Russ Feingold
Press Release

72 Hours of Silence from Ron Johnson on Badger Pledge

Russ Feingold's offer would prevent limitless anonymous campaign money in Wisconsin

By - Jun 15th, 2015 11:16 am

MADISON — Ron Johnson hasn’t been seen or heard from since Russ Feingold proposed the Badger Pledge. The pledge would allow Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate election to be about issues by keeping unlimited anonymous dark money out of Wisconsin.

It’s been 72 hours since the Badger Pledge was provided to Ron Johnson’s campaign on Friday. All the Badger Pledge requires to take effect is Ron Johnson’s signature.

“If Ron Johnson truly believes Wisconsin deserves an honest debate about issues in this election he should end his silence and sign the Badger Pledge. It’s been 72 hours and Wisconsin deserves an answer. With a single signature Ron Johnson can end the tens of millions in secret money set to flood Wisconsin and affirm his claim to want a debate about issues,” said Russ for Wisconsin campaign manager Tom Russell.

Modeled after the successful agreement in Massachusetts between Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren, the Badger Pledge would limit the influence of groups on both the left and right. It requires either campaign to pay to charity 50% of the cost of any advertisement run by a third party organization as an independent expenditure or issue advocacy. Read the text of the pledge here.

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28 thoughts on “72 Hours of Silence from Ron Johnson on Badger Pledge”

  1. ken stein says:

    Send pledge to Bice at the Journal and get him to pledge no muckraking!

    Everyone is an entrepreneur and not Reporters.
    All we hear is tear to apart!!!.
    Let us hear true problems AND better yet-= THE SOLUTIONS to them and let the voters and citizens

    Then Vote and decide!!!

    We need true Info!! Not speculation and repeats of negative and most often false or bad assertions!

  2. Paul says:

    Has Feingold answered any questions about the finances of his PAC fund?

  3. PMD says:

    If by that you mean did he try to raise money after Bice’s story ran, yes, he did answer questions about Progressives United. It’s kind of like paying yourself $10 million immediately after spending $9 million to buy yourself a U.S. Senate seat.

  4. Paul says:

    PMD, so you think it’s acceptable to raise money for something and only give 5% to the cause?

  5. PMD says:

    No more unacceptable than writing yourself a check for $10 million a month after buying yourself a U.S. Senate seat.

  6. ken says:

    Give me a break!

    How about saying something to help!

    Senator Feingold raised money to form and run a campaign. This money went to establish a campaign. Divide work hours and the costs are fine. You do not give away money to others and not first set up a staff and the campaign details!

    Maybe you can do all work without setting up–I doubt that!!!

  7. Kyle says:

    I doubt the Johnson will sign this, and I also doubt that even if Johnson did sign it that it would prevent an outside group from running any ads, and very few people are willing to hand over a limitless blank check based on the actions of others. However, I do think it’s a little shady to send something to an office on a Friday, and complain about a lack of response on Monday morning. Seriously?

  8. PMD says:

    I agree that is shady. These pledges are silly, whether it’s signing a pledge to never ever raise taxes or a pledge like this. They allow candidates to grandstand and issue press releases, but they don’t seem to accomplish much else.

  9. Ken says:

    Not Shady!

    They are on the texts and emails 24/7!

    Let us try!

    If you do not nothing
    Will get Done!

  10. Kyle says:

    “the Badger Pledge was provided to Ron Johnson’s campaign on Friday”

    Yes, I often jump onto my phone at odd hours to sign something that “was provided to” me unexpectedly (even if it wasn’t provided digitally – why should that matter). And I would never consult a lawyer before signing something crafted by someone who’s sole declared purpose is to take my job and leave me unemployed. This wait is outrageous, and Feingold should score as many political points off it as possible! And if he does sign it or respond, well, then he is clearly campaigning when the Senate is in session, and he’s neglecting his job!

  11. David Nelson says:

    I agree that 72 hours over the weekend is not that long a time. Perhaps a Feingold staffer is having trouble conceptualizing. However, the basic idea is very sound. Get big bucks out of campaigns. More importantly, force candidates of all stripes to debate real issues like jobs, economy, and environment enough times to reveal the depth of their understanding and the quality of their intent. Johnson is unlikely to do this as he is among the least qualified politicians up for election. He has little knowledge about complex subjects, and no, I don’t care where he went to school or how many degrees he does or does not have. Johnson is simply an incapable thinker/doer. Hopefully, he will take up the challenge and reveal his limitations once again. I don’t think he’ll get a pass from Wisconsin voters this time.

  12. PMD says:

    How many hours of silence is it now? Who’s keeping track?

  13. Paul says:

    PMD, 24 in a day, it’s simple math.

  14. PMD says:

    Some comments go right over your head Paul. That’s OK. Carry on.

  15. Paul says:

    PMD, just trying to help you learn how to add, you seem a little slow

  16. ken says:

    Paul, to bad you we cannot get a constructive reply from you.

    It would help and perhaps set a chain of positive gestures and go forward!

  17. Paul says:

    ken, anytime I ask a question or make a comment PMD jumps all over me, changes the subject but never answers the question. Go look at posts involving the trolley or bubbler bikes.

  18. ken says:


    Let the other person be the buffoon!

    Be Constructive and we can get things done.
    Those who do not arwe recognized as whom they are!

  19. PMD says:

    Hey at least I know how to use punctuation. And what didn’t I answer here? It might be time to reconsider who is slow.

  20. Paul says:

    PMD. There should be a comma after the word Hey in your last post.

  21. David Nelson says:

    This thread is not enjoying what is referred to as a “Robust” conversation. It is lame to take a party line and not address valid points from opposing viewpoints. When this is done, Trolling is a very fair word to use. It is pointless to worry about minor punctuation errors, although serious grammar issues are tedious to read, and may not convey the authors meaning. I’ve seen evidence of apparently drunken prose on threads here and elsewhere. Makes you wonder whether quality thought is involved once you see nearly incomprehensible word stew.

    Back to one of the salient issues. Is Ron Johnson a skilled and informed public servant whose grasp of economics and policy position him to serve the State of Wisconsin well? I believe this is not the case. Whether Feingold’s campaign workers timed their announcement in the best way hardly changes Johnson’s lack of credibility. Being able to assess a candidate’s qualifications requires understanding the concepts of priority and proportionality. Please try to employ these ideas better before typing.

  22. PMD says:

    I don’t think it’s that Johnson has no grasp of economics (he did build a successful business right?) as much as it is just flat-out disagreeing with his beliefs. He also doesn’t seem to care much about public service given his comments about winning even if he loses the election.

  23. AG says:

    You think so, PMD? I actually think the fact he said that means that he fully understands the burden and responsibility of public service better than most politicians. By saying he still wins if he loses means that a part of him would probably enjoy life a bit more if he wasn’t burdened with his duty… but since he feels the obligation to serve, he puts that aside and does his duty.

  24. PMD says:

    Oh I most definitely do. Maybe you just like RoJo more than I do. I think he’s a rich jerk.

  25. AG says:

    Funny you say that… when I was trying to pull up his educational background to point out he probably understands economics (graduated high school early to get his accounting degree and later earned his MBA, then started a very successful business) I found that one of his first jobs was as a “soda jerk” at Walgreens. So literally he is indeed a “rich jerk.”

  26. PMD says:

    I agree that he understands economics AG.

    I went back and reread the comment to check context. I think you are reading into it things that are not there. IMO he does not sound like someone who cares much about public service.

    -Johnson said that he would fight hard for re-election, but that he would be the least nervous person when the election rolls around.

    “I will be the calmest person on election night because I win either way,” he said. That is to say, either he will win a second term “or I get to go home, and I will gladly go home because I miss it.”

    Johnson made clear a central part of his strategy was to characterize Feingold as a career politician.

  27. David Nelson says:

    It might be helpful to study the history of Johnson’s business experience. How much did he inherit, both in terms of stepping into thriving businesses, and in terms of family connection? How much has he built primarily through his leadership and understanding? The other thing to consider is this: While skill in the business world is a worthwhile trait, the details of the business in question and how well personal knowledge derived from that business translates into understanding macro-economics is another thing entirely. Business success (if one has truly been successful) does not automatically equal good decision-making while in the role of public servant, especially if there is bias for or against business without solid economic reasoning.

  28. PMD says:

    Yeah I don’t really know the answers to those questions David. Don’t know much about RoJo’s business and its history.

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