Thursday, September 23, 2010

Campaign This!

Ron Johnson is running for the Senate this fall in Wisconsin against Democratic incumbent  Russ Feingold.  As a Republican.

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)

Ron Johnson and the Oshkosh Tea Party

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 Johnson
Ron 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!!!

He further said he would not be against strikes against a nation such as Somalia, a haven for terrorists and pirates, provided strengthened intelligence networks can prove there is merit for such a strike. He said improved intelligence gathering and communication between the CIA and FBI are needed to keep the fight against Islamic terrorists off American soil.
"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.


Sherry Peyton said...

woo hoo, give it to em Jimmy! These little slimy balls are popping up like moles all over the place.

Randal Graves said...

Fine, don't come crying to me when Wisconsin gets invaded by Somalia.

okjimm said...

....I'm getting pissed! It has gotten very apparent that good Old Ron's Johnson and a couple of his rich industrial buds are funding Tea Bag activities.... and do NOT have to declare them as political contributions! And then get the nasty Baggers to say things that THEY will not for fear of alienating voters. Paid professional mudslinging.....!!!!

Beach Bum said...

...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.

I figure that it will only get worse now that the Supremes have declared corporations "people."

okjimm said...

The Supremes????
Baby, baby
Baby don't leave me
Ooh, please don't leave me
All by myself

I've got this yearning, burning
Yearning feelin' inside me
Ooh, deep inside me
And it hurts so bad

You came into my heart (baby baby)
So tenderly (where did our love go)
With a burning love (baby baby)
That stings like a bee (baby baby)
(ooh baby baby)

Now that I surrender (baby baby)
So helplessly (where did our love go)
You now wanna leave (baby baby)
Ooh, you wanna leave me (baby baby)
Ooh (ooh baby baby)

Baby, baby (baby baby)
Where did our love go?
Ooh, don't you want me (baby baby)
Don't you want me no more (baby baby)
Ooh baby (ooh baby baby)

I always liked the Supremes!!!!

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