Ron Johnson’s shameless copy-catting of Russ Feingold – Part 2

As I’ve noted here before incumbent Republican Senator Ron Johnson is among the most vulnerable incumbents facing reelection in 2016. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Johnson is facing a tough reelection fight against the man he beat in 2010 – former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold. While Johnson did beat Feingold by 5 points in 2010, Johnson had two things working in his favor that year: a conservative wave and a midterm election in which Democratic turnout was not as high as in a presidential election year.

So in order to beat Russ Feingold in 2016 – a year that looks to favor the Democrat – Sen. Johnson seems to have adopted a unique campaign strategy:


Now I’m sure you’re thinking, “No! That can’t be true! A man of Ron Johnson’s integrity would never stoop so low!”

However, it is true, and I’ve written about on this very blog. Today I’ve got another example of how Ron Johnson’s campaign has resorted to copy-catting Russ Feingold’s campaign.


On May 28, 2015 Russ Feingold’s U.S. Senate campaign sent out an email with the following subject line: “Rolling Out A Founding Member “RussBackers” Promotion.” The email read in part:

“But we still have a ways to go to build the campaign we need to win. It’s going to be the early grassroots donors who are the backbone of this effort — and we want to give you special recognition for being a part of Russ’s campaign from the very beginning. That’s why everyone who contributes to Russ’s campaign before May 31 will become founding members of our new ‘RussBackers’ and will receive a special membership card.”

Here’s an example of the “membership card” included in Russ Feingold’s email.

"Russbacker" membership card

Fast forward just a month, and Ron Johnson’s reelection campaign followed Russ Feingold’s lead, sending out an email on June 25 announcing the “Team Ron John Grassroots Membership Program” to become a “Founding Member.” Here’s a bit from the Johnson campaign’s email.

“Today, we’re launching the #TeamRonJon Grassroots Membership Program — and we’re coming to our most dedicated supporters first with a special membership offer. This week only, you can be a founding #TeamRonJon Grassroots Gold, Silver, or Bronze Member by making your membership contribution before our June FEC Deadline.”

"Team RonJohn" membership card

While I appreciate that the 2016 U.S. Senate election here in Wisconsin is not going to be won or lost on the issue of Ron Johnson’s campaign aping Russ Feingold’s campaign, but it sure does say something about Ron Johnson and how lazy, unethical, and uninspired his campaign for reelection is – and hopefully will continue to be.


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4 thoughts on “Ron Johnson’s shameless copy-catting of Russ Feingold – Part 2

  1. People have used that thing for decades that Russ and Ron is doing. Russ was there 18 years and all he ever did, never got us any jobs or money was create 527’s which the Dems hate.

  2. Even “Team Ron John” is a bit of a swipe, from those of use who affectionately (and more economically) refer to Johnson as RoJo.

  3. For the 20th time. Highly paid marketers working for Republicans are scientists not zealots. Just two criteria here:
    A) If it works against us, use it for us. It takes the edge off the opposition’s use of the strategy, and besides, B) we can spend more so that it appears to originate from us.

    So, expect copying if you’re doing anything right, and try to be more creative by altering the strategy or message. NEVER WHINE about ANYTHING. Be positive always.

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