Ron Johnson, the Republican Senate candidate who has been harshly critical of the Democrat-backed stimulus bill, sought stimulus funds for renovations to the Grand Opera House when he was president of the Grand’s board in March 2009.
In an e-mail obtained by the Northwestern, Johnson called Oshkosh Area Community Foundation CEO Eileen Connolly-Keesler to ask about the availability of stimulus dollars to help fund the $1.8 million repair project.
So, to summarize, Johnson got caught with his hand out to the government, in sharp contrast to his by-the-bootstraps, limited government campaign spiel.
Just like he did on that development bond he sought from local government to expand his plastics company in the 1980s.
Just like he did on that rail line his company asked the feds to fund for him in the late 1970s.
What makes this story different is that the Johnson campaign has the most delicious response to the latest revelation that their "small government" hero is a flaming hypocrite. Check out this awesome explanation:
Johnson's campaign says he may have asked a question or two, but that doesn't mean he supports the stimulus effort or even wanted the money.
This latest bit of spin from team Johnson confirms one of two possibilities. Either Ron Johnson is a complete idiot, or he thinks everyone else is.
Johnson may well still pull this race off. For whatever reason, the enthusiasm gap between Republicans and Democrats seems to be a chasm in the Midwest. That said, some political analysts in-state are openly starting to wonder if Johnson's penchant for hypocrisy might allow Russ Feingold to claw his way back from the brink.
If Feingold is able to do so, he might have Johnson's own mouth to thank for it.