Ron Johnson Lies Three Times in Wausau Debate, Will He Repeat Them Tonight?

Oct 21, 2010

Ron Johnson Lies About Opposing Unemployment For Jobless Seeking Work, Misleads on Minimum Wage, and Can’t Count Votes Right on Recovery Act


MADISON — Republican Senate Candidate Ron Johnson, who recently tried to revise history and deny why he lobbied against the Child Victims Act, struck again last night in a debate in Wausau, trying to hide his own position on unemployment benefits and minimum wage and lying about the Recovery Act
Johnson accused Feingold of repeating, “[T]hings I never said. I am not opposed to minimum wage. I’m not opposed to the extension of unemployment benefits.”
[Wausau Senate Debate, 10.11.10]

“Ron Johnson either doesn’t know where he stands on the issues or he doesn’t care,” said Mike Tate, Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “If Ron Johnson won’t shoot straight with the voters about his own record as a candidate, why would he do so as a Senator?”
Johnson Falsely Denies He Opposed Minimum Wage
Here’s what he said when he opposed the minimum wage earlier this year.


“I’m sorry, I simply can’t support an increase in the minimum wage because it will harm the economy.”
 [CWAG Candidate Forum, Green Bay, 7/30/10]

Did Johnson Forget When He Channeled Sharron Angle on Unemployment?
Ron Johnson opposed unemployment insurance benefits and supported cutting off benefits for people who are still out of work and looking for a job.
Johnson opposes the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which provided unemployment benefits for more than 730,000 Wisconsinites thrown out of work by the 2008 economic collapse.  Months ago, Johnson said, 

“We would have been far better off not spending any of the money and let the recovery happen as it was going to happen.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5/15/10]

In June, on Wisconsin Public Television’s Here and Now program, Johnson said the following about people out of work and unemployment benefits: 

“When you give, when you continue to uh, extend unemployment benefits, people really don’t have the incentive to go take other jobs, you know, they’ll just wait the system out until their benefits run out. Then they’ll go out and take, probably not as high paying jobs as they like to take, but that’s really how you have to get back to work, I mean, you have to…you have to take the work that’s available at the wage rates that’s available.” 
[Wisconsin Public Television, Here and Now, 6/11/10]

A Washington Post report titled Two more GOPers say unemployment benefits encourage folks to stay unemployed identified Johnson as having joined the ranks of extremist Sharron Angle – a Tea Party candidate in Nevada – as another Republican candidate for U.S. Senate “making the creative argument that we need to cut unemployment benefits because the current high benefit levels act as an incentive for the jobless to stay unemployed.”  [Washington Post, 7/20/10]
At a Republican candidate forum in Brookfield in June, Johnson said he would have opposed and voted against legislation passed with bipartisan support that extended unemployment benefits for Wisconsin citizens out of work. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6/22/2010]
Johnson Misleads — and Miscounts — Votes on Recovery Act
Johnson, an accountant, either got his math wrong or deliberately misled voters when he claimed:

“The fact of the matter is Senator Feingold cast the deciding vote for the failed stimulus package.” [Wausau Senate Debate, 10.11.10]

In fact, the Recovery Act passed with 61 votes, including Olympia Snow of Maine, a Republican.
Johnson also misled the audience about the number of jobs created by the Recovery Act. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office reported that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) increased the number of people employed by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million jobs as of June.

Johnson of course, recently told the media his “true feelings” will be revealed to Wisconsin voters after the election. According to Politico:

“It will be different once and if he wins, he promises. Then, his true feelings can take voice.”  [Politico, 10/12/10]