UPDATE: In response to this entry, the Wisconsin For Falk Twitter account popped off a tweet clarifying their group is not a super PAC. No doubt they’ll be taking up the issue with Sen. Russ Feingold’s Progressives United group, who has also referred to Wisconsin For Falk as a super PAC. According to its own website, Wisconsin For Falk is registered as a “1.91 organization” in reference to the Government Accountability Board (GAB) rule expressly permitting corporations (as well as labor organizations, tribes and other organizations) to sponsor independent expenditures in connection with elections in Wisconsin for state and local office.
The desperation of the campaign of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Kathleen Falk and her SuperPAC allies continues.
Earlier this week I noted the shameful attempt on the part of the Falk campaign to assert that those who believe she can’t beat Republican Gov. Scott Walker feel that way because of Falk’s gender. At the time I wrote it was disappointing (not to mention cynical) that Kathleen Falk’s campaign would interject gender into the Democratic gubernatorial primary while asserting that sexism is the reason many doubt her electability, while in the process using gender and sexism to attack a fellow Democrat, in this case Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. The use of Falk’s gender as a reason her campaign has not received a certain measure of support in some circles is the kind of incredibly divisive political ploy I’d expect to see from Gov. Walker (remember Walker’s “haves and have-nots?), and it does absolutely nothing to further the effort to recall Gov. Walker.
On the heels of the Falk campaign’s insertion of gender bias issues into the Democratic gubernatorial campaign comes a video put out by Wisconsin For Falk, a SuperPAC supporting Kathleen Falk’s gubernatorial bid. Wisconsin For Falk has spent millions of dollars propping up Falk’s gubernatorial campaign with TV ads, and yesterday the Wisconsin For Falk SuperPAC released an ad (using heavily edited audio, of course) that makes the assertion that former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold supports Kathleen Falk for governor. The ad includes brief audio snippets of a much larger interview Sen. Feingold did on the “Sly in the Morning” radio show, without providing the complete context for Sen. Feingold’s remarks.
While there’s been no official statement from former Sen. Feingold on whether he approves of his comments being taken out of context and used to imply he supports Kathleen Falk’s gubernatorial campaign, I’m betting he’d be less than pleased that a SuperPAC has run an ad using his words and likeness, given his staunch opposition to the influence of SuperPACs in our elections. Back in March of this year, Cole Leystra of Sen. Feingold’s Progressives United attacked the Wisconsin For Falk SuperPAC for undermining the recall effort here in Wisconsin, writing,
Regrettably, as well intentioned as Wisconsin for Falk no doubt is, the impact it will have on the recall election will almost certainly be to undermine, not bolster, the chances of successfully replacing Scott Walker as governor. By funneling out-of-state special interest money to support Kathleen Falk’s campaign, Wisconsin for Falk muddies what had been absolutely crystal clear waters in the recall effort. Up until now, the only beneficiary of ominous super PAC support was Governor Scott Walker. That can no longer be said, and because of that, Kathy Falk has been forced to cede what could have been a powerful strategic advantage, namely the complete rejection of support from dubious organizations that the American public overwhelmingly rejects. In fact, a recent poll found that nearly 70% of the public thought that super PACs ought to be outlawed.
Leystra went on to note that Democrats and progressive candidates are doing themselves no favors by adopting the preferred tactic of the Koch brothers through the use of SuperPACs that can raise vast sums of largely unregulated money to use as they see fit.
Wisconsin For Falk’s latest ad is shameful, and I’m betting Sen. Feingold will have something to say about how dishonestly his words have been used to imply his endorsement of Kathleen Falk, not to mention the fact that his words and likeness were used by a SuperPAC, the very kind of shadowy organization Sen. Feingold is fighting against through Progressives United.
(This has been cross-posted at Daily Kos.)