Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday Stuff (updates)

For the longest time, I've found myself wondering how the hell Russ Feingold could be losing to Ron Johnson in the Wisconsin U.S. Senate race.

And after watching this video, I'm wondering that a hell of a lot more.

As noted here, the clip is of Johnson testifying before the Wisconsin State Senate earlier this year on behalf of the Green Bay Diocese Finance Council, which has ultimate decision power in deciding whether to settle abuse law suits and can even overrule a diocese's bishop decision in how to proceed. Johnson is testifying against the so-call Child Victims Bill, which would have made it easier to go after child predators. Under Wisconsin current law, many children do not come forward until after the statute of limitations has expired-- this law would have made exceptions in such circumstances.

And as Daily Kos diarist Jud Lounsbury points out...

Unbelievably, during his testimony, Johnson asks a jaw-droppingly stupid question:

I think its a valid question to ask if the employer of the perpetrator should also be severely damaged, possibly destroyed, in a legitimate desire for justice?

Well... actually that's not a valid question, Ron. That's kinda the point of why Dioceses get sued. If the Green Bay Diocese knew that a pedophile priest was in their organization and instead of calling the police, reassigned him to another parish, of course they should be sued!
In the clip, Johnson is plainly a hell of a lot more concerned about the financial impact on non-profit organizations of lawsuits brought by victims of sexual abuse than about the victims of such abuse, implying that a profit motive might encourage individuals to make such accusations falsely. Johnson laments that these organizations would have to spend additional funds to defend themselves (and I know a bit from whence I speak on this topic - in the financial statements we receive from our parish, neither they nor the Archdiocese of Philadelphia ever tell us how much of our donations go to paying lawyers who represent the church in abuse litigation).

This goes beyond claims of witchcraft and evolution of monkeys, people. This goes beyond worshipping "Aqua Buddha." This goes beyond refusing to debate your opponent or talk to media not called Fix Noise. And this goes beyond (barely, I'll admit) telling women who are victims of rape or incest to "make lemons out of lemonade."

Ron Johnson is putting the profit motive ahead of the victims of clergy sexual abuse.

And he's currently running for the U.S. Senate.

And if the election were held tomorrow, he would win!

And if that isn't a good reason to support Russ Feingold, I don't know what the hell a better reason could be!

(And sorry, but I'm too disgusted at the moment to care about putting up a music video - Johnson also did a good job of killing my enthusiasm over this great development also.)

Update 9/29/10: This offers more explanation, but not a justification, which is utterly impossible.

Update 10/9/10: This guy gets scummier by the day (here).

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