[Oshkosh, WI] Senator Russ Feingold released a new ad today titled “Look Out for Us,” using largely the same cast as his previous as “On Our Side.” A closer look at the ad however shows that a controversial figure in his previous ad was not included this time around – registered AFL-CIO lobbyist Joanne Ricca.
When previously asked about having a lobbyist appear in his ad to declare that Senator Feingold was on their side of the issues, Feingold defended such actions as “perfectly appropriate.” After acknowledging that he was in fact standing on the side of special interests and lobbyists, it appears Senator Feingold has had a change of heart about flaunting that fact to the people of Wisconsin.
“Two weeks ago, Senator Feingold was proud to finally admit to the people of Wisconsin that he was on the side of special interest groups and union lobbyists,” Sara Sendek, spokeswoman for Ron Johnson for Senate said. “After promising voters that he would reform the culture of lobbying in Washington, instead Senator Feingold embraced lobbyists and declared himself to be on their side. Maybe this new and stunning admission did not go over with voters as he’d hoped, and Feingold will once again revert to his old tricks and false promises.”
Ricca, a long-time lobbyist, currently serves as the legislative representative and research director for the AFL-CIO in Milwaukee.
Throughout his Senate Career, Russ Feingold has Received $1,025,500 in Union PAC Contributions. (Center for Responsive Politics, www.opensecrets.org, Accessed August 21, 2010)
In Early 1993, Feingold Declared He And His Senate Staff Would Play By “Wisconsin Rules” And Not Accept Gifts From Lobbyists Or Anyone Seeking Influence. “Last week Feingold issued an edict, to apply to himself and his entire staff, that where ethics are concerned, they would play by ‘Wisconsin rules.’ That meant they could not accept gifts of any sort from lobbyists or anyone else seeking influence. Not even a cup of coffee.” (Dan Allegretti, “Feingold Opts for Wisconsin Ethics,” Capital Times [Madison, WI.], 1/21/93)
Feingold: “There’s Something Insidious And Dangerous About People In Government Accepting Things Of Value From People They’re Trying To Regulate.” (Dan Allegretti, “Feingold Opts for Wisconsin Ethics,” Capital Times [Madison, WI.], 1/21/93)
Feingold Said The System In Washington Was “Tainted” And Brought Lobbyists And Legislators Closer Together Than They Were In Wisconsin. Feingold: “It’s not an attempt to be holier than thou. I think the system is tainted here. It brings lobbyists and legislators closer together than they are back home.” (Dan Allegretti, “Feingold Opts for Wisconsin Ethics,” Capital Times [Madison, WI.], 1/21/93)