But there was a rally last year.... a TeaParty rally. Johnson spoke there. There is some thought that he 'sponsored and paid' for the whole deal. From an Oshkosh Blog, The Chief, (hey, its a great blog)
There's a "getting to know you" piece on Ron Johnson in the Journal-Sentinel this weekend that contains an interesting aside:
Contrary to reports in the media, Johnson said, he did not start a tea party chapter in Oshkosh. He simply accepted an invitation to speak.Taken literally this statement is true, but it's also way too carefully worded to just be glossed over.
First things first: there is not an active tea party-affiliated organization in Oshkosh and there really never was one. Unlike many of the other tea party groups around the state, there really wasn't ever a "chapter" established in Oshkosh for doing any long term political organizing. The Oshkosh tea party was really just an event (and a pretty crazy event at that).
So, yes, Johnson did not actually start a tea party "chapter" here in Oshkosh ... but a more interesting question would be who the hell paid for the Oshkosh tea party?
Tea Parties don't just materialize out of thin air: they take money to throw. PA systems need to be rented, t-shirts need to be printed, and Mr. The Plumber sure as hell isn't going to come to Oshkosh, WI without a plane ticket, accommodations and a speaking fee. There's also the small matter of finding a dais:
That's Johnson speaking at the Oshkosh tea party last October. Local readers will recognize the Ganther Construction logos prominently displayed all over the podium. I mean, it kinda looks like the business is almost sponsoring the event, doesn't it?
Ben Ganther is a local construction magnate and good friend of Johnson's. They're both successful businessmen, well-known in the community and several years ago started a local political action committee together, Forward Oshkosh PAC, the main purpose of which seemed to be advancing TABOR on a local level.
One could reasonably assume that Ganther and Johnson probably had a significant hand in funding the event. Unfortunately, there's really no way to independently verify this because the same kind of financial disclosure laws that apply to lobbyists, PACs, political parties and candidates apparently don't apply to tea parties. This will have to be something a real journalist would have to ask the Johnson campaign (... a-hem).
No one "just gets ask to speak" at events like these. I can't imagine a collection plate was passed around during the festivities, the receipts from which managed to offset the costs. If Johnson's willing to shell out $10-15 million on a senate campaign, then footing the bill for a tea party would have been peanuts by comparison.
So.... it's kind of a way to campaign... and NOT declare it as campaign expenses.
He also spouts nonsensical Tea bag bullshit like.....
“I’m a pretty traditional guy. I believe in a culture of life, and I believe marriage is between one man and one woman.” – Ron JohnsonRon is pro-life, pro-family, and believes that freedom of religion doesn’t mean freedom from religion.(from his internet site)
And.... supports going to War!!!
"I'd much rather fight them over there than on the streets of America," Johnson said.(interview with The Oshkosh Northwestern's editorial board)
There is another TeaParty Rally this Saturday. I will go. I will take a sedative before hand. And have a beer later, because I am a pretty traditional guy . I believe in a culture of life for all living things....and that we should have freedom FROM religion...... and do not need to start another war in Somalia.