Businessman Ron Johnson (R) made his first trip to DC this week to meet with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-01) and members of the Senate GOP Conference. Johnson “brushed up” on nat’l policy during his visit, making a stop at the Heritage Foundation. Johnson: “That’s where I mainly got my policy briefing. I really appreciated that — that was very informative.”
Johnson “has already faced some controversy” in the campaign. Dems have “seized” on his statement that it was “very troubling” that BP had to pay $20B into an escrow fund to resolve claims relating to its oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Sen. Russ Feingold‘s (D) camp called his statements “political double-talk.” Feingold strategist John Kraus: “Ron Johnson wants people to believe that he supports holding BP accountable while at the same time he opposes the BP fund for victims of this disaster.”
Johnson said he isn’t opposed to BP paying compensation. Johnson: “The only thing I found troubling is the fact that we weren’t using the rule of law to impose penalties on BP and do it that way as opposed to kind of strong-arming them into this. I do appreciate the rule of law. … I make no apologies for BP.”
Johnson “also faces questions” about his appearance before a state Senate cmte in Jan. where he opposed passing legislation that was aimed at making it easier for victims of childhood sexual abuse to sue their abusers.
Johnson: “It was a well-intended bill that just didn’t accomplish the intention. There were very severe unintended consequences, and that was the only point I made in my testimony.” Meanwhile, Johnson said Feingold spent some $10M on his race in ‘04, noting he’ll have to spend something similar this year (Miller, “Ballot Box,” The Hill, 6/25).
Also, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Kane writes of reports over Johnson and “controversial author” Charles Murray, politicians “are not supposed to hang out with extreme types” (6/23).
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In town to receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center, Bill Murray casually strolled into the White House Briefing Room this afternoon. A spokesman said he was at the executive mansion for a chat with President Obama, his fellow Chicagoan.
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