La Crosse protesters say Ron Johnson focused on travel expenses, not constituents

LA CROSSE (WKBT) — Protesters in La Crosse say U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson is billing taxpayers for trips to and from his Florida vacation home.

The protesters — dressed in beach attire —  gathered at Riverside Park Friday morning to protest.

Federal reports say the Wisconsin Republican Johnson was reimbursed with taxpayer money for 19 flights between his Florida vacation home to Washington, D.C., between 2013 and 2021.

Those trips cost somewhere between $5,000 and $18,000, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Protest organizers said Johnson is focusing on his travel expenses instead of his constituents.

“We’re upset that he’s continuing to fund his vacation travel through us, but voting against policies that would benefit us,” said Miranda Stark, deputy program director of the group Opportunity Wisconsin. “So if he’s going to continue to do that, we need him to vote for policies that benefit Wisconsinites.”

The U.S. Senate Ethics Committee has cleared Johnson of any wrongdoing.

Johnson released a statement after the committee made its decision. It says in part: “The Senator was confident that this frivolous complaint would be dismissed because he has done absolutely nothing wrong, and in fact, has been a faithful steward of taxpayer dollars. And that’s exactly what happened.”