The American Democracy Legal Fund has filed a complaint to the Senate Ethics Committee against Sen. Ron JohnsonRon JohnsonPressure builds from GOP to delay internet domain transition Juan Williams: Electoral map looks grim for Trump The Trail 2016: Sanders who? MORE (R-Wis.), accusing him of violating the Senate's Internet policy.
The group says an article posted on the senator's website — and subsequently removed — was a "partisan political attack" against former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), who is challenging Johnson for his Senate seat.
The posting of the article violated U.S. code, as well as Senate Ethics Committe rules on not using the Senate Internet for partisan reasons, the group alleges.
Johnson's office posted an article that took issue with a PolitiFact story that evaluated statements made by Feingold in June.
The fact-checking website had categorized as "mostly true" Feingold's assertion that "my opponent is opposed to all government-assisted student loans."
The reply on Johnson's website, posted under the "In the News" section, fired back, saying that "the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s PolitiFact franchise seems to have a hard time being honest about what words mean. It's not surprising then that they've found a kindred spirit in former Sen. Russ Feingold."
The American Democracy Legal Fund, which sent its complaint to Sens. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), said that "though ostensibly addressed to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s franchise, PolitiFact, the article is in fact a partisan political attack and response to Senator Russ Feingold."
The group concludes: "Senator Johnson’s actions warrant further investigation by this committee. Accordingly, we respectfully request that the Committee undertake a preliminary inquiry immediately."
Johnson is one of the most vulnerable Republicans up for reelection next year.
Feingold entered the Senate race in mid-May and raised $2.2 million, during the Federal Election Commission's latest quarter. Johnson raised $2 million during the same quarter.
Johnson’s office didn’t respond to request for comment.