By Steve Schuster
Sen. Ron Johnson deflected questions Monday, April 24 at a Milwaukee Press Club event about his association with GOP megadonor Harlan Crow who has ties to Clarence Thomas’s ethical questions and collects Nazi memorabilia.
When TM4’s Charles Benson asked Johnson about his association with Crow who is now involved in the ethics questions surrounding Clarence Thomas, Johnson replied, “he may have contributed to my campaign. Thousands of people do. I don’t have a clue who they are.”
When asked if Johnson had concerns about the donations, he said he “didn’t know enough about it.”
“I don’t know the specifics,” Johnson said.
“I’m aware of it but it doesn’t hold my interest that much,” Johnson added.
The Washingtonian reported “when Republican megadonor Harlan Crow isn’t lavishing Justice Clarence Thomas with free trips on his private plane and yacht (in possible violation of Supreme Court ethics rules), he lives a quiet life in Dallas … (collecting) Nazi memorabilia.”
Crow has pictures of Adolf Hitler and a signed copy of Mein Kampf, Hitler’s book.
The Wisconsin Examiner reported that Crow has donated $53,000 to Wisconsin Republicans, including Johnson. According to the Examiner, Johnson has received $11,200 in donations from Crow since 2015.
ProPublica reported last week that Crow had flown Thomas on his private jet to expensive vacations sailing on Crow’s super-yacht across Indonesia and allowed Thomas to stay at his secluded luxury resort in upstate New York. Thomas had not reported the gifts on ethics filings.
Thomas, who has served on the U.S. Supreme Court since 1991, has been no stranger to headlines. His confirmation hearings were heavily focused on his sexual harassment allegations by Anita Hill.
ProPublica also reported that Crow has statues depicting 20th century dictators, including Joseph Stalin and Vladimir Lenin.
Chair of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Rep. Dick Durban said, “The ProPublica report is a call to action, and the Senate Judiciary Committee will act,” in a ProPublica article.