ROJO tries to muddy Feingold on the Great Lakes

Wisconsin U.S. Senate candidate Ron Johnson’s time as a candidate for governor of Wyoming must have rubbed him wrong. His campaign has released a television ad that is both misleading and factually incorrect.

Johnson is trying to make it appear that Senator Feingold voted against protection for the Great Lakes.

In fact, Feingold voted against what is known as the Dick Cheney energy bill, which contained a provision that would have allowed drilling in the Great Lakes. It’s one of the lesser known examples of the great hubris and até that the Bush administration so profoundly suffered. (Até, she’s one of my favorites.)

Johnson’s ad declares in big letters, “Feingold voted AGAINST protecting our lakes.”

Alas, that too is dead wrong.

The God’s honest truth is that Senator Feingold has voted in favor of protecting the Great Lakes time and time again. In three parts:

  • Feingold was one of the votes for the unanimous passage of the Great Lakes Compact.
  • In 2001, Feingold cosponsored the Great Lakes Water Protection Act, which gave states incentives to forbid new leases for drilling in the Great Lakes.
  • In October 2001, Sen. Feingold cosponsored a successful amendment to the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act of 2002 to forbid drilling for oil and gas in the Great Lakes until a study could be completed on its potentially devastating impacts. [h/t Blogging Blue for the last two.]

Furthermore, as xoff pointed out, Johnson also incorrectly states that Feingold was the only Great Lakes Senator to vote against the bill. Said xoff:

Well, unless you count Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer, two New Yorkers who would be surprised to discover that New York is not one of the eight Great Lakes states.You can even see their names on the roll call vote, above, pictured in Johnson’s commercial.

The Chicago Tribune already has an AP story [that describes the ad “misleading”].

It’s one thing to make a stupid mistake like forgetting that New York is a Great Lakes states. It’s a whole ‘nother to present your opponent as voting to allow the raping and pillaging of the Great Lakes by oil drilling, which, by the way, Mr. Johnson has said he supports. Thankfully, the Great Lakes Compact that Senator Feingold voted for makes it awfully difficult to do that. Although we saw in the last Bush administration that treaties and laws hardly stood in their way when they wanted to get something done. (See also: hubris, até.)

And Ron, buddy, way to go on this. Not only are you helping draw attention to the fact that you own well over $100,000 in BP stock, you’re helping your opponent. Keep up the good work!

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Author: Jason Haas

Jason is an elected member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, occasionally moonlights as an amateur gardener, and is a proud father of two, or three, depending on how you do the math.