With a 92% rating on our Legislative Scorecard, Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) is our current Member of the Week. He is a true Washington outsider, having never even been to Washington D.C. until he decided to run for the Senate in 2010.
Sen. Johnson was born in Mankato, Minnesota in 1955. Both of his parents were raised on farms, and instilled their values and work ethic onto their own children. At a young age, Sen. Johnson worked every job a young boy could work: lawn mower, snow shoveler, paper boy, even a golf course caddie. At 15, he entered the workforce as a dishwasher, and worked his way up to night manager before he was even 16 years old.
He worked full time while attending the University of Minnesota and graduated with a degree in business and accounting. After graduating in 1977, he began working at Jostens, which supplies high school and college class rings, as an accountant. He also worked at a sports-championship ring supplier, which made the Super Bowl rings, and attended an MBA night program.
Two years later, he moved to Oshkosh, Wisconsin to start a business with his wife's brother called PACUR. For 31 years, Sen. Johnson helped grow the business by working 12-hour shifts; operating the equipment, keeping the books and selling its products. The company eventually expanded from producing plastic sheeting for packaging and printing applications to packaging medical devices. With that expansion came more hiring, as well as exports to foreign countries. This opportunity allowed Sen. Johnson to learn all aspects of budgeting, and how jobs are created, which has helped him in his role as a U.S. Senator.
During the 2010 election, Sen. Johnson ran a largely self-financed campaign, and defeated his primary opponent with 85% of the vote. He went on to defeat the Democratic incumbent Russ Feingold, who served in the Senate for 18 years.
He currently sits on the Senate Budget Committee and the Appropriations Committee, as well as the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the Special Committee on Aging.
Sen. Johnson has consistently voted to reduce regulations and end subsidies, while advocating that we can't solve our problems by raising taxes - as we've tried in the past.
Sen. Johnson saw that the federal government was bankrupting our country, and he decided to take a stand. He says that the ever expanding size of the federal government is the root of our problems - massive debt and deficits, slow economic growth, high unemployment and lack of jobs.
He currently resides in Oshkosh, Wisconsin with his wife, Jane, and their three children.
Questions with Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI)