The spot contrasts Feingold’s pledge in 1992 to raise the majority of his money from Wisconsin with his 2016 campaign, in which out-of-state contributions have comprised most of his large donations.
The Johnson ad, titled “Busted,” opens with an announcer saying “Have you seen Feingold’s ads on Ron Johnson? They’re simply not true.”
“Feingold has a history of not telling the truth, going back to 1992,” the announcer says. The ad uses archival footage of Feingold from his first Senate run when he promised to “rely on Wisconsin citizens, not out-of-staters, to pay for this campaign,” and then vowed in a debate, “I’m making a pledge for the future.”
The ad then claims that 70% of funds raised by Feingold in the current campaign have come from out of state and Feingold is seen explaining that he made that fundraising pledge for that first senate term.
The tag line flashes, “Russ Feingold. He says one thing. He does another.”
According to OpenSecrets.org, as of July 20, Feingold received 31% of campaign dollars from in state and 69% from out of state, while Johnson received 54% of campaign dollars from in state and 46% from out of state.
Republican Sen. Ron Johnson’s latest attack ad is hitting Democrat Russ Feingold for taking the majority of his campaign donations from people who live outside of Wisconsin, after promising in 1992 not to do that.
The new spot contrasts footage of Feingold in 1992 saying the pledge was “for the future” next to him saying recently that it was for that term only.
Feingold’s out-of-state haul is in direct contrast to a long-held pledge from the former senator to rely on Wisconsinites for most of his contributions.
When Feingold first ran for Congress in 1992, he promised to rely on Wisconsin citizens for a majority of his campaign contributions throughout his entire political career as part of his infamous “Garage Door Pledge.”
“I’m promising it for the future. … I’m saying that’s a pledge I am going to keep,” Feingold said at the time.
“Senator Feingold is hypocritically saying one thing and doing another by making a pledge ‘for the future,’ but then breaking his word as soon as he thinks it will get him back to Washington,” Ron Johnson campaign spokesman Brian Reisinger said. “Wisconsinites cannot trust Senator Feingold to keep his promises because he’s everything people hate about politics–and if he’s willing to violate his principles on the issue he built his career on, he’ll do the same thing on any issue that matters to the people of Wisconsin.”
The 30-second Tuesday statewide TV and digital spot, titled “Busted,” noted Feingold failed to make good on his 1992 pledge to “rely on Wisconsin citizens, not out of staters, to pay for this campaign.”
Despite the promise, the vast majority of funds appear to have come from outside the Badger State, with just 30.5 percent of contributions coming from donors through the second quarter of the 2016 election cycle, the Washington Free Beacon first reported.
The Johnson camp alleged Feingold, who was unseated by Johnson in 2010, has a history of lying when it comes to fundraising.
In 2011, Feingold’s PAC, Progressives United, raised $130,000 over the course of a week through an email campaign telling donors their money would be used toward the party’s recall effort — yet none of that went toward the cause promoted. Instead, just $2,500 went to the Democratic Party of Wisconsin during the 2012 cycle, while Feingold took in $7,500 over the summer of 2011, according to Federal Election Committee reports.
If he’s willing to break the first pledge he made to Wisconsinites, what else is he willing to break?
That’s the message in Senator Ron Johnson’s first attack ad in the campaign against former Senator Russ Feingold (D-Middleton). In “Busted,” Johnson goes after Feingold’s 1992 “Garage Pledge,” which stated the former “Campaign Finance Champion” would receive the lion’s share of his campaign contributions from Wisconsinites.
It is estimated that Feingold has raised over $20 million for his 2016 campaig so far. That’s an astronomical amount for a politician who once committed himself to “getting the money out of politics.”
But also shows how Feingold’s 2016 campaign has proven Johnson’s ad correct: Feingold will do and say anything – even getting dirty with “dirty money – if means a return to the U.S. Senate.