A defense of Ron Johnson’s amateur candidacy blames the gaffes, from sunspots to the practices of his subsidized business, on Johnson’s relatively recent entrance into the race. The “outsider, politics-as-unusual” image is supposed to be an asset to Johnson. It is not.
At this point in an election, a candidate should know the ropes. A candidate should talk to the press. Ron Johnson does not.
At this point we should have clear information about Johnson’s policy positions. Instead Ron Johnson for Senate, Inc. has been spending big money on campaign ads touting nothing but fluff.
Republican primary opponent Dave Westlake compares Johnson’s uninspired candidacy to “refusing to show up to the [job] interview” and takes a well-earned shot at the anointed (R), saying “strong candidates welcome debate.”
Remember, Dave Westlake has been running since last summer. When the Democrats had yet to field a big-name gubernatorial candidate last fall, the Republican Party of Wisconsin attacked, as if a year before an election was the deadline to get on the ballot.
Last fall was six months before Ron Johnson’s political entrance at a Madison Tea Party, and seven months before he announced a Senate run.
The GOP picked Ron Johnson as the Party’s candidate out of nowhere this May because he’s rich. Their decision, but he cannot continue to play the “outsider” card and avoid substance until election day.
Ron Johnson, backpedaling on the statements he made advocating the licensing of guns, blamed the “mistake” on being a first time candidate. The original comment was made back in June. Johnson is not a “new” candidate anymore.
Johnson has been running for Senate since May, and has a new television ad out accusing Senator Feingold of slinging mud while Johnson is “focusing on our future.”
So focused that his campaign is churning out daily press releases until election day, highlighting questionable projects from the stimulus, passed into law in Feburary of 2009.
Johnson also mentions “government-run health care” in his ad, which is not only non-existent (except for the VA), but the law he is alluding to was signed in March.
The job losses Johnson mentions have been steadily declining since President Obama took over, and for the last several months companies have been hiring again.
With ten seconds of the ad left, Johnson still has time to “focus on our future.” His solutions are “discipline, hard work, common sense.”
Ron Johnson is running for United States Senate. At this point he’s been doing it long enough that he should have at least the basic tenets of a platform carved out, not just slogans from motivational posters.
The Feingold campaign has a new ad highlighting Senator Feingold’s votes against trade agreements that have cost American jobs, and initiatives Feingold backed to put Americans back to work.
Ron Johnson’s campaign shot back against this awful behavior with a press release calling Feingold a career politician (the GOP has a severe dearth of ideas right now, see this RPW release). Presumably the Johnson campaign is trying to take the focus off Johnson’s praise for the job-killing trade agreements he applauded as “creative destruction” last week.
As the Johnson campaign continues to fail to present any policy solutions, they are instead going after a few cases of questionable stimulus projects. A report prepared at taxpayer expense by the staffs of Senators Coburn and McCain details 100 projects performed with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act–some wasteful, some simply a victim of a timing conflict with local businesses that eventually would have happened anyway.
Johnson’s campaign tries to do my job for me, presenting a quote from Senator Feingold on the stimulus saying “these funds must be spent wisely.” Indeed Ron, and 99% were.
Ron Johnson got the endorsement from the GOP because he’s made a lot of money manufacturing plastics. As Mr. Johnson has absolutely nothing else to run on, his campaign, assisted by the Republican Party of Wisconsin, has been reduced to “career politician” name-calling. F. Jim Sensenbrenner has been collecting paychecks as a legislator since 1968. No ideas from these jokers…
After reading a recent Ron Johnson press release disparaging Russ Feingold’s record protecting the Second Amendment I was inspired to write a post, until I read one from Illusory Tenant;
“If candidate for Senate Ron Johnson really is as devoted to “freedoms” as he claims he is, his attentions should be in perfect consonance with Senator Feingold’s principled defense of individual constitutional protections as against any broadening of executive branch power over the liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.”
The entire post is an equally brilliant defense of Senator Feingold’s work defending our right to bear arms, and unlike RoJo’s researchers, Illy T uses relevant facts when making his argument. Read the whole thing.
Blogging Blue has a take on Ron Johnson distorting Russ Feingold’s record, attacking him as being the only Great Lakes Senator to vote against an energy bill;
However, while Ron Johnson really really wants voters to believe Sen. Feingold was the only Great Lakes Senator to vote against the bill, Sen. Feingold was actually joined in opposition to the bill by then-Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Chuck Schumer, both of whom represented New York in the United States Senate. For those of you not versed in geography, New York also happens to have plenty of Lake Erie Lake Ontario andcoastline, which by my definition places it among the “Great Lakes” states.
I’ve got nothing that xoff, Illy T and The Sconz haven’t already added except…we’re supposed to believe the Rasmussen polls showing Johnson leading? Yeah right.
Both Republican candidates for Senate, Ron Johnson and Dave Westlake, are in the midst of a stumble over the Constitution, among other issues. Westlake recently penned an article for Red State laying out a “plan” to address illegal immigration. Westlake calls to “end the anchor baby program” then within a few paragraphs states the country needs “Constitutionally-based leadership.”
The “anchor baby program” (glossing over the derogatory nature of the term) is rooted in the right to citizenship presented in the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. A “Constitutionally-based” leader would understand this concept.
Ron Johnson, who has read the Constitution “probably three, probably about five to six time” could be a subject of the recent Onion article “Area Man Passionate Defender Of What He Imagines Constitution To Be” says the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, touting their hilarious Caption This Article Contest. Johnson deserves this treatment when he says a whole lot of dumb things, and then nothing at all.
Mr. Johnson finally released his personal financial disclosure last Friday, originally due June 10th. Speaking of hilarious, the day before the disclosure was released the campaign found the time to release Johnson’s charitable contributions. The hilarious part was buried at the bottom of that press release;
“The Johnson family plans to submit personal financial disclosure documents in accordance with rules of the United State Senate tomorrow.”
The rules say the documents were due last month, but Johnson needed an extension. The disclosure showed massive amounts of stock in BP held by Mr. Johnson, who earlier claimed the $20 billion escrow fund for victims of the spill was “not good for America.” The ordeal goes to show the America that Ron Johnson lives in is a much different America from that of the rest of us.
When the right-wingers who recently discovered the document start another ill-informed rant, remember Senator Feingold chairs the Subcommittee on the Constitution. He also didn’t have so much money to count he couldn’t file personal financial disclosures on time.
Russ Feingold’s proposed line-item veto, or “expedited rescissions authority” got a link in Ezra Klein’s Wonkbook this morning. For the bill to pass Congress, Congress will essentially vote itself out of a bit of power. Not too much power however, as Congress retains the ultimate authority on the president’s line-item cuts on a straight up-or-down vote. That ultimate authority is why the bill will pass constitutional muster as a law, and also why I, as a line-item veto skeptic (and to a lesser extent, a veto skeptic) support the proposal.
According to a poll at the top of this morning’s Wonkbook, federal debt ranks equal with terrorism as “a threat to the future wellbeing of the United States.” The ability to eliminate wasteful spending will play well with voters, most of whom couldn’t care less about the constitutional implications of the 90′s line-item veto, much less the scaled-back version introduced by Senator Feingold.
Some bills are too important not to pass, and knowing this unscrupulous legislators attach what is best described as junk. When the junk is sent back to Congress, legislators will be far more scrupulous when voting on just junk. How is a senator from Florida going to justify voting for earmarks for Maine to constituents? They can’t, and they won’t vote for them.
The proposals line-itemed will not save much as a percentage of overall spending, but the millions to billions that could be saved is not nothing, either.
With this statement Terrence Wall officially dropped out of the GOP Senate race.
Notably absent from the statement is a mention (much less an endorsement) of any of his primary opponents.
Meanwhile with this press release the Republican Party of Wisconsin is oblivious to what looks more and more like the party handpicking its Senate candidate for the fall. You know, the thing they attacked the DPW for doing in the 7th congressional district?
Cognitive Dissidence has it on rumor that Terrence Wall is dropping out. Blogging Blue sums up what will likely soon be the conventional wisdom on the move, calling Wall and Johnson;
“Essentially the same kind of candidate (rich, well connected “job creators” with no experience as an elected official).”
I called Wall dropping out first, due to his general horrid candidacy (poor speaker, no ideas, couldn’t win Maple Bluff trustee, etc.) but Leinenkugel blew that one for me.
Assuming the Wall news is true, we’ll move on to what’s next. Westlake has never had much money to campaign on, so there is a good chance he will stay in through the primary. He has had a wealthy opponent since Wall announced his candidacy last September. While I don’t think he can beat Johnson’s money, Johnson won the RPW endorsement last weekend which brings me to this “although” from Blogging Blue;
It’ll be interesting to see how Johnson fares as the candidate of the GOP establishment in a year that certainly hasn’t been kind to establishment candidates (just ask Trey Grayson or Vaughn Ward).
The GOP base and the teabaggers (or the GOP base/teabaggers) really seem to like Ron Johnson. But here is another “although” — Delegates to the convention and primary voters are not interchangeable.
Questions for the next three months: Will Westlake and Johnson go after each other, or Feingold? Will Westlake have the funding to get his message out about either? And will Wisconsin voters look at Johnson as an “establishment candidate?”
What was the “ah ha!” moment when Oshkosh businessman Ron Johnson decided to run for Senate? Johnson officially launched his campaign today, and if you were curious, Charlie Sykes asked that question (mp3 audio at 5:04). Ron Johnson’s answer;
“I was watching FOX News and, uh, Dick Morris came on. He was talking about, uh, hey Russ Feingold is really, really vulnerable. Hey, if you’re a rich guy in the state of Wisconsin maybe you ought to decide to run.”
Ron Johnson should be seeking the nomination of the Opportunist Party (but so should Leinenkugel, so he’d still face a primary). But the worst part is Johnson is doing something because Dick Morris said so. If Ron Johnson is willing to run for Senate because a sleazy, political turncoat (among other things) said it was a good idea, think about his potential as a senator — “What would you like Mr. Lobbyist?” “Sure thing, you got it!”
After Johnson admits to running for Senate because Dick Morris wanted a rich guy to run, he spends the next few minutes running away from his wealth. Maybe Charlie Sykes’ listeners are dumb enough to either not notice or not understand, but the rest of us aren’t buying that Ron.
Johnson’s next bogus claim, that he is not affiliated with the tea party, was debunked at The Chief. Johnson also claims that Feingold will run a dirty campaign, despite that Johnson has only been at it for a few weeks and has already slung more mud than Senator Feingold.
Johnson has stated he will put millions of dollars of his own money into the campaign. The wet dirt will only continue.