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WI Senator Target of New Outsourcing Campaign

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Thursday, October 21, 2021   

MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- A Wisconsin group that advocates for working families is launching a new campaign, which connects federal policy to the outsourcing of local jobs, and the ads place a key focus on one of the state's U.S. senators.

Opportunity Wisconsin's new messaging calls into question the support of Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., for the 2017 2017 tax cut bill pushed through by the GOP.

Critics say the bill incentivized corporations to move jobs overseas, highlighting the closing of a Janesville plant this year.

Meghan Roh, program director for Opportunity Wisconsin, said the campaign is meant to establish accountability.

"To really highlight some of the dangerous and destructive policies that our elected officials are pushing that prioritize the wealthy and well-connected, versus Wisconsin workers," Roh explained.

Johnson's office declined to comment before deadline, but over the past year, the senator made comments supportive of outsourcing during a speaking engagement, citing worker shortages in the U.S. and the chance to produce products elsewhere at a lower cost.

Johnson has not announced his intention to seek a new term.

Kathy Pawluck, a manufacturing worker laid off when the Hufcor manufacturing plant closed this summer, is featured in the ad. She lamented how the abrupt move left workers in a sudden bind, and questions the motivations of corporate leaders.

"It really is sad that we lost a great company in Janesville, just because someone wants to make more profit off of it," Pawluck stated.

Aside from outsourcing, subsequent analysis of the 2017 tax cuts suggests the law didn't do much to elevate lower-income earners.

Disclosure: Opportunity Wisconsin contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Civic Engagement, and Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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