The Wisconsin Senator doubts Kirsten Gillibrand's claim of sexual harassment, but he is used to swimming in the river of denial.
September 6, 2014

It takes a special person to be able to invoke a knee-jerk denial any time a man is accused of sexual misconduct. Senator Ron Johnson qualifies for that distinction.

Earlier this week, Johnson pooh-poohed Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's claims of sexual harassment, saying he saw no sexism and challenging her to name names. As if naming the guys who groped her would somehow change what they've done and probably still do.

But for Ron Johnson, it's not the first time. He's made quite a name for himself in the area of sexual misconduct denial.

Katie Halper:

OK. Now, let’s go back to 2010 and review footage of Ron Johnson opposing The Wisconsin Child Victims Act. The 2010 bi-partisan bill would have done what several other states have already done: eliminated the civil statute of limitations in sex assault and rape cases involving children. In Wisconsin, people are barred from suing over child sexual abuse or rape after the age of 35, a totally arbitrary cut-off that makes it harder for victims to see justice and hold abusers accountable. Controversial? Sadly, to Johnson it was.]]


But Johnson was overwhelmed by concern for the “other victims,” warning, “it is extremely important to consider the economic havoc and the other victims [the law would] likely create.” Who were these other victims? The employers of child abusers. Who will speak for the institutions and corporations that condone abuse? Ron Johnson, that’s who! Giving voice to the voiceless.

Johnson's objections weren't just some glibertarian corporate claptrap, either. It turns out that Johnson was serving on the Finance Council of the local Roman Catholic diocese at a time where 50 priests were under investigation for child molestation. Johnson, being the money boy that he is, was defending those priests from accusations that could have wrought financial hell down on that diocese.

A report from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice found the Green Bay Diocese had received credible and actionable reports on at least 50 clerics. And while Johnson sat there testifying, the diocese was being sued for covering up the crimes of John Patrick Feeney, a former Green Bay priest sentenced, in 2004, to 15 years in prison for molesting two young brothers, and defrocked in 2005. But it was back in 1978 when the boys’ mother had told Diocese Bishop Aloysius Wycislo that Feeney had molested her two sons. The diocese convinced the mother not to press charges by promising to remove Feeney from any possible interactions with children. Instead, over 30 years, Feeney was moved around to 18 parishes, where he continued to abuse children. Wycislo wrote Feeney at the time that he was “capable of forgetting about all this and writing a good letter of recommendation for you.” In 2013, the Diocese wound up paying $700,000 to the two brothers whose mother had come forward in 1978. Johnson knows a victim when he sees it.

What a hero to child molesters everywhere.

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