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One Wisconsin Now files complaint over Paul Ryan television ads

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Paul Ryan (8-29-12)

MADISON — “One Wisconsin Now” has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging Paul Ryan is improperly using Congressional campaign funds to boost the Republican presidential ticket.

In a statement, “One Wisconsin Now” says Ryan is pouring at least $2 million into television ads, in which the candidate never mentions he is running for Congress, in the two largest media markets in the state.

“Wisconsin is widely considered to be a key swing state in the presidential election, and many pundits and political observers viewed the selection of Ryan as an attempt to boost the GOP campaign here. I don’t think they had in mind Ryan would possibly violate federal campaign finance laws to do it. It’s perfectly legal for Ryan to run for Congress and Vice-President at the same time. But he crosses a legal line if, as it appears with his television ads, he uses congressional campaign funds to promote his run on the GOP presidential ticket,” “One Wisconsin Now” Executive Director Scot Ross said in a statement.

In the complaint filed with the FEC, “One Wisconsin Now” noted that:

  • The $2 million television ad buy in the two largest media markets in Wisconsin roughly double the largest amount spent on TV ads by the campaign over the last decade.
  • Ryan is making this buy despite the district being made considerably “safer” for Republicans after redistricting and after releasing of a poll commissioned by the campaign reporting Ryan held a 25 point (58-33) advantage.
  • In none of the five ads released to date by the campaign, all featuring Congressman Ryan talking to the camera, does the candidate mention he is currently a U.S. Representative, running for re-election to that office or make an appeal to voters for their support in his election for U.S. Representative.

A copy of the letter sent to the Federal Election Commission Wednesday by “One Wisconsin Now,” is available here.

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