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Week 3: A Litany Of Excuses From Ron Johnson On Tomah VA, But No Accountability

Johnson Refuses To Take Responsibility For Letting VA Tips Die In “Congressional Black Hole”

After a shocking report from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel detailed Ron Johnson’s appalling lack of action after a whistleblower brought complaints about the Tomah VA to his office, Johnson has spent the past two weeks coming up with excuse after excuse to try and explain away his failures. Now, as we enter week 3, will Ron Johnson finally step up and accept responsibility for letting these whistleblower complaints die in a “the equivalent of a Congressional black hole”?

Here’s a recap:

  • Before the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report surfaced, Johnson’s office repeatedly claimed that the complaints had been referred to an oversight committee, but the complaints never reached those in charge of the committee.
  • After local press slammed Johnson’s inaction, he attempted to place the blame on his colleague Tammy Baldwin, who has contacted the Tomah VA, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the VA Office of the Inspector General to get answers. Baldwin has also held her staff accountable by demoting a staffer and docking pay from another.
  • Johnson then tried to save face during a radio interview by saying that his office failed to respond to the whistleblower complaints because his staff was busy “doing job interviews and stuff.”

While Johnson refuses to accept responsibility for failing Wisconsin veterans, he was prepared to purge his Washington staff in 2012 because they weren’t focused enough on political messaging. That’s right. If you are a Johnson staff member, there’s no accountability for sitting on VA whistleblower tips but you could lose your job if you aren’t political enough.

 

“Ron Johnson’s failure to act on the whistleblower complaints was shocking, but his staunch refusal to accept responsibility and take action to fix his mistakes is reprehensible,” said Sadie Weiner, DSCC National Press Secretary. “As we enter the third week of hearing every excuse under the sun, one thing is clear – Ron Johnson puts politics before the people he was elected to serve. Wisconsin deserves better than a Senator who tries excuse after excuse instead of stepping up and accepting responsibility for his failings.”

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