Groups Push for Greater Accountability for WI Senator
Wednesday, March 2, 2022
Members of social-justice organizations gathered outside the Wisconsin State Capitol on Tuesday in an effort to draw attention to allegations of unethical behavior by U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., who has faced criticism in recent years for endorsing tax laws that benefit him personally.
Miranda Stark, deputy program director for the group Opportunity Wisconsin, said Johnson's personal net worth is 400 times greater than that of the median American household, which the Federal Reserve estimated was less than $122,000 in 2020.
"Now this didn't just happen on its own, and it certainly wasn't because of some smart investing," she said. "Sen. Ron Johnson, time and time again, has prioritized his personal profits over the people of Wisconsin."
Multiple investigations found that in 2017, Johnson pushed for tax breaks that directly benefited not only his personal holdings, but those of his largest donors as well. Johnson has said those measures benefited a wide swath of businesses across the country, spurring economic development and job creation.
However, Stark said the 2017 tax law encourages large companies to leave the state, in part through significantly reducing tax rates on profits brought back from overseas.
Richard Hampton, a former employee of Hufcor, a Janesville-based company which last year announced plans to close its Wisconsin manufacturing plant to move operations to Mexico, said the town has lost many of its jobs in recent years.
"We need jobs there in Janesville," he said. "We're losing all our big companies. We lost General Motors, we lost Lear Seating, now we lost Hufcor."
Based on filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Opportunity Wisconsin calculated that Johnson's estimated net worth at about $48 million in 2020.
Investigation into 2017 tax breaks ProPublica 8/11/2021
Probe into senator's tax breaks The Guardian 10/21/2020
Johnson's SEC filing Securities and Exchange Commission 5/17/2021
get more stories like this via email
Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…
Health and Wellness
A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …
The Environmental Protection Agency now has fewer tools to fight climate change, after the U.S. Supreme Court stripped the agency of its authority to …
Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …
Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …
A new tool aims to help older adults in Arkansas and beyond who receive Medicare track what happens at their doctor appointments. It also can help …
A campaign in Maine is gathering signatures to replace the state's investor-owned energy grid with a consumer-owned utility. Central Maine Power (…
Another important U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month has been overshadowed by the controversy about overturning abortion rights. Legal experts say …