How Wisconsin GOPer Ron Johnson worked with Catholic Bishops to kill child sex abuse bill

Jud at Uppity Wisconsin has been bird-dogging the scandal involving GOPer Ron Johnson’s ties to the Catholic Church child rape scandal. This really came to light when Johnson went to the State Capitol this year to lobby against legislation that would aid the victims of child sex abuse. That video is here. Johnson was there at the behest of the Catholic hierarchy.

Jud provides a more detailed video of Johnson’s appearance at the Capitol and offers these findings:

* It is clear that Johnson was there as part of a coalition of Wisconsin Catholic Dioceses led by Archbishop Jerome Listecki. (If that name sounds familiar, its because its the same ultra-rightwing Listecki that made national news for saying that Obama shouldn’t go to Notre Dame.)

* Listecki also has the dubious distinction of running the LaCrosse Diocese for many years. During Listecki’s time in LaCrosse the Diocese had the highest “clearance rate” of priests accused of childhood sexual assaults in the nation. The national average of accused priests being “cleared” by the diocese and being allowed to return to their parishes is 12%. At the LaCrosse Diocese, the rate is a whopping 64%.

* The entire Catholic coalition stayed around for nearly the whole hearing, until about a half hour from the end, when victims of childhood sexual abuse were really starting to lay into them. When I say lay into them, I mean it– I included some on the video below.

* Tony Blando also was there representing the Green Bay Diocese. This is the same Tony Blando that runs the Unified Catholic Schools in Oshkosh, where Johnson served many years on their board. Currently Blando is working as a full-time staffer on the Johnson campaign.

* Several of the victims testifying, including John Mutter, were sexually assaulted within the boundaries of the Green Bay Diocese, where Ron Johnson served on Finance Council (which deals with sexual assault lawsuits). These victims were testifying in favor of lifting the statute of limitations so that they could sue the Green Bay Diocese for reassigning instead of arresting pedophile priests.

Voters in Wisconsin don’t know much about Johnson. But, they should know about his involvement with the Catholic Bishops who were trying to cover-up the child rape scandal in Wisconsin. It’s appalling.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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