Senator Johnson silent on veterans' request to return donation

Aug 26, 2015

Johnson took $5,400 from California exec who fleeced U.S. military members

Senator Ron Johnson is maintaining his silence on a call from Wisconsin veterans to return $5,400 in campaign donations from a California corporate executive who manipulated national and international law to charge American service members exorbitant rates for phone calls to their loved ones.

More than a week ago, a group of Wisconsin veterans sent Senator Johnson a letter asking for him to “show respect for the American men and women who serve” by returning a $5,400 campaign contribution from Gregorio Galicot, President of BBG Communications Inc. Galicot’s corporation racked up profits by “fleecing” U.S. troops making calls to loved ones from overseas charging up to $400 to make a single phone call.

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin put the request on Facebook and received an overwhelming response from Wisconsinites… Senator Johnson should return this $5,400.

“Wisconsin’s veterans deserve an answer from Senator Ron Johnson — will he return a campaign donation from a corporate executive who scammed military members and families or is he comfortable this is where his campaign contributions come from?” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Communications Director Melissa Baldauff.

Read the full text of the letter here:

To: Senator Ron Johnson
CC: Betsey Ankey, Campaign Manager, Ron Johnson for Senate
Ron Johnson for Senate, Inc.
2810 Crossroads Drive #3900
Madison, Wisconsin 53718

Senator Ron Johnson,

On behalf of Wisconsin veterans, active military members, reservists, and National Guard members, we write to demand you return $5,400 in campaign contributions from Gregorio Galicot, President of BBG Communications Inc, who has manipulated national and international law to defraud American service members by charging exorbitant rates for phone calls to family members from overseas.

It is an unacceptable and outrageous decision for you to accept thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from an individual whose wealth is built in part by fleecing American service members attempting to call their loved ones. It’s utterly disrespectful to those who serve our country:

  • Two Companies Accused Of Fleecing U.S. Troops [Daily Beast3/6/12]
  • Gregorio Galicot’s Company, BBG, Was Subject Of A Class Action Suit Alleging That It Charged Returning Soldiers More Than $40 For Calls Lasting Seconds [Daily Beast3/6/12]
  • Army Staff Sgt. Eric Lamotte Was Charged $265 To Leave A Voicemail And $400 To Make A Call [San Diego Union-Tribune, 3/6/12]
  • Specialist Reynald Matias Was Charged $51 For A Two-Minute Call [New York Times, 3/2/12]
  • Sgt. Kyle Herman Was Charged $83.92 For Four Minutes [New York Times, 3/2/12]

Furthering our concern, other members of the U.S. Senate condemned this company and its actions as early as 2012, leading us to believe you should be aware of this issue and have chosen to accept this money anyway.

The right thing to do and the proper way to show respect for the American men and women who serve is to return this campaign contribution.


Randy Bryce, U.S. Army, Spc4 (Ret.), Caledonia
Mike Balistriere, U.S. Marine Corps, Lance Corporal (Ret.), Wauwatosa
Marriah Gatling, U.S. Army, E-5 Sergeant (Ret.), Milwaukee
Tracy Sperko, U.S. Navy, E-5 (Ret.), Milwaukee