Senator Ron Jonson participates in a Senate hearing.
Senate

Ron Johnson: Florida Man?

A new report from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel may help to shed some light on why Ron Johnson is so out-of-touch with Wisconsinites that he keeps opposing policies to help lift up Wisconsin workersfamilies, and small businesses: Per the Journal Sentinel, it turns out that Johnson has been taking regular trips between Washington, DC and his family home in Florida — and footing taxpayers with the bill.

Even as he charges taxpayers for his South Florida jaunts, the Senator who praised Rick Scott’s roadmap to reduce spending (including by phasing out Social Security and Medicare) is worth millions of dollars — and he’s doubled his net worth since joining the Senate and working to deliver himself and his biggest billionaire backers hundreds of millions in tax breaks.

Before opting to run for reelection, Johnson last summer complained that he hasn’t been “particularly successful” in Congress. So, a Florida retirement would be a natural and logical next step for him.

But for now, it seems as though Johnson plans to continue his reelection campaign. Just this week, it was reported that Johnson’s top three billionaire mega-donors — Dick and Liz Uihlein, along with Diane Hendricks — have dumped at least $3.5 million into an outside group spending to keep Johnson working for them in Washington. That news follows a report from April that “The Uihleins gave Johnson’s campaign fund about $280,000 in the last quarter.” 

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Sen. Ron Johnson uses tax dollars to travel between Florida family home and the U.S. Capitol

By Daniel Bice, 5/26/22

Key points:

  • “U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson has been using taxpayer dollars to cover the cost of flights between a Florida family vacation home and Washington, D.C., including nine such trips last year, federal records show.”
  • “Democrats say the expenditures by the multimillionaire Republican are a waste of public money because they say the trips have nothing to do with his official job representing Wisconsin at the U.S. Capitol.”
  • “Federal records show that Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, has been reimbursed for 19 flights from Fort Myers, Florida, to Washington between 2013 and May 2021.”
  • “Wisconsin’s senior senator went to Fort Myers at least nine times between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 10, 2021. Those flights between Florida and Washington cost taxpayers anywhere from $227 to $1,152. Travel records show that Johnson attended a meeting, via teleconference from Florida, with MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell and a couple of Republican senators at Trump International Hotel to discuss allegations of election fraud on Jan. 4, 2021. Johnson also did a televised interview with host Chuck Todd of NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ from Fort Myers.”
  • “It is impossible to determine the exact cost for Johnson’s jaunts from Florida because many of the reimbursements were lumped in with expenses from other trips, including some within Wisconsin.”

Read the full report here.