ICYMI: DPW Files Addendum to Ethics Complaint As Firestorm Around Sen. Johnson’s $10 Corporate Payout Continues to Grow

Sep 15, 2016


After a bombshell revelation in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Tuesday that Senator Johnson’s $10 million payout was only “determined” after his 2010 victory, the DPW has filed an addendum to its Senate Ethics complaint. Senator Johnson had alleged there was a predetermined agreement with Pacur, which we now know was a lie. The new details make it more likely that the payment violated federal laws banning corporations from donating to candidates for federal office. You can read more about it below. 

As the pressure mounts on Senator Johnson to come clean over his $10 million corporate payout, Kory Kozloski, Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, released the following statement:

“The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s revelation makes it all the more likely that Senator Johnson’s $10 million corporate payout broke federal law. Maybe he knows he broke the law, maybe he thinks he’s above the law, or maybe he just doesn’t care. But whatever the reason, Senator Johnson believes the rules don’t apply to him. It’s just another reminder that his sole focus in Washington is to protect a rigged system that benefits multi-millionaires like him. If he had any interest whatsoever in being honest with Wisconsinites he’d release the alleged agreement with Pacur.”

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Democrats add to Johnson ethics complaint

By: Bill Glauber

September 15, 2016

Stepping up their attack on Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, state Democrats said Thursday they added to their complaint to the U.S. Senate Ethics Committee on the $10 million deferred compensation deal Johnson received from the firm he ran before joining the senate.

Democrats claim a 2015 statement signed by the controller of Oshkosh-based Pacur backs up their accusation that Johnson violated campaign finance law by using corporate money to reimburse himself for the $9 million he poured into the 2010 race against Russ Feingold.

The statement was first published Wednesday by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Johnson’s campaign has said there was nothing improper about the payment he received from Oshkosh-based Pacur. But the campaign declined to release an agreement or even say one exists.

Rarely do such complaints made in the heat of a political campaign lead to official sanctions.

The amended complaint focuses on a August 2015 statement to the Journal Sentinel from Nancy Braatz, then the controller at Pacur, Johnson left the company shortly after defeating Feingold.

“At that time (of his resignation), we determined it was appropriate to pay him deferred compensation for the salary he never took during his years of service to the company,” Braatz wrote. “We consulted an outside accounting firm to determine the appropriateness of the amount to be paid.”

“Additionally, as part of a routine IRS audit of Pacur, the payment was reviewed and the IRS took no issue with it,” she wrote.

According to the Democrats’ amended ethics complaint, the statement “confirms there was no deferred compensation agreement in place at the time Senator Johnson ran for Senate in 2010.”

Democrats contend that the deferred compensation policy “was conceived, and executed, solely for the benefit of a single person — Senator Johnson.”

Democrats also claim the agreement “appears to represent an effort to paper over Senator Johnson’s earlier admissions on the topic.”

In 2011, Johnson told the Journal Sentinel that he negotiated the agreement with himself.