A new ad in Wisconsin from Republican businessman Terrence Wall, who is seeking the GOP nomination to run against Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold, is parlaying last year’s boisterous town halls into an attack ad against the incumbent.
The ad uses footage of Feingold explaining his vote for the health care bill, “I thought it was a good bill for America, and particularly a good bill for Wisconsin.” The announcer and on-screen text then declare: “After 28 years in politics, Russ Feingold isn’t listening anymore!” The ad then shows video of angry constituents at the town halls.
The Feingold campaign was quick to respond in a press release, taking issue with the idea that Feingold “isn’t listening anymore,” when during his Senate tenure he has held listening sessions every year in each of Wisconsin’s 72 counties. And they also go right after Wall by pointing to a story that has been dogging him in the local press — that he has not paid any personal state income tax for 12 out of the last 15 years.
The Feingold campaign’s press release reads in part:
The Associated Press (AP) reported today that Terrence Wall’s first television ad of the 2010 campaign is “misleading.” The ad attacks Senator Russ Feingold for supporting health care reform and makes the false claim that “Russ Feingold isn’t listening anymore,” despite the fact Feingold has kept his promise to hold Listening Sessions in all 72 Wisconsin counties, every year – over 1,200 to date.
“Terrence Wall’s introductory ad shows a harsh and negative, politics as usual approach for somebody who claims to be a non-politician,” said Trevor Miller, Spokesperson, Feingold Campaign. “It portrays Senator Feingold in a false light, after he has listened to more Wisconsinites perhaps than any other Senator in Wisconsin history. This, all while Mr. Wall continues to run away from the snowstorm of questions about the fact that he hasn’t paid any state income taxes 12 of the last 15 years.”
The AP analysis of Wall’s ad concludes that Wall misleads voters by saying Feingold “voted for a government takeover of healthcare” when in fact “neither the House nor Senate bill advocates that government take over health care.”