Joke shop owner unhappy with Feingold commercial

MILWAUKEE -- The owner of a joke shop who appeared in a television commercial for Democratic Senate candidate Russ Feingold was not amused by what he saw.

Now Jeffrey Campbell, owner of the Joke Shop in Waukesha, is appearing in a new commercial declaring his support for Feingold's opponent, Republican Sen. Bob Kasten.


In the Feingold commercial, the state senator is shown greeting voters in Campbell's store.

In a new Kasten ad that aired Monday, Campbell claims the first commercial makes him look like he supports Feingold. Campbell said that 'couldn't be further from the truth. I'm voting for Bob Kasten.'

Campbell says in the Kasten ad that Feingold's use of him was a 'misrepresentation.'

At the close of the Kasten ad, the narrator says: 'If we can't trust Russ Feingold's ads, can we trust Russ Feingold on crime, welfare reform or taxes?'

Campbell told the Milwaukee Sentinel he is a Republican and was unhappy he was used in a Democratic ad that did not acknowledge his party affiliation.

'I don't think that was right,' he said.

Bob Hemke of Eichenbaum-Hemke, Feingold's Milwaukee advertising firm, defended the Feingold ad. He said it did not attempt to portray Campbell as a Democrat or a Feingold supporter but only as the owner of the joke shop.


Hemke said the entire conversation between Campbell and Kasten in the ad has Feingold asking 'Is this a joke shop?' and Campbell replying, 'Yes, it is.'

Campbell signed a release allowing the footage to be used in the ad, Hemke said.

Kasten's campaign manager, Paul Welday, said the Kasten campaign heard Campbell was upset with the Feingold ad after he complained to Republican friends about it.

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