Thursday, October 27, 2016

Russ Feingold Ad and the Wisconsin Humane Society

Have you seen the ad touting Russ Feingold as the champion of pets and other animals?

Read the full press release announcing the ad.


The Humane Society Legislative Fund, the nation’s leading political advocacy organization for animal welfare, announces the launch of a new television ad campaign in Wisconsin supporting Russ Feingold for U.S. Senate. The ads, which begin airing in the Milwaukee and Madison media markets on Tuesday, October 25, are aimed at informing voters of Feingold’s established history of support for common-sense animal protection policies.

“Russ Feingold has a consistent, proven record on animal protection and wildlife conservation,” said Sara Amundson, executive director of the HSLF. “Voters in Wisconsin deserve to know that Russ Feingold does what’s right for working families—including our animals.”
Apparently, the Wisconsin Humane Society has been getting inundated with questions about their supposed leap into politics.

The WHS is not associated with the group behind the ad.

Here's their statement:


October 26, 2016: We have been flooded with inquiries about the political ads endorsing Russ Feingold in Wisconsin’s senate race. These political ads are not backed, endorsed, coordinated with, or paid for by the Wisconsin Humane Society. We never endorse candidates in political elections.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is funding and airing these ads through its political arm, “Humane Society Legislative Fund.” We understand that people may be confused, as our names are similar, but we are in no way a part of, nor a member of HSUS. There is no national umbrella organization for animal shelters and WHS is an independent, local nonprofit animal shelter.

We reached out to HSUS to request that they clarify that the Wisconsin Humane Society is not linked to this campaign in any way. At this link, you’ll find this passage in their official press release:

The Humane Society Legislative Fund is the nation’s leading political advocacy organization for animal welfare. HSLF raises its own money and has its own governing structure that is independent of The Humane Society of the United States, which is expressly prohibited from endorsing candidates in elections. What’s more, HSLF is in no way affiliated with the Wisconsin Humane Society or other local organizations, which generally are also expressly prohibited from making candidate endorsements.

We proudly work with legislators on both sides of the aisle on laws that affect Wisconsin’s animals, like the “puppy mill bill” signed into law with bipartisan support in 2010. We never make candidate endorsements. Our adopters and friends come from a variety of perspectives and beliefs; we serve all of them to ensure a better future for Wisconsin’s animals.

I'm glad that the Wisconsin Humane Society was "flooded" with inquiries about the Feingold ad.

It shows people are paying attention and probably many donors weren't happy about what appeared to be political advocacy by the WHS.

It was important to issue this statement to prevent an exodus of supporters.

I'm not sure the WHS statement will be enough to counter the impact of the TV ads.

I expect many people will continue to believe there is a connection between the political advocacy organization promoting Feingold and the Wisconsin Humane Society.

The confusion is understandable.


Anonymous said...

More of the same from Russ: obtusely false and misleading ads. Aside from the tipping the balance of power, Russ's election would mean losing one of the few serious senators the country has. Ron Johnson is a happy soldier; Russ just wants the seat.

Mary said...

Feingold thinks he's entitled to that seat. Ron Johnson has earned the privilege of reelection.