Russ Feingold makes a lot of noise about lobbyists and their influence in Washington DC.  In his latest ad, “On Our Side,” Feingold argues that he acts on the side of regular folks against the special interests that plague the Beltway.  And who does Feingold use as a surrogate to show just how opposed he is to special-interest lobbyists?  A lobbyist from the AFL-CIO:

The Wisconsin GOP sees this as a revealing moment:

Earlier this month, as part of his ongoing election-year re-invention, Russ Feingold released an ad called “On Our Side,” featuring what are supposed to be ordinary Wisconsinites praising Feingold for siding with them. But who is Feingold siding with? As it turns out, one of the people featured in the ad is high-powered AFL-CIO lobbyist Joanne Ricca.

“Did Russ Feingold really need to spend all that money on an ad to show off that he sides with the lobbyists and special interests over the people of Wisconsin? Or did the big unions just want some screen time as payback for more than a million dollars in campaign contributions? Either way, Russ Feingold is making it pretty clear who he really sides with at the end of the day,” said Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin. …

Contrary to his well-tailored image, Sen. Feingold has been a long-time favorite of lobbyists and special interest groups and has consistently stood with them on liberal pieces of legislation such as card check. Feingold has repeatedly told the voters of Wisconsin that lobbyists have “tainted” the system in Washington and he would work to “limit special access.” But having lobbyists star in his campaign commercials and accepting more than one million dollars in Union PAC contributions throughout his career in the Senate shows a different — and more accurate — side.

Better watch this ad while you can. Something tells me it will get pulled in the near future.

Update: Did they shoot this ad in the AFL-CIO office?  The first woman in the ad is almost certainly Linda Sadowski, who works in “the office of the President.”

Good catch in the comments by reshas1.