senator Wisconsin has ever had. His close connection to his constituents
was amazing. He actually attended 721 precinct meetings throughout all of
Wisconsin during his stay in office! No senator in American history has
ever kept so closely in touch with constituents.
Russ Feingold was
unquestionably the most principled person in the Senate. When he voted
against Patriot Act I, most political observers thought he had committed
political suicide. If a constituent traveled to D.C. to personally present
a problem, he or she would be given the chance to meet with Feingold face
that almost all congresspersons had illegal offshore bank accounts. It is unthinkable to imagine Feingold being one of those sleazy
Feingold is highly intelligent, an inventive thinker, and an
ardently true believer in democracy. He has always stood out like a sore
thumb in a grossly corrupt Congress.
So how was it that he lost his
seat in Congress? Here's my theory: A millionaire right-wing businessman
was bored. He decided he knew exactly how to beat Feingold. First, he would
easily win out in the GOP primary because all other Republicans thought
Feingold was unbeatable, and they did not want to run against
The wealthy Ron Johnson, who had courted the imbecilic Tea Party
for support, had a plan. He would produce a host of TV ads that were exceptionally nasty and also false. Each time one of these false charges showed up all over the state, Feingold would have to create a TV counter ad that refuted the false charge. This would cost big
Feingold's campaign chest ran
dry before he could create ads with positive statements of his countless
accomplishments as a senator. Once his campaign was broke, he was helpless
to deal with the steady flow of false charges in scurrilous TV
Whether or not anything can or will be done about this, I don't
know. I suspect Johnson covered his ass one way or another because the Feingold camp has said nothing. It may be they are unable to trace the ads directly back to Johnson. The ads were pulled immediately after Feingold posted ads that refuted the false ads, but making the
refutations and getting them distributed took time.
The ready removal
of the scurrilous, false ads when challenged perhaps protects Johnson or
those who ran the ads. I really don't know. It may be that the connections
with Johnson are not traceable. However this tactic came about, and even if
out of state GOP agents ran the whole operation, Johnson was obliged to
disown the ads, which he did not do
to the best of my
Just as an aside, will Senator Johnson continue his ties with
the Tea Party? If so, he certainly is not going to rival Feingold as a
truly great senator.
I haven't researched the TV ads matter. I have
only observed was going on and based my theory on these observations. What
happened seems obvious. A nasty, false ad would appear across the state.
Then a Feingold ad would finally appear refuting the false ad. The false
ad would then immediately be pulled. And so on. It struck me as obvious what was going on.
not surprised. Consider that Wisconsinites still worship the memory of
Tailgunner Joe McCarthy. They only recently named a road after him in my
area. The county courthouse has a huge entry hall. A huge, black ebony bust
of McCarthy towers over the entry area. Joe is buried in a beautiful gravesite high above and overlooking a wide section of the Fox River.
Many years ago, when I used to jog in that general area, I often
unwittingly jogged directly across Joe's grave. Of course, that was always purely accidental.