Tuesday, August 31, 2010

How to Marry into Business and Success, by Ron Johnson.

I tried like hell to edit the following Ron Johnson story, but those nit picky Republican inconsistencies are hard to get across without some background information, so here's a slightly abbreviated Milwaukee Journal Sentinel piece by one of my favorite journalist Dan Bice:

It's one thing to flip-flop on the issues.

But who's ever heard of a candidate rewriting his own company history? That's exactly what U.S. Senate candidate Ron Johnson did last week.

For nearly nine years, his plastics company has carried this online description of its beginning:
"Founded in 1977, Pacur occupies … and end users," said the website for the Oshkosh-based factory.

But that changed on Wednesday. Johnson's firm tinkered with its website to move up Pacur's first day of operation by a couple of years.

"Founded in 1979* … end users," the site says now. The footnote points out that Pacur's predecessor, Wisconsin Industrial Shipping Supplies, came into existence in '77 before being renamed and restructured two years later. Why the change?

A Madison TV story said … that Johnson's plastics factory paid for construction of a railroad line years ago with the help of a federal grant - even though the candidate is a sharp critic of government help for private firms. Johnson's campaign responded by saying HUD made the grant in March 1979, months before Pacur was even founded. "Ron Johnson moved to Wisconsin in June of 1979 and started Pacur, which has become a true Wisconsin success story," Johnson's campaign countered.

The only problem with Johnson's timeline, however, was Pacur's own website, which put its founding in 1977. Wisconsin Industrial Shipping was owned by Johnson's brother-in-law, Pat Curler.

But by Wednesday - voila! - Johnson's company website had been brought in line with statements by Johnson's campaign. A company employee said Monday that he was guessing that the change was something ordered up by the Johnson campaign.

Sara Sendek, Johnson's press secretary (said) "It is Pacur's website, and it would have been changed by Pacur."

OK, but why would the company decide - out of the blue - to update and change the company history for the first time in some nine years?

Another company official blames it on the press. Barry Johnson of Pacur and brother of Ron Johnson said members of the media have been hounding the company with questions about its origins.

According to the new and improved information, Pacur's predecessor was founded in 1977.
But state records say it was actually incorporated on July 21, 1978. Its name was officially changed to Pacur one year later.

Perhaps the company history is in for yet another revision.

There's still more on this dust up, from Uppity Wisconsin:
In yet another ridiculous claim, Ron Johnson said yesterday that a bond loan his company got where the lender got over a million in interest income at a basement-bargain tax rate of zero "didn't cost taxpayers a penny."

This is simply not true.

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