August 13, 2015

Madison, WI

Mike Crute

hanhe Russ Feingold for Senate campaign has been telling me for two months that Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson has not answered the Badger Pledge proposed by “just call me Russ.”  That is not entirely true, and I thought it was time to set the record straight.

Ideologically and historically, I have supported Russ Feingold.  I gave a $80 donation to Progressives United at its creation.

Sen. Ron Johnson has been appearing on The Devil’s Advocates Radio Show monthly for more than two years, earning him the vaunted title of “friend” of the Devil’s Advocates.  Johnson’s appearances have given me several opportunities to ask him pointed questions.

I’ve asked Johnson if money free speech in response to Politico’s Kenneth Vogel catching him soliciting money for the Koch Bros AFP.

“It is – If you want to be heard.  Sure you can set up a soapbox on the corner of a park and you can be heard.  But it’s a pretty limited audience.  If you want your message to be heard by a wider group of Americans it costs money to broadcast that message, and Americans should have the right across the political spectrum whether you’re far left, far right, or right dead in the middle, you have that right as an American to be able to convey your ideas, your ideology to Americans.  That is a first-amendment right.  It’s a sacred right.”

Johnson appeared via phone on the Devil’s Advocates Radio Show on June 25, 2015 at which time I directly asked Johnson about the Feingold’s proposed Badger Pledge.

Johnson used the opportunity to say Feingold was distracting from his own bad press over Progressive’s United.  Johnson claimed he feared attacks from the left and outside money flowing in to oppose his own candidacy.  Johnson noted the Feingold campaign never approached his campaign with the “pledge”, instead they ran to the press.

“I don’t think what Senator Feingold threw out there is workable or serious,” Johnson concluded his response.  I took that as a NO.

To say that Johnson did not answer the question is disingenuous.  If Feingold is claiming he never said Yes or No specifically, I will try to remedy that when Johnson joins The Devil’s Advocates in studio August 18th at 3:30 CT.

I must assume the Feingold campaign is unaware of Johnson’s response, so I notified them this morning.  To say that Johnson supports outside “free speech” and would NEVER sign such a pledge – that would be closer to the truth!

Here is the podcast, in case you missed it!

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Hey Russ, Sen. Ron Johnson answered the Badger Pledge (NO)!