Dr. Steve Kagen is misleading and dishonest

Did you see the TV commercial that ran on CBS during halftime of today’s Packers/Bills game? First, watch it for yourself so you know what I’m talking about.

In the ad, Rep. Steve Kagen says that Reid Ribble wants to phase out Social Security “forcing Wisconsin seniors to fend for themselves.” Kagen cleverly took a very small clip out of a response Ribble gave at a forum, and twisted it to change its meaning. Reid Ribble does NOT want to force Wisconsin seniors to fend for themselves.

I posted the unedited TV commercial above because it shows quite obviously how misleading and dishonest Dr. Steve Kagen is. How can we trust this man? Come on folks, use your common sense. Who in their right mind would say such a thing? Do you REALLY believe Reid Ribble (or anyone) wants Wisconsin seniors to just “fend for themselves?” After they’ve been paying into the system their entire lives?

All Ribble is doing is recognizing the fact that our CURRENT Social Security system is broke and needs fixing. In Kagen’s ad, Ribble says, “somehow we have to establish a phase out of the current Social Security system”. But if Kagen had played Ribble’s quote for just FOUR MORE WORDS, you would have heard this, “somehow we have to establish a phase out of the current Social Security system TO A NEW SYSTEM.” It sure makes a difference doesn’t it? Ribble does NOT want to leave our Wisconsin seniors to “fend for themselves.” He wants to phase out the CURRENT system. Words matter folks.

In case you’re interested, a longer clip of Ribble’s speech is available on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s YouTube channel. I suppose they’ve posted it as a slam against Ribble???? Actually, I don’t know why they’d post it. The only thing I can think of is that the Democrats simply have no idea what they’re doing. Anyway, here it is:

When you hear Ribble’s statement in the context of his full response to the question, it sure is different isn’t it? Kagen’s ad aired on TV during a Packer game in Wisconsin. He was obviously trying to scare senior citizens into voting for him. I don’t like it when people try to scam our senior citizens.

Isn’t there an age old gentleman’s custom that one man should not talk badly about another man’s Mother? Well, Dr. Kagen, when you say that Reid Ribble wants Wisconsin seniors to “fend for themselves,” that’s my Mother you’re talking about. And I’ll say this. I sure would rather have Reid Ribble fending for my Mother rather than you Dr. Kagen.

The ad finishes by saying “tell Republican Reid Ribble to keep his hands off our Social Security.” Again, a little common sense here folks. Do you really want that? Do you REALLY want congress keeping their hands off and leaving Social Security as it is? Have you been living under a rock for the past decade? We can’t leave it alone. Social Security is broke (in more ways than one). In it’s CURRENT form, it needs to be phased out and a new system needs to be established to ensure that there is indeed money there when we retire (which is exactly what Ribble says in the extended version of his speech).

The worst part of the ad is the last line, “I’m Dr. Steve Kagen. I approved this message.” That’s my CURRENT congressional representative speaking. Do I need to state the obvious? Dr. Steve Kagen is a manipulative, dishonest man, and I’m extremely disappointed that he represents me in congress. He should have just said, “I’m Dr. Steve Kagen. I have nothing good to say about my own record in congress, and Reid Ribble has no political record to criticize, so I manipulated his speech to make it sound like he wants seniors to fend for themselves. And I approved this message.”

Come on folks. Do you really want this guy representing you? He’s been in office four years. What has he done for you?

Reid Ribble is an honest businessman who has never been in politics. He’s running because he wants to serve you and me. We need to restore some honor and dignity in Congress. Let’s phase out our CURRENT congressman on November 2.

UPDATE: Tue 2010-09-21 Reid Ribble’s real position on Social Security

Comments 5

  • Here’s a transcript of the 1:47 video above. In it Reid Ribble was responding to a question about Social Security.

    “…and so somehow we have to establish a phase out of the current Social Security system to a new system, and that will have to happen over time. It could happen in a single generation. It will probably require a fair amount of change in retirement age. In 1937, when Franklin Roosevelt signed that bill, the average life expectancy for a white female in the U.S. was 62 years, for a white male it was 59 years, for African Americans it was less than that. And as a result, it was never a big intention of having to pay much money out. And the tax was only one percent and it was just for retirement.

    And the coverage, as you are aware, has been expanded but hasn’t been adjusted. The average life expectency today is over 74 years. And so we have a whole different dynamic that’s never been addressed.

    I’ll tell ya, it’s a difficult one to even talk about because as soon as someone says you have to change it the AARP is going to spend two million dollars in the district to make sure you don’t get elected. So I’ll tell you, where’s the young lady that asked this question, is she still here? I appreciate that question, I am in this race for you because it has to change. It will bankrupt this country if it doesn’t change.

    I envision a shift in how that system works so that by the time you get there, you’re not only responsible for your own, but we’ve made tax law available to help you be responsible for your own. And that the government can’t take that money from you and give it to somebody else. That is in fact a ponzi scheme. That’s what put Bernie Madoff in prison for a hundred and fifty years by the way. The exact same thing, the math doesn’t work, and so we have to change the math.”

  • I just thought I’d throw on this addendum, in case it’s not obvious. You do understand WHY Rep. Kagen would do something like this, don’t you? Think back just a couple of weeks to the Wisconsin governor primary, and the negative ads that Scott Walker ran on TV against Mark Neumann. Then think about the response ads that Mark Neumann ran. This posed two significant problems for Mark Neumann. First, those response ads weren’t free. The negative attacks forced Neumann to spend precious campaign funds on his response. Second, while Neumann was running those response ads, he wasn’t running the more positive ads that he preferred to run. In other words, Scott Walker (the attacker) took control of Mark Neumann’s campaign.

    This is exactly what Dr. Steve Kagen is doing. It’s a well known fact that Kagen has more money than Ribble. So now, while we’re still early in the race, Kagen is trying to control how Ribble spends his money by making up lies and distorting the truth.

    Folks, we MUST get Kagen out of office. This crap has got to stop.

  • Thanks Scott. Is Rep. Kagen’s need to run on fear due to the lack of real, effective solutions on his part? It’s time we elevate the debate to a statesmanship level. Instead of conserving power at all costs, why not actually let the electorate decide who is best for the district based on honesty?

  • Well said Scott. If Kagen’s so damn good for Wisconsin, why can’t he just lay out his “accomnplishments” rather than playing defense, or even lying about his opponent? This man knows what he’s done, and that it’s NOT what his voters wanted. He has deliberately served the wrong master and now all he can do is TRY to paint Ribble as something even worse than himself. Inadvertently he sinks to a new low while doing this. NO integrity. NO honesty, No 3rd term for Kagen.

  • Scott, thank you for posting both videos here. Edward is right that Congressman Kagen’s voted against us, over and over. Why not run on his votes “for” we the people of the 8th? Why not run on his support of Obamacare? Why not tell us all about how cap & trade would have raised our energy bills? Because he’s a turncoat. He took our votes and then took it to us! I hope Steve Kagen spends a million dollars on TV ads and that Reed Ribble STILL cleans his clock in 5 weeks!