In an interview with local Wisconsin TV station 27 News last week, U.S. Senate GOP primary candidate Ron Johnson “railed against government subsidies for businesses and products.” Johnson explained that he is “in business” and that he has “never lobbied for some special treatment or for a government payment.” He continued, “When you subsidize things…it doesn’t work through the free market system very well.” Now, News 27 has discovered that Johnson, despite his invective towards government subsidies and praise of the free market, was the recipient of a $2.5 million industrival revenue bond from the Oshkosh Common Council, effectively a massive government subsidy:
According to a July 19, 1985, article published in the Oshkosh Northwestern, a $2.5 million industrial development revenue bond was approved by the Oshkosh Common Council on July 18, 1985. An article in the same newspaper, dated Feb. 16, 1986, said Pacur Inc., co-owned by Johnson, used the money to build a 40,000-square-foot addition.
Industrial development revenue bonds are issued by local governments to spur growth. Because the interest is normally tax-exempt, they are often repaid at below-market rates .
The primary is Sept. 14, and Johnson is widely considered to be the front-runner for the nomination.
It has now been discovered that Johnson also was the beneficiary of a $75,000 HUD grant that was used to build a railroad line to a factory he owned.