Newly elected Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) has some serious splainin’ to do. After spending nearly $9 million of his own money to get elected in November, Johnson received $10 million in “deferred compensation” from his company.
That’s seems kind of fishy on its own. But it gets better — or worse, if you’re Johnson and his lawyers.
Unlike most deferred comp arrangements, there was apparently no agreed-upon figure or formula for calculating the amount of compensation. Johnson reached agreement with himself on how much he should get paid. The amount he arrived at just happened to cover what he had recently dropped on the election.
Remember, corporate contributions directly to a federal candidate remain illegal. That includes reimbursements.
Johnson’s explanation for all this? “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,” Johnson told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Daniel Bice.
David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.