Let me expand on the title. What is the Badger Pledge, and why was it easy for Russ Feingold to sign it? And why won’t Ron Johnson even acknowledge its presence?
On June 12, 2015, nearly seventeen months before Election Day 2016, Russ Feingold (former Senator, D-Wisconsin) proposed the Badger Pledge and invited Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) to join him in signing it. The Pledge is an agreement that discourages third party involvement, even as it admits that neither candidate can truly control those third parties. The Pledge states that any time a third party ad airs, the campaign on the side of the candidate involved will pay 50% of the ad’s cost (including air time) to a charity or nonprofit of the opposing candidate’s choice.
Sound complicated? It could be, but it’s not. The last of five bullet point sums it up best.
The candidates agree not to coordinate with any third party on any issue advocacy advertisements for the duration of the 2016 election cycle.
Russ signed it immediately.
Ron? Nope. In fact, he won’t address the pledge. He won’t say yes, and he won’t say no. Why not?
Let’s make some educated guesses. Maybe, just maybe:
- Senator R.J. doesn’t understand the pledge that Mr. Feingold offered.
- The senior (barely) senator from Wisconsin thinks he’s too cool for the Badger Pledge. Elvis endorsed Feingold. Now that’s cool.
- Senator Johnson doesn’t think the voters will notice that he hasn’t signed the Pledge. Really?
- The man nicknamed Ron John doesn’t know what the Pledge means.
- The man nicknamed Ron John doesn’t know what a Badger is.
- The tall senator from Wisconsin won’t discourage third party ads because his biggest sponsors and supporters are third parties.
- Senator Johnson is afraid to discourage third party ads because he benefits from those ads.
Readers, what do you think? Why was it easy for Russ Feingold to announce and commit to the Badger Pledge while the other guy won’t even look its way?
For a complete read of the Badger Pledge, go to the Russ for Wisconsin site and click on Badger Pledge, or click this little hyperlink.