Koch Brother Buyout: Ron Johnson Voted Against Measures to Boost Hardworking Middle Class Families

Charles Koch told MSNBC he does “expect something in return” for his political donations. This week, we’ll highlight how the Senators and Senate candidates who accepted Koch cash and benefit from the support of Koch front groups are making sure the Kochs get their money’s worth – all at the expense of the middle class.

Increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 would boost income for nearly 600,000 Wisconsin workers, but that didn’t stop Senator Ron Johnson from siding with the billionaire Koch brothers to oppose it. In fact, Johnson doesn’t believe there should be a federal minimum wage standard. Johnson also voted against another measure Koch-backed political groups opposed that would ensure women are paid the same as men for doing the same job. Charles Koch admitted he does “expect something in return,” and with Johnson receiving more than $50,000 in Koch cash, he’ll make sure the Kochs are happy no matter how badly his votes hurt the middle class.

 

“Increasing the minimum wage and ensuring women earn equal pay for equal work are commonsense policies that would help create a more secure economy for middle class families, but Ron Johnson would rather protect the billionaire interests who fund his campaign,” said Lauren Passalacqua, DSCC National Press Secretary. “Johnson is more concerned with boosting his own campaign and saving his own job than with give middle class families a raise, and Wisconsin deserves better.”

 

BACKGROUND:

 

Johnson Voted With Americans For Prosperity Against Increasing The Federal Minimum Wage To $10.10. In April 2014, Johnson voted with Americans for Prosperity, who supported a “no” vote on a: “Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Reid, D-Nev., motion to proceed to the bill that would increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 by 2016. It would gradually increase the minimum cash wage for workers who receive tips until it equals 70 percent of the federal minimum wage for other workers. It also would amend the tax code to extend through 2016 the $500,000 cap for small business expensing of investments eligible for deductions, including allowances for computer software and qualified real property.” [AFP Scorecard, 4/29/14; CQ, 4/30/14, S. 2223, Vote 117, 4/30/14]

 

  • Increasing The Federal Minimum Wage To $10.10 Would Mean A Raise For Nearly 600k People In Wisconsin. According to the Economic Policy Institute, 587,000 workers in Wisconsin would be affected by increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10. [Economic Policy Institute, 12/19/13]

 

PolitiFact: “When Asked In July 2014 Whether There Should Be A Federal Minimum Wage, Johnson Said There Should Not Be One.” “It may not be a position Johnson has stated often, but when asked in July 2014 whether there should be a federal minimum wage, Johnson said there should not be one, other than perhaps one for guest workers. And while he may not be trying to repeal the wage, Johnson didn’t dispute the accuracy of Feingold’s claim -- that he is against having a federal minimum, except perhaps for guest workers coming in from outside the United States.” [PolitiFact, 8/27/15

 

Johnson Voted With Concerned Women For America Against The Paycheck Fairness Act. In April 2014, Johnson voted with Concerned Women for America, who opposed a: “Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Reid, D-Nev., motion to proceed to the bill that would require employers to demonstrate that wage gaps between men and women with similar qualifications and in similar jobs have a business justification. It would prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who share salary information and authorize the Labor secretary to seek additional compensatory or punitive damages in a sex discrimination action. The bill also would require the Labor Department to provide training and collect wage information.” [Concerned Women for America, 4/9/14; CQ, 4/9/14; S. 2199, Vote 103, 4/9/14]

 

Washington Post: Concerned Women Of America Was Part Of “A Political Network Spearheaded By Conservative Billionaires Charles And David Koch.”  The political network spearheaded by conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch has expanded into a far-reaching operation of unrivaled complexity, built around a maze of groups that cloaks its donors, according to an analysis of new tax returns and other documents.The filings show that the network of politically active nonprofit groups backed by the Kochs and fellow donors in the 2012 elections financially outpaced other independent groups on the right and, on its own, matched the long-established national coalition of labor unions that serves as one of the biggest sources of support for Democrats. […] Other groups in the network included […] Concerned Women for America, a conservative Christian women’s activist group that ran a get-out-the-vote effort aimed at young women; […].” [Washington Post, 1/5/14]

 

  • Headline: “The Players In The Koch-Backed $400 Million Political Donor Network”[Washington Post, 1/5/14]

 

Politico: Americans For Prosperity Was “The Main Political Arm” Of The Koch Brothers. “The Koch brothers’ main political arm intends to spend more than $125 million this year on an aggressive ground, air and data operation benefiting conservatives, according to a memo distributed to major donors and sources familiar with the group.” [Politico, 5/9/14]

 
JOHNSON HAS A NEARLY 90% LIFETIME RATING FROM AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY

Johnson Had A Nearly 90% Rating From Americans For Prosperity. [AFP Scorecard, Accessed 11/13/15]

 

JOHNSON RECEIVED MORE THAN $50K IN KOCH CASH & WAS CLOSE TO THE KOCHS

 

Members Of The Koch Family, Including Charles And David Koch, Have Contributed $16,800 To Johnson. [Influence Explorer, Accessed 11/15/15]

 

Koch Industries’ PAC And Employees Contributed $34,700 To Johnson And His Leadership PAC.[Influence Explorer, Accessed 11/15/15; Federal Election Commission, Ron Johnson for Senate, Filed 7/20/15]

 

Politico: Johnson Was “Well-Liked” By The Koch Brothers “Who Are Sure To Support His Reelection.” “He’s also well-liked by the big-spending Koch brothers, who are sure to support his reelection. The well-honed political machine of newly reelected Republican Gov. Scott Walker could be a difference-maker too.” [Politico, 4/5/15]

 

Slate: Johnson Was “Fairly Close To The Kochs.” “Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson had actually gotten fairly close to the Kochs, dining with David Koch at the 2012 Republican National Convention and appearing at their donor conferences.” [Slate Magazine, 6/2/14]

 

  • Johnson Dined With David Koch At The 2012 Republican National Convention And Has Appeared At His Donor Conferences. “Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson had actually gotten fairly close to the Kochs, dining with David Koch at the 2012 Republican National Convention and appearing at their donor conferences.” [Slate Magazine, 6/2/14]

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