May 27, 2010

Russ Feingold 46%, Ron Johnson 44%.

That's "virtually even."

ADDED: George Will writes his column today about Ron Johnson:
This 55-year-old manufacturer of plastic products from Oshkosh, Wis., is what the Tea Party looks like.

He is trim, gray-haired and suddenly gray-suited. For years he has worn jeans and running shoes to his office...

The theme of his campaign, the genesis of which was an invitation to address a Tea Party rally, is: "First of all, freedom." Then? "Then you've got to put meat on the bones." He gets much of his meat from the Wall Street Journal's opinion pages....

"The most basic right," Johnson says, "is the right to keep your property." Remembering the golden age when, thanks to Ronald Reagan, the top income tax rate was 28 percent, Johnson says: "For a brief moment we were 72 percent free."
Here's video of Johnson speaking at the April 15th Tea Party in Madison. I saw some of the speakers there that day, when Tommy Thompson dropped out of the Senate race, creating the opportunity for new Republicans to run.

62 comments:

mesquito said...

C'mon Althouse. How about an endorsement?

Original Mike said...

Who's Ron Johnson?

Michael Hasenstab said...

Pretty good first week for the Ron Johnson campaign.

Ann Althouse said...

"C'mon Althouse. How about an endorsement?"

1. My default position is: cruel neutrality.

2. I don't know anything about Johnson yet.

3. I like Feingold and have always voted for him, even given him money. But he regularly votes for things I don't like.

mesquito said...

-BREAKING-

Althouse declines to endorse Feingold; criticizes votes.

Michael Hasenstab said...

I like Feingold and have always voted for him, even given him money. But he regularly votes for things I don't like.

@mesquito, there's what you asked for.

Original Mike said...

Althouse: What was your take on his performance during the Roberts and Alito confirmations? He voted against, didn't he?

cubanbob said...

Ann Althouse said...
"C'mon Althouse. How about an endorsement?"

1. My default position is: cruel neutrality.

2. I don't know anything about Johnson yet.

3. I like Feingold and have always voted for him, even given him money. But he regularly votes for things I don't like.

5/27/10 12:24 PM

Ms. Althouse, not to be cantankerous but why would you give money to and vote for someone who regularly votes for things you don't like?

expatinsingapore said...

Ann,

I have to write that this is a bit wishy washy of you!

Look- it's perfectly normal to vote for a president, or governor, or mayor (any executive) even if you don't agree with their policies if you believe that he/she would make a better leader than the alternative.

But you're not voting for that here. You're voting for a Senator who is essentially just a legislative vote.

Therefore it would seem odd to vote for a person who does not share your policy preferences.

Most especially since you were very much against the health care bill and it passed by one vote, Feingold's.

You can't therefore complain about the bill- when you voted for the guy whose vote ensured its passage.

expatinsingapore said...

Ann,

I have to write that this is a bit wishy washy of you!

Look- it's perfectly normal to vote for a president, or governor, or mayor (any executive) even if you don't agree with their policies if you believe that he/she would make a better leader than the alternative.

But you're not voting for that here. You're voting for a Senator who is essentially just a legislative vote.

Therefore it would seem odd to vote for a person who does not share your policy preferences.

Most especially since you were very much against the health care bill and it passed by one vote, Feingold's.

You can't therefore complain about the bill- when you voted for the guy whose vote ensured its passage.

MadisonMan said...

I won't answer for Althouse, and I've never given $$ to Feingold.

But you can't just look at one candidate. Look at who he has run against. Votes are not given in a vacuum. You evaluate the candidates, and choose the best.

Questions such as Why do you give money even if he votes against things you like assume the world is black and white. Look outside. There is color.

expatinsingapore said...

Sorry for the double post!

It does seem however that you (A. Althouse) are in the position of:

1) Having voted for Obama, despite strong reservations about his policies- because you believed that he would make a better executive than McCain (did I get this right?)

2) Having voted for Feingold, even given money to him, because you like him. Even though as a Senator- he doesn't have a leadership/executive position, but acts merely as a vote for various policies. Even though he routinely votes against your policy preferences.

3) You disagreed VERY strongly with Feingold on the most important policy debate/vote in the past decade (health care) and I assume want Obamacare to be repealed.

4) Yet you are still willing to vote for Feingold again?

5) How exactly will Obamacare be repealed if voters like you continue to vote for legislators who supported it?

What am I missing here?

MadisonMan said...

Voting against Kasten was easy. Voting against Neumann? Even easier. Man was he a mad white man during that election! Michels? Well, he was never going to beat the incumbent.

Giving $$ to Feingold just might be an indictment of the sorry state of the Republicans nominated to run against Feingold.

k*thy said...

"I don't know anything about Johnson yet."

Does anyone?

AJ Lynch said...

Ron Johnson was one of Trooper's favorite New York Giants.

AJ Lynch said...

I have given donations to 3-4 candidates in my lifetime. None won.

cubanbob said...

MadisonMan said...
I won't answer for Althouse, and I've never given $$ to Feingold.

But you can't just look at one candidate. Look at who he has run against. Votes are not given in a vacuum. You evaluate the candidates, and choose the best.

Questions such as Why do you give money even if he votes against things you like assume the world is black and white. Look outside. There is color.

5/27/10 12:49 PM

Unless the alternative candidate is a criminal, a nazi or a communist or just plain crazy the best candidate for a legislative position is the candidate you believe is the closest and most consistent to your political beliefs. So why support and vote for a candidate who consistently votes contrary to your beliefs?

expatinsingapore said...

George Will seems to know Ron Johnson, well at least enough to write an entire piece on him.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/26/AR2010052604760.html

Ann Althouse said...

"Ms. Althouse, not to be cantankerous but why would you give money to and vote for someone who regularly votes for things you don't like?"

I gave him money when he first ran for office in 1992. He was the first (and almost the only) candidate I ever gave money to, and I did it because he personally called me, more than once. He had ties to the UW Law School and solicited money from the faculty. I found it impossible to say no, basically. Also I was completely a liberal at the time. I mainly just didn't like giving up money.

I probably gave him money again in 1998. I was at the time completely a liberal. This was all pre-9/11.

I don't think I've given anyone money in the last 10 years.

c3 said...

Sorry, can't resist:

I like Feingold and have always voted for him, even given him money.

He must be smart, well-written and well-spoken. And I bet he went to a "good" school too!

Original Mike said...

Thanks for the link, expat. So far, I like him.

MadisonMan said...

So why support and vote for a candidate who consistently votes contrary to your beliefs?

The actual phrase: But he regularly votes for things I don't like. Let's call that B. The followup question should be: What votes of his do you like? Let's call that A.

If A > B, what's the problem?

I've only even given $$ to Mayor Dave in Madison. He lives near my house. All Political Giving is really local.

lemondog said...

Business man Ron Johnson audio interview.

Positive - he is not a lawyer!

Damon said...

From the article - "Voters in Wisconsin oppose the recently passed national health care bill that Feingold supported and favor an immigration law like the one Arizona has adopted."

Somewhat of a surprise. I thought Wisconsin was more liberal than that.

roesch-voltaire said...

I don't know of any politician who votes exactly as I would like, but at least Feingold makes clear what and why he votes the way he does: he was one of the few to vote no on the TRAP funding and he continues to push for better Wall Street Reform, along with Republicans, and he continually points out the folly of our engagement in Afghanistan. Full disclosure, I have contributed to his campaign this year.

TheGiantPeach said...

There has been a lot of discussion about Rasmussen's pro-GOP bias, so I wouldn't assume that these numbers reflect the actual state of the race. Still, it's pretty remarkable that a three-term incumbent who is reasonably popular is facing a tough fight from someone few people know anything about. I think it is a measure of the depth of the anti-incumbent feeling in Wisconsin and elsewhere.

Wisconsin is considered a swing state, but it's been pretty reliably blue in Presidential and senate elections for a long time now. The last time a Republican received Wisconsin's electoral votes was 1984. The last time a Republican won as Senate election here was 1986.

A Feingold loss would have to mean a GOP takeover of the Senate, unless the anti-incumbent fever brings some Democrats into the Senate from unlikely places like South Carolina or something.

I'm trying to restrain myself from giving money to any candidates this year. 2008 turned out to be an expensive election year for me, and none of my candidates won.

miller said...

Being against an open border isn't "conservative." It's just common sense.

I don't know what goes on in a liberal mind that they have no problem with the marching masses from the south and the east coming across our borders and magically becoming pseudo-citizens simply by being law-breakers. But it's a sick thing, and it's guaranteed to destroy the country, because it sets at the get-go the notion that breaking the law is the right thing to do to get what you want. We are nation of laws, not men and not "but my feelings tell me this is right."

And yeah, I've given money to politicians too. Few have won. I'm hoping to break the streak with Rossi here in Washington State. He looks like he could finally untie the laces of the old lady in tennis shoes.

Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said...

"Wisconsin is considered a swing state, but it's been pretty reliably blue in Presidential and senate elections for a long time now. The last time a Republican received Wisconsin's electoral votes was 1984. The last time a Republican won as Senate election here was 1986."

Sure, but Kerry only beat Bush by only 11,400 votes out of nearly 3 million in 2004:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2004

Without Bush's sour-faced first debate, WI would have gone for W.

Original Mike said...

Yeah, Wisconsin is close enough that the Dems feel a need to commit voter fraud.

Brian Hancock said...

That is amazingly close - I made a vow not to vote for a Democrat again after health care passed, even though I like and have voted for Feingold.

Ron Johnson has zero name recognition, IMHO.

Wonder how Tommy would be doing at this point?

Calypso Facto said...

Since Johnson has just appeared on the scene and we know next to nothing about him, this really is a question of Russ or Anybody-but-Russ at this point. Amazing that it's a dead heat. Stick to your fiscal principles, Ron, and I like your chances!

c3 said...

from his wikipedia entry:
Feingold is also a well-known advocate for reductions in pork barrel spending

So how did he vote on the stimulus bill?

MadisonMan said...

Ron Johnson has zero name recognition, IMHO.

He had good lines in Blazing Saddles.

Chase said...

There has been a lot of discussion about Rasmussen's pro-GOP bias

What idiot can actually provide evidence of such? Oh opinion, plenty. But evidence?.

Not a chance in hell. Give it up. your side is down, deal with it. Stop lying and fucking up the process for real people who are actually concerned.

Original Mike said...

So how did he vote on the stimulus bill?

Just looked it up. He voted for it. I was disappointed, because I half expected that he'd have voted no. But, alas, it was not so.

rocketeer67 said...

I'm surprised George Will wuold write approvingly of Johnson. I mean, the man used to wear jeans, for goodness' sake.

Calypso Facto said...

@ Rocketeer: Ron must be a fellow baseball fan.

Trooper York said...

AJ Lynch said...
Ron Johnson was one of Trooper's favorite New York Giants.

Right you are. Right up there with Tucker Fredrickson, Spider Lockhart, Jerry Shay and Doug Kotar.

c3 said...

Trooper;
Right up there with Tucker Fredrickson, Spider Lockhart, Jerry Shay and Doug Kotar.

You are dating yourself, man. And where's the love for Pete Gogalak

In the Mood said...

Ann Althouse wrote "I don't think I've given anyone money in the last 10 years."

If well off law professors (Ann makes around $160,000) won't participate in funding elections who will?

Ann, do you support public financing? Or are you just comfortable with our elections being paid for by big corporate interests?

It seems that Ann here is part of the problem and not part of the solution!

In the Mood said...

Ann, you document here on your blog all of the money you spend on expensive little electronic trinkets. (How's that new IPad?)

Why are you so tight fisted when it comes to paying for our democracy? You have not contributed ONE dollar in the last ten years? How many millions do you think Big Oil has given over the last ten years?

In the Mood said...

Next Meade and Ann are going to tell us that while they believe private charity should take care of the less fortunate they do not actually give any of their money or volunteer time to such organizations...

Sussed said...

Yeah, I pretty sure it does not even cross Ann's mind to do any volunteer work. Can you imagine her working in a soup kitchen?

Neither can I.

David said...

I was completely a liberal at the time. I mainly just didn't like giving up money.

No need to be redundant.

As for the idea that "Big Oil" buys our elections in the absence of Althouse's money: HA.

Corporations can't contribute to federal candidates, so oil companies contributed nothing to Congressional or Presidential candidates.

Individuals do contribute, and Googoos generally pretend that those contributions are attributable to employers, as if employees aren't citizens with the right to contribute to candidates of their choice. Althouse contributing changes nothing about individuals funding the political process.

In fact, given the arguments against citizen contributions if those citizens work for political unpopular corporations, Althouse contributing would make it worse. According to OpenSecrets.org, in the 08 cycle, individuals and PACS connected to oil and gas companies gave $35.5 million to federal candidates. Individuals alone connected to "Big Ed," on the other hand, gave $57 million.

Big Ed, most of whose members are employed by the government and who are trying to flex their political muscles and choose their own bosses, are a much bigger threat to the political system than Big Oil.

Trooper York said...

"You are dating yourself, man. And where's the love for Pete Gogalak"

I don't like fuurineers.

Don't you know all conservatives are racists and xenophobes.

Trooper York said...

Of course I always thought xenophobes were just guys who were afraid of hot looking athletic lesbians.

M.E. said...

Ann, this is the year to break out of your routine! Vote against a been-there-too-long incumbent, vote for a citizen legislator, vote for someone who has common sense, believes in freedom, and will help stop the radical leftists in Congress.

I'm enthusiastically supporting Ron Johnson. I think he'll win it, too.


wv -- madstori: a tale about Wisconsin's captital city.

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann, do you support public financing?"

Absolutely not.

"Or are you just comfortable with our elections being paid for by big corporate interests?"

Oh, bullshit. There are limits on contributions. As for free speech, I support it.

"It seems that Ann here is part of the problem and not part of the solution!"

I'm part of the solution of free speech, and I'm making a better contribution through observation and cruel neutrality than picking a favorite and helping him spread his message. That's an easy call.

"Ann, you document here on your blog all of the money you spend on expensive little electronic trinkets. (How's that new IPad?)"

No, I don't. I buy lots of stuff that I never even mention. By spending the money I make, I help the economy and by choosing things I like, I enjoy the fruits of my labor. The notion that I should share my money with politicians is ridiculous. I'd rather give to the Red Cross.

"Why are you so tight fisted when it comes to paying for our democracy? You have not contributed ONE dollar in the last ten years?"

Correct! And I'm proud of my record!

"Yeah, I pretty sure it does not even cross Ann's mind to do any volunteer work. Can you imagine her working in a soup kitchen?"

I do public service every day. You're soaking in it.

AJ Lynch said...

In the Moon reminds me "To the moon Alice!". Was that one of the greatest TV lines ever or what!

Trooper York said...

"I do public service every day. You're soaking in it"

Hee.

Revenant said...

"The most basic right," Johnson says, "is the right to keep your property." Remembering the golden age when, thanks to Ronald Reagan, the top income tax rate was 28 percent, Johnson says: "For a brief moment we were 72 percent free.

Is gay marriage legal in Wisconsin? Because I love this man truly and deeply. :)

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

It's not like his position isn't sufficiently nonsensical for an endorsement.

My political ideas would be so much simpler if my only position were to cut the top marginal tax rates while keeping 67% of the budget intact.

Your naivite is almost as pleasant as watching children playing and then deciding to run in circles to the point of dizziness.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

"Or are you just comfortable with our elections being paid for by big corporate interests?"

Oh, bullshit. There are limits on contributions. As for free speech, I support it.


The idea that speech is freer the more money required for people to hear it is one swell oxymoron.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I gave him money when he first ran for office in 1992. He was the first (and almost the only) candidate I ever gave money to, and I did it because he personally called me, more than once.

I bet you didn't even bother to ask him how he stood on any issues important to you. How congenial!

Or rather, how easily influenced.

Sussed said...

Ann wrote "I do public service every day. You're soaking in it."

Ann, your narcissism gets quite comical at times.

MadisonMan said...

You're soaking in it.

(laugh). Madge Althouse.

What could be more American than trying to get people to give away their money? (Sarcasm off) I say ignore anyone who tries to get you to give money to anyone.

amba said...

You were still completely a liberal in 1998?? Wow! I actually beat you to being a non-liberal!

wv bounknog -- a whack on the head?

LonewackoDotCom said...

How can you tell when the stage at the Ron Johnson rally is level? When he's drooling out of both sides of his mouth.

RoJo is a libertarian, and the default libertarian position (without which one isn't a "true" libertarian) is to support a "free movement of people".

That would result in U.S. wages stablizing somewhere between those of, say, Mali and Burma. If we got that far: the Chinese would move into the U.S. just as they're moving into Africa and would attempt to gain partial or full control of parts of our territory.

It's not just that libertarians are insane: it's also that they're ideology is the opposite of patriotic.

P.S. They also have a fascistic streak a mile wide. I know, having commented for years at their forums. Almost none of them have tried to engage my arguments. Instead, all they can do is try to smear me and lie. In some cases, all they can manage is something a child would write, as is the case with Scott Forsell.

Palladian said...

Is Mary In The Mood?

Revenant said...

That would result in U.S. wages stablizing somewhere between those of, say, Mali and Burma. If we got that far: the Chinese would move into the U.S. just as they're moving into Africa and would attempt to gain partial or full control of parts of our territory.

This is an excellent example of why I smile when Wacko holds himself up as an example of someone who is *helping* the fight against illegal immigration. :)

AC245 said...

Wow, L.E. Lee / Not a Hillbilly / UW Law Babe / ChiMan / Coffee Guy / Jimmy / coffee guy / Fiscal Conservative Guy / In the Mood / Sussed.

You've got at least 42 pages of vitriolic comments here on Althouse's blog under almost a dozen sockpuppets.

That's pretty pathetic.

JulieDB said...

I think if Johnson wants to keep his money, then he should take his tired old wrinkled butt and running shoes over to Afghanistan instead. He put Bush into power and is responsible for the trillion borrowed debt to fund these idiotic wars. Johnson seems to be in excellent health,