Press Releases

ICYMI: Sen. Ron Johnson uses tax dollars to travel between Florida family home and the U.S. Capitol

May 26, 2022

A day doesn’t go by that wealthy self-serving politician Senator Ron Johnson isn’t using his Senate seat to benefit himself. This time, Senator Johnson was caught reimbursing himself with taxpayer money to fly back and forth between Washington, D.C. and his $1.6 million Florida beach house, using nearly $19,000 in taxpayers’ money for his own benefit.

This type of self-serving corruption is the embodiment of everything wrong with Washington and why working Wisconsin families are demanding change. They are tired of politicians like Johnson using their positions of power to live their elitist lifestyles, which is why they’ll replace Senator Johnson with Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes this November.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Sen. Ron Johnson uses tax dollars to travel between Florida family home and the U.S. Capitol

Daniel Bice

Key points:

  • U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson has been using taxpayer dollars to cover the cost of flights between a Florida family vacation home and Washington, D.C., including nine such trips last year, federal records show.

  • Democrats say the expenditures by the multimillionaire Republican are a waste of public money because they say the trips have nothing to do with his official job representing Wisconsin at the U.S. Capitol.

  • Federal records show that Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, has been reimbursed for 19 flights from Fort Myers, Florida, to Washington between 2013 and May 2021.

  • JFT Investments LLC bought a 3,400-square-foot waterfront house in Fort Myers, near Sanibel Island, for $1.6 million in October 2013. JFT Investments is an affiliate of the Johnson family trust, which was set up by the senator and his wife, Jane Johnson, for their three children, Johnson’s office confirmed.

  • Johnson’s adult children also own a private business jet that he used to travel between Wisconsin and Washington during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

  • Johnson, first elected in 2010, took no trips to or from Fort Myers before the Florida house was purchased by JFT Investments in 2013.

  • By contrast, Wisconsin’s senior senator went to Fort Myers at least nine times between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 10, 2021. Those flights between Florida and Washington cost taxpayers anywhere from $227 to $1,152.

  • Travel records show that Johnson attended a meeting, via teleconference from Florida, with MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell and a couple of Republican senators at Trump International Hotel to discuss allegations of election fraud on Jan. 4, 2021. Johnson also did a televised interview with host Chuck Todd of NBC’s “Meet the Press” from Fort Myers.

  • Johnson then billed taxpayers $565 to fly to Washington two days later to vote on certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election. Johnson was among those who voted in favor of certification, after first indicating that he planned to join with 10 other Republican Senators in objecting to the certification.

  • He returned to Florida on Jan. 7, the day after the attack on the Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump.

  • But Senate records show the trips cost taxpayers at least $5,418 and no more than $18,781.

  • Johnson and his wife recently listed assets worth between $16.55 million and $78.3 million at the end of last year, about the same as the previous year. Johnson wasn’t required to report his annual $174,000 salary as a U.S. senator.

  • “Whether it’s helping pass legislation that enriched himself and his biggest donors or spending thousands in taxpayer dollars to fly to and from his family vacation home in Florida, Ron Johnson’s priority is his self-serving agenda, not Wisconsinites,” Shulman said.