The oil leak in the Gulf may be capped, but here in Wisconsin political controversy over Great Lakes drilling continues to bubble. Did he or didn’t he? Senator Russ Feingold says Republican Senate candidate Ron Johnson did tell WisPolitics that he’d support oil drilling in the Great Lakes. “Mr Johnson said clearly, when he was asked would you support drilling in the Great Lakes, he said I’ll drill wherever there is oil,” Feingold said Sunday while campaigning at the Dane County Fair in Madison. “The fact is, this is going to happen again, if people like Mr. Johnson are running the show. He said the reason that this happened is that the oil companies were over regulated, not under regulated. Now if anyone else in their right mind believes that, I’d like to understand why. That’s the difference between me and Mr. Johnson. He wants weak laws for the oil companies, and want to make sure we don’t drill in the Great Lakes.”
Feingold’s campaign used the Johnson comment in an ad. The Johnson campaign issued a statement that he would not support any efforts to overturn the current provision which outlaws drilling in the Great Lakes. No take backs, says Feingold. “That was his honest answer, and then his campaign people said Ron you can’t say that. That’s not how it goes. If you say something, you gotta live with. I’m glad he’s come to his senses and realized you can’t drill in the Great Lakes, but that was his first instinct.”
Feingold was campaigning at the Dane County Fair on Sunday. Johnson will have a chance to clarify his views in Madison a week from today: he’s the featured speaker at a WisPolitics luncheon next Monday.