Wis. Sen. Johnson plans videos on government abuse
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Republican Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson plans to launch a series of online videos featuring people he says have been harmed by government intrusion or “red tape.”
The first-term Republican said he hopes the Victims of Government series will “put a face, a real family, behind some of the harm government actually causes,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
“I think this will end up probably being a pretty long series,” Johnson said.
The lone video posted so far on the senator’s website describes an Illinois landowner’s dispute with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It tells the story of Steve Lathrop, a man who bought an old dump in a flood plain and converted it into a lake to prevent future flooding.
The nearly three-minute video says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers subsequently threatened Lathrop with fines and jail time unless he converted the land back because the Army Corps had designated the area as wetlands. The video said the Corps of Engineers also referred Lathrop to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for prosecution, but the EPA declined to charge him. Lathrop instead planned to follow EPA guidelines to create new wetlands on the adjacent farm, which required a permit. The permit still has not arrived from the Corps of Engineers even though Lathrop applied for it 14 years ago, the video said.