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Johnson Refuses to Give Yes or No to Badger Pledge PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Tuesday, 16 June 2015 08:55

ron-johnsonPledge would keep tens of millions of dark money out of Wisconsin.


MADISON - Senator Ron Johnson once again refused to give a yes or no answer to the Badger Pledge, a two page document offered by Russ Feingold that would eliminate dark money from Wisconsin's U.S. Senate election with Ron Johnson's signature.

On Monday, when reached by Politico for a response Senator Johnson responded "without giving a straight yes-or-no answer."

"Four days ago, we sent Ron Johnson a simple, two-page pledge that would keep millions in dark money ads out of Wisconsin’s Senate election. It shouldn't take this long to say yes or no to a bipartisan pledge that's proven to keep campaigns about the issues, not the attack ads. We still hold out hope Ron Johnson can make the right decision," said Russ for Wisconsin campaign manager Tom Russell.

Pressure is building on Senator Johnson as the conservative-leaning Beloit Daily News called for a campaign "...without the distortion of outside money..."

The Badger Pledge is the only tried and true proposal to keep third party groups from spending tens of millions of dollars on independent expenditure or issue advocacy advertisements. This spending accounted for over $40 million in Wisconsin's 2012 campaign cycle a startling number groups are poised to rival in 2016, without Johnson's signature on the Badger Pledge.

The pledge has drawn support from independent watchdog groups Public Citizen and Wisconsin Common Cause.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 June 2015 09:57
 
Three Days & No Response From Ron Johnson On Badger Pledge Yet PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin   
Monday, 15 June 2015 10:57

rjMADISON - It's been three days since Wisconsin Democrats called on Ron Johnson to join Russ Feingold in signing a Badger Pledge that would keep super PAC and shady special interest money out of the U.S. Senate race and still no answer from the Senator.

Last Friday, Russ Feingold asked Ron Johnson to join him in signing a Badger Pledge, modeled after a successful agreement in Massachusetts between Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren, that would ensure the Senate race remains focused on the issues, values, and ideals that unite us as Wisconsinites.

Also on Friday, a spokeswoman for Johnson commented that she hadn't yet read the pledge and that the campaign would need time to review it.

"The Badger Pledge is not even five hundred words long -- if Ron Johnson can't over the course of three days read and comprehend a simple agreement to keep this campaign focused on the issues that matter to Wisconsinites then he's even less qualified for office than I thought," Democratic Party of Wisconsin Communications Director Melissa Baldauff said Monday. "The only reason for Johnson to drag his feet on the Badger Pledge is that he's too beholden to his special interest backers and their unlimited anonymous donations to do what's right for Wisconsin."

 
Democrats Call on Ron Johnson to Sign Badger Pledge PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Melissa Baldauff   
Friday, 12 June 2015 12:29

ron-johnsonMADISON - Wisconsin Democrats are today calling on Ron Johnson to join Russ Feingold in signing a Badger Pledge to keep super PAC and shady special interest money out of the U.S. Senate race.

feingoldThis morning, Russ Feingold asked Ron Johnson to join him in signing a Badger Pledge, modeled after a successful agreement in Massachusetts between Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren, that would ensure the Senate race remains focused on the issues, values, and ideals that unite us as Wisconsinites.

The Badger Pledge would prevent any third party organization from airing TV, radio, or online ads considered to be an independent expenditure or issue advocacy for the duration of the 2016 Wisconsin U.S. Senate election.

Should a group spend money on behalf of either campaign, the subject campaign would pay 50% of the cost of the advertisement to a charity of the opposing candidate's choice.

marsha-laning“As I talk to voters all over the state, whether it’s a Democrat who owns a small business or a Republican community leader, I’ve never once heard someone say they want to see in our elections more mudslinging from third parties funded by unlimited, anonymous donations,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Martha Laning said Friday. “That’s why I’m calling on Ron Johnson to join Russ Feingold in signing the Badger Pledge -- there is broad bipartisan support for limiting the influence of money in politics. I hope Ron Johnson is committed to keeping the Senate race focused on the issues that matter to Wisconsinites.”

The text of the Badger Pledge is here:

The Badger Pledge

Third-party organizations, many funded by national special interests outside Wisconsin, plan to create, air, and publish independent expenditure advertisements attacking or supporting Senator Ron Johnson or Senator Russ Feingold in an attempt to influence Wisconsin's 2016 Senate race.

The organizations planning to create, air, and publish these advertisements may include: 501(c) organizations, so-called super PACs, state and national party committees, labor unions, and corporations using millions of dollars of either disclosed or anonymous money to influence the outcome of the 2016 Senate race in Wisconsin. Most of these organizations are neither managed or funded by citizens of Wisconsin.

Both Senator Johnson and Senator Feingold have publicly stated that they cannot directly control the independent organizations that support them or oppose their opponent.

The candidates also agree that in the past five years, Wisconsin especially has seen a massive amount of outside spending from third-party, national organizations attacking and supporting both Democratic and Republican candidates in Wisconsin.

Both candidates agree that a bipartisan agreement between the candidates is the only way to keep the 2016 Senate race about the voters of Wisconsin, and reduce the importance of these organizations on both the left and right The agreement includes an enforcement mechanism modeled from the successful bipartisan agreement used in the 2012 Massachusetts Senate race.

Candidates Ron Johnson and Russ Feingold agree to the following:

  • If a third party organization airs or publishes any independent expenditure advertisement on TV, radio, online that supports or promotes either specified candidate, the supported candidate's campaign shall pay 50% of the cost of the advertisement buy to a charity of the opposing candidate's choice.

  • If a third party organization airs or publishes any independent expenditure advertisement on TV, radio, online that attacks or opposes either specified candidate, the opposing candidate's campaign shall pay 50% of the cost of the advertisement buy to a charity of the opposed candidate's choice.

  • If a third party organization airs or publishes any issue advocacy advertisement on TV, radio, online, that does not include "express advocacy," but does otherwise support or promote either specified candidate, the supported candidate's campaign shall pay 50% of the cost of the advertisement buy to a charity of the opposing candidate's choice.

  • If a third party organization airs or publishes any issue advocacy advertisement on TV, radio, online, that does not include "express advocacy," but does otherwise attack or oppose either specified candidate, the opposing candidate's campaign shall pay 50% of the cost of the advertisement buy to a charity of the opposed candidate's choice.

  • The Candidates agree not to coordinate with any third party on any issue advocacy advertisements for the duration of the 2016 election cycle. In the event that either Candidate coordinates any issue advocacy advertisement with a third party organization that Candidate's campaign shall pay 50% of the cost of the ad buy to a charity of the opposing Candidate's choice.

 
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