Tag Archives: senate

WI GOP candidate for Senator speechless and apathetic when asked of his plans to create jobs in his state

Needless to say,the very next day the Green Bay Gazette gave nothing short of a full on hearty endorsement to Russ Feingold.

Feingold has a solid jobs plan and detailed, specific proposals for controlling spending and reducing the federal deficit. He is a leading proponent of the pay as you go principle that says government should not cut taxes or add entitlement spending without paying for it elsewhere, and he has joined with Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, in an effort to reduce pork-barrel spending in Washington.

Feingold’s opponent, Oshkosh businessman and political newcomer Ron Johnson, also has voiced his support for spending controls and fiscal responsibility in Washington. His plan for righting the U.S. economy, however, comes across as one-note: establish a hard spending cap, reduce government interference and allow businesses to flourish.

These are principles with which we agree; however, Johnson seemed unable to further articulate his plan for job creation — especially for the middle class — during a recent meeting with the Green Bay Press-Gazette editorial board. Basic principles of restraint are one thing; a detailed proposal to spur job creation and get our economy moving is another.

…We think that with time, Johnson could become a viable candidate for national office — but as things stand now, he needs more time to develop and articulate his positions on a range of issues from jobs to foreign policy.

What’s especially note worthy, is that this major northern Wisconsin paper had endorsed Feingold’s LAST THREE OPPONENTS.


Russ Feingold Knocks rival Ron Johnson in Debate No. 2

On Monday October 11th Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Republican challenger Ron Johnson squared off in another debate. The only problem was that it wasn’t televised for all of Wisconsin too see. Had most been able to see the debate they would have been reminded again as to why they’ve asked Russ Feingold to represent their interests in D.C. for so long.

First from Uppity Wisconsin:

If you missed it, just put a clothes pin on you tongue, ask anyone to ask you question and right as you open your mouth to answer, have them hit you over the head with two bowling pins– that would be a close facsimile of Ron Johnson’s performance Monday night.

The format was actually a debate and the questions were great.

Johnson tried to stick to his moronic pull-string answers, but it became clear to everyone watching or listening that this was all Johnson had by the halfway point of the debate.

One memorable (and loaded) question was aimed toward Johnson and went something along the lines of, “Isn’t your favorite book, Atlas Shrugged, a rich person’s fantasy that thinks of poor people as nothing more than parasites and isn’t Ayn Rand’s central premise selfishness?” Johnson reached to the back of his head, pulled the string and answered, “Well… you see… Atlas… represents the producers (like me) and he is shrugging because he is tired of dealing with all the regulations and taxes.”

Typical of the evening, Feingold responded that “the only people shrugging are the lower 99% percent, because you guys in the top 1% keep screwing us over.” OK, not an exact quote — but Feingold did start of his response that way and that was the jist of what he was saying.

Another memorable moment was when the moderator asked about bipartisanship and getting things done and Johnson made a complete ass of himself by perking up and saying, “well… ACTUALLY… the last ten years I’ve been involved in all kinds of BOARDS and COUNCILS in Oshkosh and I’ve really learned to work with people and get things done.” I expected him to compare his organizing of the Oshkosh Catholic Schools bake sale to McCain-Feingold. What a jack ass.

Feingold should just buy an hour of air time on the Monday night before the election so all of Wisconson see what a bafoon they would be getting if they elected Johnson.

As one of the co-authors and sponsors of the The McCain-Feingold campaign-finance law it was no surprise that Feingold would bring up the enormous amounts of money being dumped in WI by secret groups on behalf of the virtually unknownin his hometown factory owner inheriter Ron Johnson.

From Milwaukee’s TMJ4:

Feingold, who is seeking his fourth term, issued his challenge during the candidates’ second debate in four days. Recent polls suggest Johnson has a slight lead.

Johnson said he hasn’t objected to third-party attack ads in his favor because the groups behind them have a right to free speech. He also said he has no control over the groups.

A better solution, he said, is “total transparency on the Internet,” where donors’ names could be listed for everyone to see.

The exchange came in response to a question about a Supreme Court ruling this year that made it easier for corporations and unions to spend money in elections.

“Easily one of the worst decisions in the history of the Supreme Court,” Feingold said. It allows outside groups with no accountability to exert dangerous influence on Wisconsin’s race, he said.

In a spirited exchange, Feingold repeatedly called on Johnson to demand that the groups disclose who their donors are. After continuing to insist that nothing he said would matter, Johnson eventually shrugged and said, “Disclose.”

A number of ads have run on Wisconsin television accusing Feingold of supporting expensive bills that have run the government deeper into debt. One was from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a group that Democrats allege — with no evidence — is financed through foreign funds.

Johnson told reporters afterward that Feingold is himself the beneficiary of third-party fundraising, such as the left-leaning MoveOn.org and labor unions.

“Sure, disclose who your donors are (too),” Johnson said.

During the hourlong debate, Johnson added more substance to his criticisms of health care reform. He has previously said the main reason he’s running for office is to repeal the law.

A panelist asked how Johnson could justify repealing aspects of the bill that are widely seen as popular, such as the idea that insurance companies can no longer deny coverage on the basis of pre-existing conditions.

“The individual problems with health care could have been addressed with individual bills,” he said. That would have eliminated the more costly and unnecessary parts of the measure, he said.

Feingold said Congress did try to pass smaller bills but the insurance industry kept killing them.

Johnson allowed himself some wiggle room on the issue of Social Security. He has repeatedly said he opposes privatization but that all options are on the table.

On Monday he said he’d take two options off the table: a “job-killing payroll tax increase” and forcing privatization on anyone.

Johnson attacked Feingold over the senator’s support of the economic stimulus bill. Johnson, who runs a 120-person plastics company in Oshkosh, said jobs are created by small businesses like his, not through government programs.

Feingold countered that the bill led to tax cuts for 95 percent of working families and funded projects in construction and weatherization. Even so, he added, the bill was an emergency act meant to provide immediate support, not to create long-term jobs.

In response to a question about climate change, Johnson reiterated that he doesn’t believe it has been proven that mankind has contributed to global warming. Feingold said he trusts the judgment of scientists who acknowledge global warming is real.

The issue of free speech arose a second time in the debate. Johnson criticized Feingold for not supporting a resolution censuring MoveOn.org for running an ad in 2007 referring to Gen. David Petraeus, then the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, as “General Betray Us.”

Feingold said MoveOn.org was entitled to its opinion, and added that the Senate had more important things to worry about than reprimanding the group.

“This is serious work we do in the Senate,” he said.

It’s clear who is right for Wisconsin and that is Senator Russ Feingold. No doubt about it. He’ll defend our rights to privacy(remember he’s the ONLY senator to vote AGAINST the Patriot Act), our right to fair and honest elections and our rights to pursue the American Dream.

WI GOP Senate candidate Ron Johnson calls shipping jobs overseas ‘creative destruction’

The man who believes shipping American jobs overseas is “great success” and that the job losses were simply a byproduct of “creative-destruction” also thinks he can so a better job serving the people of Wisconsin and the rest of America than Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI). The same Russ Feingold ranked by Washingtonian Magazine as the number one enemy of lobbyists in Washington. The same Russ Feingold that urged his colleagues to end the current congressional pay raise system, which automatically raises congressional pay annually with no public accountability.

Uppity Wisconsin has the story:

A few months ago Ron Johnson did an event at the hoity-toity Madison Club in Madison. What made the news that day was that Ron Johnson referred to free trade agreements, which have costs Wisconsin 165,000 jobs, as a “great success” and that the job losses were simply a byproduct of “creative-destruction.”

However a newly discovered video that someone has posted on Vimeo shows that, at the same event, Johnson also made some other jaw-droppers.

First he says that the millions he is spending to buy Feingold’s Senate Seat, is money well spent… an investment:

Questioner: On top of that, you’re going to invest 10 million dollars in the race… well…. I don’t if ‘invest’ is the right word, but do your neighbors think you’re crazy or what? Johnson: I think ‘invest’ is the right word and I think that’s a valid question– six months ago I would have thought I was crazy…

Then, moments later, he says that deficit spending is OK if its spent on tax cuts for the wealthy:

Questioner: OK, you didn’t like the stimulus plan… what would be your alternative Johnson: No, no I’m absolutely opposed to that… Questioner: What’s your alternative for helping the economy? Johnson: As someone that’s been in business for 31 years, I recognize where jobs are created and that’s the private sector…. the solution would have been, in an emergency situation, I’m not totally opposed to some deficit spending if it had been prioritized at real prioritized infrastructure projects and targeted tax cuts that would actually create demand for products and actually puts money in the pockets of business people so they could invest in plant equipment and actually hire people.

Then, later, he’s asked about the economy in his hometown of Oshkosh and Johnson says:

We’ve had phenomenal success with Oshkosh Corporation responding to a need of our U.S. Military in terms of secure trucks and they’ve responded to that with, what I would say, is an engineering marvel as well as a managerial marvel to get those contracts, so I would say in Oshkosh we’re doing pretty well.

In other words, Johnson is saying that the Oshkosh has been weathering the recent economic recession largely through help of… government spending in the form of a big defense contract for a local defense contractor.

But, even with the help of the big defense contract for the Oshkosh Corporation, people in the Oshkosh area are still struggling (largely because of ‘creative destruction’ jobs lost to cheap overseas labor) and it was ridiculous for Johnson to say they’re “doing pretty well.”

All in all, though, the main thing this video shows is the unbelievable duplicity of Johnson’s campaign– the same campaign that had an ad up for weeks calling deficit spending “intergenerational theft.” But, I guess “intergenerational theft” is ok if the money “goes in the pockets of business people.”

CBO Report on Senate Bill: Will Insure 94% of Americans and Cuts Defecit by $127 Billion

From the Huffington Post:

House conservatives have threatened to block the reform bill if their more restrictive provision isn’t included. Kerry acknowledged that there could still be negotiations, “but that’s where the Senate is starting.

Instead of taxing the rich to pay for a significant piece of the bill, as the House does, the Senate plan taxes “Cadillac” health plans. But the value of plans that would be taxed is increased from previous versions to $8,500 for an individual and $23,000 for a family of four. Higher values are allowed in high-cost states and workers in high-risk jobs – such as coal miners – are given an exemption.

Reid’s bill also altered the formula by which businesses would be assessed a fee for not insuring their workers. But the new formula was unclear. Kerry called it “convoluted” and Durbin dubbed it “complex.”

Reid presented to his colleagues a preliminary Congressional Budget Office analysis of the Senate health care legislation. It finds that the bill will cost $849 billion over the next decade while covering 94 percent of eligible Americans; 31 million currently uninsured Americans would be covered under the legislation. The bill would also lower the deficit by $127 billion over the next decade and by $650 billion during the decade after that. Kerry cautioned that the numbers were still being finalized and could change slightly.

By keeping the total cost of the bill under $900 billion, Reid met one of the conditions set by the Obama White House. The bill is also expected to drastically bend the cost curve in the health care system — another major Obama objective — by achieving “almost a trillion dollars in cost savings” within the health care system.

Reid will file a cloture motion Thursday, which will be followed by an intervening day, by Senate rules, leaving Saturday for the vote.

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