• WisPolitics


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

 9:01 AM 

Feingold ad attacks Johnson over Great Lakes drilling

Russ Feingold says in a new TV ad that GOP rival Ron Johnson is “willing to hand over the Great Lakes to oil companies.”

"We won’t let that happen," Feingold adds.

Feingold, D-Middleton, says in the spot that he “stood up to the Big Oil interests in Washington who would put profits ahead of our Wisconsin lakes” and opposed drilling in the Great Lakes.

“(Johnson's) willing to hand over the Great Lakes to the oil companies, threatening Wisconsin’s economy, and a way of life for generations of Wisconsin families,” Feingold says in the spot.

But the GOP frontrunner and Oshkosh businessman insists he doesn't support drilling in the Great Lakes.

Feingold and Dems have seized on various comments Johnson has made to charge he supports such a move. But Johnson said in a statement yesterday he wouldn't back overturning the current ban on drilling in the lakes.

“Let me repeat: I would reject any and all efforts to drill in the Great Lakes,” Johnson said in the statement.

The statement comes on the heels of Johnson's disclosure of between $116,003 and $315,000 in BP stock, plus interests in Exxon and Occidental Petroleum. Johnson's campaign also hit Feingold by pointing out the senator's participation in the state retirement fund, which the campaign says held more than $400,000 of BP stock as of June 30.

“When was the last time Russ Feingold demanded that the Wisconsin Retirement Fund that he belongs to and will benefit from financially disinvest itself of BP and other oil company stocks?" campaign manager Juston Johnson asked.

UPDATE: In his own ad released a day later, Johnson responded that Feingold is "stuck in the mud."

"Ron Johnson opposes drilling in the Great Lakes and Russ Feingold knows it," the ad says. "Great Lakes drilling’s already illegal and Feingold knows that too.because he voted against the law that protected our lakes. That’s right. Feingold was the only Great Lakes senator to vote no. Feingold plays politics."


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