Sen. Ron Johnson defends investment in Irish company

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson is defending his investment in an Irish company that distributes products made by the plastic manufacturer he used to own before being elected in 2010.

The Wisconsin Republican on Monday denied in comments to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he was using his investment in the Irish company as a tax dodge. Johnson calls the investment a smart business move to get specialized plastic sheets made by Pacur Inc. into Europe.

Johnson owns 9.9 percent of Dublin-based DP Lenticular. Democrats say the arrangement amounts to a tax dodge because of the beneficial Irish tax structure.

Johnson says he pays all U.S. taxes owed on the $15,000 a year he makes in dividends.

Johnson is in a tough re-election campaign against Democratic former Sen. Russ Feingold.