Roys Releases Attack Ad on Pocan


The Democratic primary for Wisconsin’s 2nd congressional seat turned contentious Tuesday as State Rep. Kelda Roys unveiled a TV ad sharply critical of votes taken by fellow lawmaker Mark Pocan. Some Democrats thought it was a step too far.

Roys’ ad zeroes in on votes Pocan made in favor of two bills backed by Gov. Scott Walker, shortly before the governor unveiled his collective bargaining bill. “At the beginning when it counted, he could have stood up to Walker. But instead, Mark Pocan caved in.”

One of the bills expanded a pool of money the state can use to lure companies to Wisconsin. The other gave a tax break to corporations in other states that relocate here. Roys stood by the ad when asked about it Tuesday at a Wispolitics forum: “These bills are corporate tax giveaways. They are going to increase Wisconsin’s structural deficit. And they are not going to foster job creation.”

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Pocan called the ad a do-anything, say-anything style of politics. He noted that the economic incentives bill actually expanded a program backed by Democrats when they were in the majority. “In fact, last session when we created the program, I believe every single Democrat voted for the program and voted to expand the program. So we had multiple votes on it. And I stand by my vote.”

Policy arguments aside, what’s arguably most memorable about the Roys ad is when it shows Pocan’s picture on the screen and superimposes the word “failed” over his face. Some Democrats thought it was a step too far. Evansville Assembly Democrat Janice Ringhand had not backed either candidate until Tuesday, when she endorsed Pocan, “I stand by positive campaigns. And I had stayed neutral. But it’s hard when things turn negative.”

Democratic incumbent Tammy Baldwin is vacating the 2nd Congressional seat to run for U.S. Senate.

Watch the ad below: