ICYMI: Wisconsin Editorial Boards Say “Johnson Has No Business Being Wisconsin Senator Any Longer” & Has Been A “Lousy Deal For Wisconsin”

Oct 12, 2022

ICYMI: Wisconsin Editorial Boards Say “Johnson Has No Business Being Wisconsin Senator Any Longer” & Has Been A “Lousy Deal For Wisconsin”

MADISON, Wis. — This morning, Wisconsin editorial boards are calling for Ron Johnson to be voted out in November. In a blistering editorial, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editorial Board called out all the ways Senator Ron Johnson has betrayed Wisconsin, and the the Cap Times Editorial Board blasted Johnson for working against Wisconsinites.

Read the editorials here:

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Editorial: Election deceiver, science fabulist, billionaire benefactor. After 12 years, it’s time to term-limit Sen. Ron Johnson 

Key Points:

  • For years, Ron Johnson has demonstrated that he should be retired to his family’s seaside Florida home — and not representing Wisconsin in the U.S. Senate. Voters should send him packing this November.
  • He wants to upend Medicare and Social Security
  • Johnson said recently that Medicare and Social Security should be subject to annual budget deliberations, which would be a drastic change for a pair of essential social insurance programs and could put them at risk.
  • Treating them as “discretionary spending” would subject them to annual partisan squabbles and could put the guarantees promised to seniors at risk.
  • His office was involved in Trump’s ‘fake elector’ scheme
  • Johnson’s office was involved in an attempt to pass a document regarding “Wisconsin electors” to then Vice President Mike Pence just minutes before Congress was to ceremonially certify the election on Jan. 6. Johnson’s explanations for what happened — and for what he and his staff knew — don’t add up.
  • He refused to tell the truth about the 2020 presidential election
  • Johnson’s role in amplifying lies about the election — including his threat to challenge the ceremonial counting of electoral votes in Congress — encouraged Trump supporters to believe the result could be overturned and contributed to the tragedy at the Capitol.
  • Now Johnson refuses to say whether he would accept the outcome of the November election once the results are certified, the Wisconsin State Journal reports.
  • We cannot elect people to office who do not honor the results of elections and still expect to hold onto our democratic republic. It’s that simple. Even citizens who don’t like his opponent should withhold their vote for Johnson on this point alone — to ensure our government derives its power from the consent of the governed.
  • He repeatedly downplayed the seriousness of the attack on the U.S. Capitol
  • Johnson later said those who attacked the Capitol, “were people that love this country, that truly respect law enforcement, would never do anything to break the law.” If that wasn’t bad enough, he added this racist remark: If the protesters had been “Black Lives Matter and Antifa protesters,” he said. “I might have been a little concerned.”
  • With a wink and a nod, Johnson was voicing support for the white supremacists who led the attack on the Capitol.
  • It’s worth noting: One of the people at the scene that day, a top lieutenant to the Proud Boys chairman, pleaded guilty last week to seditious conspiracy in connection with the riot at the Capitol.
  • He made sure his ultra-wealthy donors got a giant tax break
  • Johnson forced changes to the 2017 Republican tax overhaul that benefitted some of the nation’s wealthiest people, including himself and his own donors.
  • In 2021, ProPublica revealed how Wisconsin’s Republican senator ensured donors got a massive tax break in a bill the party claimed was a “middle-class tax cut.” Thanks to Johnson’s last-minute threat to vote against the legislation, a huge portion of its billions in savings ended up going to just 82 of America’s wealthiest families.
  • Three of the senator’s top donors — billionaires Diane Hendricks and Dick and Liz Uihlein — were on the short list of those who gained the most. ProPublica reported that the tax break Johnson muscled through “could deliver more than half a billion in tax savings for Hendricks and the Uihleins over its eight-year life.”
  • And now, as Johnson comes under criticism during his reelection campaign for leveraging a tax break for the uber-wealthy who need it least, he accuses his critics of “class envy.”
  • Hendricks and the Uihleins continue to invest in Johnson, funding attack ads against his challenger, Democrat Mandela Barnes.
  • He has displayed a stunning lack of interest in creating jobs in the state he represents
  • After Oshkosh Corp. said in June it intended to make vehicles for the U.S. Postal Service at a new facility in Spartanburg, S.C., U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin and others stepped in to try to bring those 1,000 jobs to Wisconsin.
  • “It’s not like we don’t have enough jobs here in Wisconsin,” Johnson said. He said the company was best suited to decide where to locate the jobs.
  • “I wouldn’t insert myself to demand that anything be manufactured here using federal funds in Wisconsin,” Johnson said.
  • He was a super spreader of disinformation during the pandemic
  • Johnson used his perch as a U.S. Senate committee chair to promote the use of Ivermectin as a coronavirus therapy even though the manufacturer itself said there was no evidence it worked. He touted the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment though studies found it wasn’t effective.
  • And he falsely claimed that unvaccinated people around the world were being put into “internment camps,” earning him a “Pants on Fire” rating from PolitiFact.
  • He’s a climate change denier
  • From his first run for office in 2010, Johnson has thought that he knew better than the vast majority of scientists who study climate change.
  • During a meeting with this editorial board that year, Johnson claimed the impact of humans on the climate hadn’t been proven. It was “far more likely,” he said then, that “it was sunspot activity or something just in the geologic eons of time where we have changes in the climate.”
  • And last year, he told a Republican group, “I don’t know about you guys, but I think climate change is — as Lord Monckton said — bullshit.”
  • In fact, more than 99.9% of peer-reviewed scientific papers agree that climate change is mainly caused by humans burning fossil fuels and increasing the amount of carbon and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, according to a 2021 survey of 88,125 climate-related studies.
  • It should come as no surprise that Johnson has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from people employed by or associated with the fossil fuel industry.
  • The bottom line
  • You’ll notice Johnson is not touting a long record of accomplishments in his ads for re-election. Instead, he and his supporters have attacked his opponent — a Black man — as “different” and “dangerous.”
  • So, what has Johnson delivered for Wisconsin after 12 years in the Senate (the equivalent of three presidential terms)?
  • The Trump tax cut that he, in fact, blocked until it was amended to deliver enormous new breaks for his top donors and 80 other ultrawealthy American households.
  • In fact, Ron Johnson is the worst Wisconsin political representative since the infamous Sen. Joseph McCarthy. Johnson in the past promised to serve no more than two terms. Voters should hold him to that pledge in November.

Cap Times: Mandela Barnes will be a great U.S. senator for Wisconsin

Key Points:

  • The fundamental issue facing Wisconsin voters in the race for the U.S. Senate on Nov. 8 is whether they want a working-class senator who wants to represent the people of this state or a millionaire senator who serves only himself.
  • The prospect that Barnes could beat U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson in November unsettles the billionaires who fund GOP campaigns, and who know Wisconsin has a pivotal role to play in determining which party will control the U.S. Senate going forward, and by what margin. Their fear is palpable. They are prepared to pay any price and tell any lie in order to keep Johnson in the Senate. Barnes is in their way, so they are determined to destroy him, just as Republicans tried to destroy Sen. Tammy Baldwin when she ran in 2012 and 2018.
  • Over the past decade, Johnson has cancelled out Baldwin’s votes to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, to establish fair tax policies, to defend democracy and to save the planet. Barnes would vote with Baldwin for the progressive agenda that polls show Wisconsinites overwhelmingly favor. And he would take the lead in the fight to preserve abortion rights at a time when Johnson seeks to dismantle them.
  • Johnson has explicitly declared that he will not lift a finger to help bring good-paying union jobs to communities such as Oshkosh — where members of the United Auto Workers union are fighting for a chance to build the next generation of vehicles that the United States Postal Service plans to spend $6 billion to produce. Johnson went so far as to say, “I wouldn’t insert myself to demand that anything be manufactured here using federal funds in Wisconsin.”
  • Unfortunately, the billionaires who rely on Johnson to represent them have gone out of their way to prevent this from being an honest race. They have poured tens of millions of dollars into the most vicious negative campaign Wisconsinites have ever seen.
  • Yet the smears continue. Why? Because the powerful interests that fund Republican campaigns are desperate to keep Johnson in Washington — just as Johnson is desperate to stay there.
  • Johnson craves power — so much so that this year he broke a promise to serve only two Senate terms and announced that he would run for a third. Why? Because life in Washington has been very good to Johnson. The millionaire senator acknowledges that his fortune has doubled since he was elected 12 years ago. Investigative reports have revealed how Johnson has used his position to promote tax breaks that benefit him and his wealthy donors. And he’s gotten caught jetting off to his mansion in Florida at taxpayer expense.
  • Being a senator is a sweet deal for Johnson. But having Johnson as a senator has been a lousy deal for Wisconsin workers and farmers, for people who rely on Social Security and Medicare and for communities that have been devastated by deindustrialization.
  • Ron Johnson openly declares that he will not lift a finger to address that devastation.