Ron Johnson Launches Digital Ad on Senator Feingold’s Progressives United Sham

Senator Feingold said Progressives United would support candidates but only gave 5% to candidates and causes

The Ron Johnson campaign today launched a targeted digital ad on Senator Feingold’s slush fund Progressives United PAC that largely benefited himself and his staff despite pledges from Senator Feingold that it would help candidates and causes.

“We’re starting a new organization,” said Senator Feingold. “And we’ll support candidates when they support our progressive ideals.”

Earlier this year, it was revealed that Senator Feingold’s Progressive United PAC only gave 5% to candidates and causes.

You can watch the digital ad entitled “Feingold’s 5 Percent” here.

Key Facts:

  • 1990s and 2000s: Senator Feingold’s legislative proposals include requiring that Senate candidates raise more than half their money from their home states, and restricting political action committees.
  • June 15, 2015: Progressives United, the political action committee Senator Feingold founded after previously being against PACs, is revealed to have given only 5 percent of the money it raised to candidates and causes – with the rest going to line Feingold’s pockets, pay his future campaign staff, and more fundraising to
    build a national donor apparatus.
  • Aug. 13, 2015: Confronted with his new national fundraising apparatus, Senator Feingold announced he will no longer honor his promise saying “there is no hypocrisy.” He blames the Citizens United ruling, even though he had previously renewed the pledge in 2010, after Citizens United.
  • On Aug. 30, 2016, the Republican Party of Wisconsin filed a legal complaint saying Feingold has violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits various types of political activity by members of the executive branch, while he was at the State Department. The questions about potential violations of the Hatch Act were first raised by Wisconsin Watchdog, following media reports that Feingold had talked with Sen. Jon Tester – chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee – about running for U.S. Senate while he was still at the State Department, and revelations that Progressives United had served as his shadow campaign during that time.
  • On October 14, 2016, it was reported that Senator Feingold’s Progressives United for Wisconsin PAC, created to help with Wisconsin elections, gave more of its money to Feingold’s original Progressives United — which has been termed a “shadow campaign” and “legalized slush fund” — than Wisconsin candidates.