Ron Johnson Launches Digital Ad on Halloween About Senator Feingold’s Skeletons

Senator Feingold’s famous 1992 ad is used to show how much he’s changed after 34 years in politics

The Ron Johnson campaign today released a digital ad using Senator Feingold’s famous 1992 ad in which he claimed “no skeletons,” contrasting that with the shady PAC used to line his own pockets, the possible violations of federal law, his broken promises, and his hypocrisy on a number of issues including taking money from students and public libraries.

The ad, “Skeletons,” features headlines that show just how far Senator Feingold will go in his desperate attempt to further his never-ending political career.

“After 34 years in politics, the number of skeletons in Senator Feingold’s closet is downright scary,” Ron Johnson campaign spokesman Brian Reisinger said. “His hypocrisy, broken promises, and shamelessness prove he’s everything people hate about politics – a career politician who will say and do anything to get back to Washington and is only in it for himself.”

This is the fifth in a series of ads from the Johnson campaign targeting specific aspects of Senator Feingold’s legalized slush fund, Progressives United, which operated as a shadow campaign, building campaign infrastructure and fundraising lists while Senator Feingold was a State Department employee.

Key Facts:

  • 1992: In his bid for U.S. Senate after serving 10 years in the Wisconsin State Senate, Senator Feingold launched an iconic ad where he said, “Look, no skeletons.”
  • 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.
  • Senator Feingold’s campaign purchased Progressives United fundraising lists, and has used them to raise $11 million from outside Wisconsin compared to less than $3 million from Wisconsin, according to a report.
  • Senator Feingold has refused to call on the State Department to release his emails and other public documents during his time there, as required by federal law.