Politifact: Ad attacking Feingold is false

Posted at 7:18 PM, May 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-12 16:42:22-04

A new TV ad is raising questions on how then Senator Russ Feingold handled concerns over veterans being over prescribed painkillers at the Tomah VA Medical Center.

The Politifact team at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the attack ad does not add up.

A Super PAC group backing Republican Ron Johnson in the U.S. Senate race is spending big money on the new ad.

It claims then Senator Feingold received a memo from a whistle blower about serious problems with prescription drugs at the Tomah VA Center.

"I found out that Russ Feingold got a memo in 2009 that outlined veteran harm and nothing was done." says Ryan Honl in the TV ad.

Deaths of veterans were later linked to the over-prescription of painkillers at the facility.

The ad suggests the memo was hand delivered to Feingold, but Tom Kertscher at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Politifact found no evidence of that.

"The person who wrote the memo describing the problems at the VA said she thought the memo had been delivered to Feingold, but said she was mistaken. Feingold said he had no record the memo was every delivered."

Jsonline also reports the Freedom Partners Action Fund, the Super PAC behind the ad made a revised version that essentially walks back its claim.

That happened after three Wisconsin TV stations pulled the ad when Feingold's campaign claimed it was inaccurate.

"We rated the [attack ad's]  statement false because there is no evidence that Feingold ever received the memo about the problems at the VA facility in Tomah," said Kertscher.