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Did Ron Johnson Really Fail to Report the Bill Kramer Sexual Assault Allegation?

by Jerry Bader

That's certainly the way the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the story .However, a statement by Senator Ron Johnson's office, albeit offered belatedly to the JS, says no. The paper says the accuser is a former staffer, a reported fact that Right Wisconsin points out all but reveals the identity of the victim.

The crux of the story is that Johnson and a staffer learned of the allegations and didn't contact police. When initially contacted by JS Johnson's office wouldn't comment but later released this statement:

"She requested that Senator Johnson and Mr. Blando keep the matter confidential and take no further action. Senator Johnson and Mr. Blando fully honored her request."

It's likely the paper would have framed the story differently had Johnson's office offered that explanation when first contacted. That said, it seems pretty clear to me the paper should have re-framed the story once Johnson's office released that statement. To leave it stand as originally written and then bury the Johnson statement deep in the story seems patently unfair to Johnson, in my opinion. If that version of events isn't true, why didn't the victim report the incident at that time?

Further I know Ron Johnson personally and don't doubt the version for a moment. If the victim asked both men to keep quiet should they be criticized for honoring her wishes? There's probably a lesson here in going with no comment when you have a rational explanation for your behavior(although it's possible confidentiality issues were at play there as well). But that doesn't leave the Journal Sentinel off the hook here for sticking with a story line that doesn't seem to hold up.

Photo credit: By US Senate (http://ronjohnson.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons