"Tea party" favorite Ron Johnson, who is trying to leverage his marriage to the "shrink-wrap princess" to unseat Senator Russ Feingold, had better be kept away from microphones for the rest of the campaign. WKOW-TV yesterday broke the story that, despite Johnson's insistence that ""I have never lobbied for some special treatment or for a government payment," his company (Pacur, Inc., named for Pat Curley, Johnson's brother-in-law and the real founder of Johnson's business) took a $2.5 million loan at a highly favorable interest rate in the form of an industrial revenue bond from the City of Oshkosh in 1985. D'oh!
The whole WKOW interview is here. No real surprise that Johnson is saying one thing and actually did another; that's normal for this candidate. Here's the curious part:
He attended Edina High School but he did not graduate, saying he was told by officials there that he could go straight to college. According to school records he did graduate with distinction from the University of Minnesota in 1977 with an accounting degree.
Since when did the University of Minnesota eliminate the requirement that its students graduate from high school? Did Edina education officials really say "Don't bother completing your high school requirements; go straight to college" to young Johnson? Or is this another example of Ron Johnson's version of "American Exceptionalism" where exceptions are made for those with connections?
UPDATE: There was also a federal grant that helped build a rail line to the Pacur plant. WKOW had this today:
A railroad line to Senate candidate Ron Johnson's plastics factory was built with the assistance of a federal grant.
According to documents from the Oshkosh city clerk's office, an Urban Development Action Grant in the amount of $75,000 was used to build a rail spur to Pacur, a plastics manufacturing company owned by Johnson.
The city resolution approving the grant was passed on March 15, 1979, the year the Oshkosh factory was built.
The money for the line went to Wisconsin Industrial Shipping Supplies, owned by Johnson's brother-in-law, Pat Curler. Months later, WISS changed its name to Pacur and the plant opened.
A federal grant this time, not a local government bond or loan. The Fortunate Son-In-Law took a terrible "government payment."
So some federal money to build a rail line is good, as long as it helps the private sector and doesn't carry those inconvenient people.
- Barry Orton