October 22, 2014

Relentless political ads should end

Will we finally get some action on campaign spending – and a break from nonstop political ads? Wisconsin’s status as a battleground state contributed to an endless stream of negative media ads. Millions were spent on the Tommy Thompson/Tammy Baldwin Senate race, which featured a third-party ad that air so frequently, there were anecdotal reports of parents complaining that toddlers were repeating its signature line – “you’re damn right.”

 AUDIO: Bob Hague reports (1:10)

Add to that millions spent here on the presidential race, record spending in a U.S. House race in northern Wisconsin’s 7th district, and even outside spending on legislative races, and Mike McCabe with the Wisconsin Democracy campaign said it’s no wonder people are fed up. McCabe said it’s hard to imagine any industry advertising itself the way politics does. “What they’re doing is just administering hundreds of doses of poison every single day, and that leads nowhere good,” said McCabe.

A report by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found that outside political groups spent a record of more than $45.7 million on the U.S. Senate race. The newspaper’s editorial board calls on Congress and the state legislature to fix the broken campaign finance system.