5.28.2010

Despite liberal attacks, Johnson is very well-qualified for Senate

Once again we get to see the arrogance and elitism of the Left on display. The issue this time is the horror that Republican US Senate candidate Ron Johnson has never before run for political office. How dare someone who has worked and lived in the private sector their entire life think they can serve in public office.

First, Bill Christofferson shoots the messenger by complaining and condescending - yet again - about a "biased" poll result from Rasmussen that puts Johnson a mere two points behind Feingold.
Great news for Ron Johnson: No one's ever heard of him, he has only been a candidate for about a week, he hasn't spent a nickel on TV, and he's tied with Russ Feingold in the US Senate race.
If you believe that, see me about a deal on some hot Gulf Coast real estate.
Yes, our friends at Rasmussen Reports are back with another Republican-slanted poll. [UPDATE: The governor's race numbers are good for Republican Scott Walker, too.  Who would have expected it?  From Rasmussen, everyone.]...
Their latest poll says Ron Johnson, a guy who's never been in politics or in the public eye, has 67% name recognition after campaigning for one week, without every buying any television time. There must be a lot more people reading newspapers than we think.
What Xoff misses entirely is that Johnson has been in the news since at least April 15 when Thompson opted against a run and Johnson became a speculated candidate. Furthermore, up in northeastern Wisconsin - where Johnson lives and built his business - there was much more coverage than in southern Wisconsin. It's not just the numerous newspaper articles, but most TV news and radio programs up there mentioned Johnson's potential run at least once or twice a week.

Or it could have something to do with the overall anti-incumbent/anti-Democrat mood throughout the country and state. No, it must be that Rasmussen is a cheat. After all, Johnson's never been in politics!

Barry Orton takes a more direct and derisive route in his attack on Johnson:

So we're left with a guy who made lots of money in plastics and has never run for or held public office, but can spend lots of his cash on advertising trying to convince Wisconsin voters not to like Russ Feingold, and a guy who didn't make lots of money and has never run for or held public office, but dresses in a way that reminds voters of deer hunting.
I still like Russ Feingold, his record, and his chances for re-election. It's good that there won't be two inexperienced rich guys dumping money into absurd Feingold-bashing advertising in the primary; just one will be doing it in the general.
Essentially what Orton is doing here is saying that Johnson's never done anything worthy of being elected to the Senate. You see he has no record, no list of "accomplishments" in public office. He's just a rich guy trying to buy an election - funny, no one ever complains when Kohl does it - and that makes him bad.

It seems that to those on the left - and given their track record, I think Orton and Xoff are well within the mainstream of liberal thought in Wisconsin - candidates cannot just run for office without first proving themselves at other stages. Only someone with political experience can understand and solve the complex problems in Washington, you see. In order to be a Senator one needs to have learned how to "play the political game." Let's look at the respective records of Feingold and Johnson.

Feingold, after a sterling collegiate record that included UW-Madison, Oxford and Harvard. After graduating from Harvard Law in 1979, he was elected to the State Senate in 1982 (coincidentally, the year I was born) and served for 10 years before being elected to the US Senate in 1992. This isn't a bad record, or something to be ashamed of, but Feingold has spent his entire adult life in elected office.

Now let's look at Johnson. According to his website's bio page, he worked his way through college and earned an MBA at night school. He started Pacur, Inc. in 1979 with his brother. Over the last 30 years - and based on very quick internet research, so take it for what it's worth - the company has grown to employ between 75 and 100 people in the Fox Valley. Unfortunately, being a private company, the data is a little sparse given the time I actually spent looking for it. Any way you cut it, though, Ron Johnson is a very successful entrepreneur who has built a multimillion dollar business from scratch and employs a lot of people right here in Wisconsin. He's met payrolls, balanced budgets and created jobs.

That's real world experience. Johnson knows what business owners need in order to create jobs, pay their employees well and grow the economy. In a time of economic fragility I think we could use a few people in the Senate who have actually created jobs and run a successful business. But on the left, when the general reflex is that government action is the answer to every question, this isn't enough.

We may not know all of Johnson's positions yet. We're still learning about his political views and I am sure I'll have suggestions for him or even disagreements, but if you ask me, three decades of running a successful business more than qualifies Johnson for the US Senate.