Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ribble Indebted to the Voters for Campaign Victory

I realize journalism is in something of a sorry state here in the new media age, but I read this story on the site of a local radio station and couldn't help but be confused.  That is my bold in the quote below.

1150 WHBY » News » Special interest group targeted Wis. races
Some of the races for Congress a lot of outside money in the last election.

Dave Levinthal of the Center for Responsible Politics says groups spent more than $2 million on the race between Reid Ribble and Steve Kagen, in the eighth congressional district.

He says that was the 18th most special interest money for any race in the House of Representatives. Levinthal says now voters have to watch to see if the money affects the way that Congressman-elect Reid Ribble votes.
I think just about anyone reading this story would get the message that the outside spending in this election went to benefit winner Reid Ribble.  The line that I highlighted has a rather ominous tone suggesting that Ribble will somehow be indebted to that outside money.  The only problem with this story is that the outside money was spent primarily in an effort to re-elect Steve Kagen, an effort which ultimately failed.

The Center for Responsive Politics compiles the numbers on campaign spending and reports them at  After about fifteen minutes of poking around, I was able to find the 2010 outside spending breakdown for WI-8 and as I said, it was Kagen that primarily benefited.

About $220,000 was spent in support of Reid Ribble and about $630,000 in opposition to Steve Kagen, for a total of about $850,000 of outside spending that went to benefit Ribble's campaign.

About $250,000 was spent in support of Steve Kagen and $1.1 million in opposition to Ribble, for a total of about $1.3 million of outside money spent in an attempt to get Steve Kagen re-elected. (A big chunk of this was from the public employees union, AFSME.)

The news story above gives the exact opposite impression of outside spending in the race for WI-8.  The line I highlighted above isn't a direct quote, so perhaps it's been misrepresented in some way.  If so, I'd say WHBY should be a little more thorough in its reporting.  If not, I'd say Mr. Levinthal ought to check out the numbers his group reports before issuing statements.

Either way, while I think we have a responsibility to hold our new congressman accountable for his actions in office, I really doubt that he feels indebted to anyone other than the voters for his victory.


Dad29 said...


By the way, that's "AFSCME"

Can't forget the "C".

Jeremy R. Shown said...

Thanks dad. It was just a typo I meant no offense to our friends at the county.

Dale said...


Your boy Ribble got most of his money from his out of state - out of district contracting budding...that is who he is indebted to...

My he pays them off. I am sure he will be supporting some very nice tax cuts and incentives for that industry....

Oh ya...he will do squat to steam the flow of low cost foreign labor into this country...that's hoe h and his cronies make the money to support thier candidates. It's just a circle, they pay to get him elected, he takes care of them through legislation.

No change...same old same old.