. From May to October 2020, in the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Johnson made at least 14 trips on private jets that appear to be owned by his children. During that time, Johnson was criticized as “a hypocrite of the highest degree” for taking private jets—an option not available to most Americans—even as one of the Senate’s wealthiest members was describing public concern about the coronavirus as “hysteria.”
- The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported in October 2020 about the jet owned by Howard Air, a company owned by Johnson’s three adult children. Johnson then leased the plane from his children’s company.
- Howard Air currently owns two fixed-wing planes, according to FlightAware. One is a 2019 Pilatus PC-12, an 11-seater single-engine plane, with a current average value ranging from $4.2 – $7.2 million.
- The other is a 2021 Pilatus PC-24, a nine-seater multi-engine jet described by its maker as “like a penthouse on the 5,000th floor.