Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Can’t buy him love

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The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel awarded their first “pants on fire” judgement of the campaign season to the Russ Feingold campaign for making the claim he has been the financial underdog in every campaign, and now Democrats are having a snit.

To defend the Feingold myth, Democrats are engaging in some rather fuzzy math. They’re combining all of the spending from the Republican Senate Primary in 2004 and counting it as money that directed against Feingold. So even though those campaigns were all campaigning against each other and not against Feingold, Feingold’s supporters claim it adds up to Feingold being the underdog. That would be news to primary winner Tim Michels who, as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel correctly points out, was outspent by Feingold by $3.7 million. (I would add that more than a few conservatives haven’t forgiven the RSCC for abandoning Michels in that race, the first of many failures for the RSCC.)

Of course, it was fun irony when the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel turned to campaign finance reformer fanatic Mike McCabe to act as the judge in this matter, given campaign finance is Feingold’s signature issue.

Let’s stick with that for a moment. Even if we accept Feingold’s statement as true in his other races, what does that say about Feingold’s favorite cause (other than himself)? Feingold says the money didn’t matter in the other races, than why does he push for campaign finance reform? After all, if Feingold could overcome being outspent, then where is the harm in having more money in politics rather than less? Wouldn’t Feingold say that the power of his ideas was enough?

We might even wonder why Feingold is whining now about being outspent. (We await Feingold’s press release asking millionaire Democrats to stop trying to buy other elections.) After all, according to Feingold it hasn’t been an issue before, so why is it an issue now?

I was asked earlier today why Feingold is losing the race (as another poll will demonstrate tomorrow)? Is he being so badly outspent? Well, the campaign finance reports don’t bear that out as the spending has been pretty close. But even if there was a great divide in campaign spending, Feingold has demonstrated he could overcome it in the past. What’s different now?

Feingold voted for the stimulus and Obamacare, and now the public has tuned him out. Instead of the quirky cousin everyone loves, he’s now the obnoxious brother-in-law used-car salesman that everyone wishes would leave the party early so they don’t have to listen to him anymore.

Feingold’s enemy now isn’t Ron Johnson’s money, but the calendar. We’re closing in on the end of September and Feingold is down by double digits in a liberal poll. Soon the undecideds will start breaking towards the challenger. All the money in the world can’t buy Feingold love now.

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