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Monday, September 15, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 46.0° F  Fair
The Daily

OPINION

Russ Feingold hits a bull's-eye with 'Earned It' ad

So many recent Wisconsin political ads have failed at being clever that it's a shock to find one that actually works. Russ Feingold, the Democratic U.S. Senator campaigning for reelection, opens "Earned It" sitting at a big table with military folks. >More
 Tom Barrett exploits his injuries in 'Stand Up' ad

Tom Barrett, the Democrat running for Wisconsin governor, emerged as a hero last year when he protected a grandmother from an attacker at the State Fair. The attacker beat Barrett with a tire iron, causing severe injuries to his face and hand. It's hard to imagine a politician acting any classier. >More
 Ron Johnson fakes it in 'The Johnson Family' ad

Ron Johnson, the Wisconsin Republican running for U.S. Senate, tries to come across as "authentic" by satirizing politicians who make fake-looking TV ads with their wholesome families. In "The Johnson Family," Johnson's wife and three kids praise his virtues while emphasizing the corniness of their lines. >More
 Give trains a chance: Dane County conservatives are wrongly trying to derail transit projects

Local politics, lately, are kind of like a funhouse mirror. Everything is weirdly distorted. Take the recent push to force a commuter rail referendum on the November ballot. Advocates say the public must vote on whether to impose a half-cent sales tax for transit purposes. Fair enough, but just one problem: How can you have a meaningful vote on a plan that doesn't exist yet? >More
 Scott Walker acts like an idiot in 'Fighter' ad

Democrats have criticized Scott Walker's TV ad "Fighter." The Republican candidate for Wisconsin governor accuses Democratic rival Tom Barrett of "throwing punches at me." Then he puts on a pair of boxing gloves and vows to "go the distance as your next governor." >More
 Chad Lee lets Republicans off the hook in 'Time for Change in Washington' ad

Chad Lee is a Republican running for U.S. Representative in Wisconsin's 2nd Congressional District, and he's incensed by the 2008 Emergency Economic Stabilization Act. "Congress gave $700 billion of our tax dollars to Wall Street while they allowed 90,000 small businesses to go bankrupt!" intones the narrator for his ad "Time for a Change in Washington." >More
 Free speech on a plate

MSTRB8S. QQQQ2. RU46T9. BVRETR. No, these aren't U.S. government nuclear launch codes. They're actual entries on the list of nearly 7,000 vanity license plates banned by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. (Go ahead, read them again. See? They are sneaky gross.) >More
 Tom Barrett tries to win with jokes in 'Madison on a Diet' ad

In his ad "Madison on a Diet," Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett tries to take a humorous approach to government spending in Wisconsin. "We all know that when it comes to spending, the politicians in Madison aren't counting their calories," he says, sitting in a diner. >More
 Mark Neumann waves the flag in 'Conservative Rally' ad

Mark Neumann is running in the Republican primary for governor of Wisconsin, and if you doubted that he's an American citizen, this ad will clear up any confusion. It's set in a room decked out with red-white-and-blue flags and bunting, and the smiling attendees also carry flags for good measure. >More
 It's the stupid season, stupid

The other day I got an urgent call from a campaign staffer for Tom Barrett, the Democratic candidate for governor. It seems that a spokeswoman for Scott Walker, one of Barrett's Republican rivals for the state's top job, retweeted a tweet from another Walker campaign official that linked to a YouTube video of dancing blacks, in a song about a train, apropos of Walker's opposition to high-speed rail. The spokeswoman claimed she linked to the video by mistake. Barrett's backers scoffed at this. >More
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