Report: Free-spending Multimillionaire Johnson’s Campaign Alleged to Have Bought Convention Hotel Rooms for Endorsement Votes, Continues to Hide Personal Financial Disclosure
MADISON — U.S. Senate candidate Ron Johnson is facing the most detailed allegations yet that he bought the endorsement votes of delegates at the Republican Party convention in Milwaukee in May. The new round of charges come 29 days after Johnson failed to meet the legally-required deadline to file his personal financial disclosure with the U.S. Senate Ethics Committee.
In a detailed column for Madison-based InBusiness magazine, Former Republican Senate Candidate Terrence Wall explained how one of his then-staff was coerced into voting for Ron Johnson:
“For example; on the first round of balloting, with only three delegates present on Sunday, Brown County voted all 225 votes for no endorsement (that’s 75 votes per delegate). However, on the second round of voting, Brown County cast all 225 votes for Johnson. What’s interesting about this is that one of the three delegates who cast 75 votes for Johnson was one of my own campaign staff, who is a young, impressionable College Republican.
What happened? Today, we do know that he has a job with the Johnson campaign! We did witness Johnson’s campaign manager talking to my staffer and later learned that a Brown County party official ordered my staffer to vote for Johnson, telling him he was not allowed to vote how he wanted. He obviously felt terribly torn and not knowing the rules (which allow delegates to vote as they wish), he did what he was ordered to do. Brown County’s votes threw Johnson over the top for the endorsement. If my staffer had voted for his boss (me), and if the party official followed his county party rules by voting “no endorsement” (he told me himself that his Brown County Constitution prohibited him from voting to endorse any candidate), the overall vote would have been a hung jury, i.e. no endorsement.
But this wasn’t the only time coercion was deployed and rules were broken. I received dozens of calls from delegates who were disgusted with what went on that day. One delegate told me how he voted for me, but was then handed his ballot back and instructed to change his vote for Johnson. After some argument, he admitted to switching his vote (and felt ashamed enough to call and tell me so).”
The Madison Capital Times editorialized Wednesday that Wall’s new, detailed allegations “raise serious questions that Republican leaders would be wise to consider.”
“These new detailed allegations that Ron Johnson used his fortune on a voter fraud scheme to rig his endorsement vote are not only troubling, they deserve a full investigation. If the GOP really believes in the integrity of our elections, they will do nothing less than welcome such an investigation” said Mike Tate, Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.