Freshman Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) is facing new and uncomfortable questions about the deferred compensation package he received from the plastics company he ran before entering the Senate.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel notes that Johnson received $10 million from the company, Pacur, weeks after his $9 million self-financed campaign came to an end.
From the Journal-Sentinel:
The first-term Republican declined to say how his Oshkosh firm, Pacur, came up with a figure that so closely mirrored the amount he personally put into his campaign fund.
“You take a look in terms of what would be a reasonable compensation package, OK?” Johnson said this week. “It’s a private business. I’ve complied with all the disclosure laws, and I don’t have to explain it any further to someone like you.”
The similar figures raise a key question whether he and his company designed the packaged to elude laws limiting corporate donations to political candidates. Johnson says this is a coincidence. But while most deferred compensation are designed in advance, and vary in size based on the length of service, Johsnon says the $10 million figure was “an agreed-upon amount.”
“Agreed upon by whom?” the Journal-Sentinel asked.
“That would be me,” Johnson said.
Johnson made well over $1 million annually before running for Senate from a mix of capital gains, corporate earnings, and real estate.
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.