Down by double digits to rising Republican star Ron Johnson in the polls, Wisconsin Democrat senator Russ Feingold coughed up one of the worst political ads of this campaign cycle – and proceeded to get himself in hot water with the No Fun League in the bargain.
The footage of the defunct USFL’s Houston Gamblers was probably enough to get Feingold’s point across, such as it is – why it would be to his advantage to point out how far ahead his opponent has gotten is a question worth asking. But Feingold, whose all-out assault on the First Amendment (McCain-Feingold) as it relates to political campaigns was his claim to fame before the Supreme Court struck it down earlier this year, had to step out of bounds by throwing in a block in the back – footage of Randy Moss “mooning” a Green Bay Packer crowd from when Moss played for archrival Minnesota.
Guess Feingold, the lawmaker dealing in bills with thousands of pages of rules, wasn’t aware that the NFL has rules, too. Now he is.
The NFL is very protective of its footage. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told THE WEEKLY STANDARD that the NFL did not give Feingold permission to use the video. “We did not license the footage and have contacted the Senator’s campaign about removing it,” Aiello says.
Feingold’s opponent jumped on the controversy. From campaign manager Juston Johnson:
“Sen. Feingold’s mask is off. He created the image of an independent clean campaigner but the reality is he’s raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars from radical liberal groups like MoveOn.org and is using NFL licensed footage without permission in his latest attack ad. Wisconsinites are tired of out of touch career politicians like Russ Feingold and are ready to send Ron Johnson to Washington to focus on jobs and the economy.”