Saturday, August 14, 2010

RoJo's Fish Story: The Fishing License That Got Away

For Immediate Release
August 13, 2010

RoJo's Fish Story: The Fishing License That Got Away

'Fisherman' Story Mirrors Self-Made Entrepreneur Claims

Madison -- Oshkosh businessman Ron Johnson, appearing on the Charlie Sykes radio show this morning, told listeners he was not a gun owner and instead was “raised as a fisherman.” The multi-millionaire Johnson does not currently have a $20 yearly fishing license in the state of Wisconsin, according to public records, a fact which mirrors similarly-embellished policy and biographical claims he has made during his campaign for U.S. Senate.

“Looks like Wisconsin caught Ron Johnson in a fish story this big,” said One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross extending his hands about a yard apart. “But whether it’s this, or his self-made business claims, or his calls for extension of the Bush tax cuts for millionaires, it’s one tall tale after another.”

Johnson, who has spent millions of dollars in negative campaign ads in his race against U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, joined Sykes’ show this morning and the topic immediately turned to Johnson and guns. Johnson rationalized that he misspoke about supporting gun licensing, and asserted that while not a hunter, he was an avid angler.

And, you know, Charlie, I’m very up front. I’m very honest. I’m a…I’m not a gun owner. I never have been. My father was a fisherman, so I was raised as a fisherman. I’m a big outdoorsman. And so I inappropriately used the word “license,” in referring to conceal-carry, when I should have said “permit.” And so I’m happy to admit I was wrong.

[Sykes Show, 8/13/10,]

Ross said Johnson’s fishing story wasn’t particularly important, but part of a larger issue of Johnson’s evolving public positions and possible embellishment of his “rags to riches” story. Johnson’s television ads indicate his business skills make him a qualified leader.

Johnson’s website reads, “In 1979, Ron and Jane moved to Wisconsin, where Ron started a business called PACUR with his brother-in-law.” It also says, “PACUR has grown from a company supplying a single customer to the largest producer in the world of a specialty plastic used in medical device packaging and high tech printing applications.” [Johnson campaign website]

The truth about PACUR and Johnson:
PACUR was created as an off-shoot of the Curwood plastics company
Curwood was founded by Johnson’s father-in-law, Howard Curler
Having just moved to Wisconsin, Johnson went to work for PACUR when he was 24-years-old along his brother-in-law, Curler’s son.
PACUR’s sole client for years was Curwood.

“Just because your dad liked to fish does not make you a fisherman, and just because your father-in-law built you a business, does not make you an entrepreneur,” said Ross. “And unfortunately, millionaire Ron Johnson has fallen for the failed Bush tax cuts for millionaires hook, line and sinker."

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One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.


Blogger Cheryl Hentz said...

I will add a short post-script to the above press release. That being that during this same Charlie Sykes interview, Johnson said "Voters in Wisconsin have a right to know" where Ron Johnson stands on the issues and that he's "happy to subject himself to the world of voters." I agree with the first part - that we have a right to know where he stands on the issues. It's too bad he still won't discuss how he'll solve what he perceives as problems. Telling voters where one stands on the issues is not just criticizing your opponent's voting record; it's also telling voters what you'll do different - and how. And subjecting yourself to the world of voters is not just putting yourself out there for their scrutiny on election day. It's allowing yourself to be questioned by the voters and the media (and not just those like Charlie Sykes who are supporters) before that day arrives. Ron Johnson and his campaign people don't seem to get these two simple facts. In my opinion if they can't get this, it's doubtful they'll get much else.

August 14, 2010 10:54 AM  
Blogger CJ said...

"It's too bad he still won't discuss how he'll solve what he perceives as problems."

Oh, but he did. Didn't you see his latest commercial? He'll solve problems with leadership and common sense.

Phhhtttt! I almost laughed out loud. I am completely underwhelmed....

August 17, 2010 3:31 PM  

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