Ron Johnson creates PAC, raking in special interest money at posh spa retreat | WisCommunity

Ron Johnson creates PAC, raking in special interest money at posh spa retreat

It hasn't taken long for Ron Johnson, the outsider who ran for the US Senate to change the way Washington works, to adapt to the way Washington works.

He has quietly formed a a political action committee that can help him buy influence by contributing to other candidates and members of Congress, among other things.

And he's holding a retreat this weekend at the American Club at Kohler, with a ticket price of $1,500 for individuals and $2,500 for political action committees (special interests, in other words.)

It's called and the treasurer is James Malczewski, a tax partner at Baker Tilly Virchow Krause in Oshkosh. We don't know whether he also helped RoJo's company avoid paying any state taxes for 11 years, (But someone did.) The company later gave him a farewell gift of $10-million after he was elected, which paid for his campaign.

The leadership PAC is being formed at a time that Johnson is running for a Senate GOP leadership position of sorts, vice-chair of the Senate Republican Conference, whatever that is. Do not mistake it for being a leadership position like assistant floor leader or whip.

The conference is more like what were called legislative caucuses in the Wisconsin State Capitol, until scandal caused them to be dissolved. It mostly helps GOP Senators get their opinions and messages out to the media.

He picked up the endorsements this week of several of the most extreme, Tea Party types in the Senate.

The event is billed as a Weekend at The American Club and Kohler Waters Spa, including time at Whistling Straits golf course. Very posh. It's billed as a retreat, but no details are available on just what will be discussed. Probably not much, but the PACs who pony up $2,500 or send some individuals at $1,500 a pop may have a few things to discuss with the new Senator.

Maybe will show up. When they're not saving whooping cranes, they are major right-wing donors on a national level,

also shows RoJo's campaign committee has held a few other fundraiser under the radar fundraisers in DC, including one in May featuring Chris Cox, former head of the Securities Exchange Commission, which was asleep at the switch during the Wall Street meltdown.

Johnson insists that it's regulations that are killing jobs, though, so he'd probably like to get rid of the SEC altogether.

Maybe Johnson, an accountant by training, and his treasurer could offer a few accounting tricks this weekend. Or a seminar: "How to succeed in business without really knowing anything" (Marry the boss's daughter.)


September 23, 2011 - 6:02pm