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Some may consider this a frivolous post, but I've spent some time recently looking up information on the Wisconsin Senator and damned if I can find one thing that he didn't do right.

Feingold voted against: The war, the patriot act, NCLB, the bush tax cuts, the partial-birth abortion ban, DOMA, Anti-terrorism and effective death penalty act, NAFTA, the list keeps going and going....

This guy has some guts! But not only did he stand AGAINST the worst, but he also stood FOR the best.

-McCain/Feingold - nuff said
-supported spending caps
-has very high rating from LCV, NAACP, Leadership Council on Civil Rights, National Hispanic Leadership
-Is a defecit hawk
-Doesn't accept his own pay raises.
-moderate on gun control issues
-opposes national standardized testing

Is there something I'm missing? It seems too good to be true. Unless one of you has some major dirt on him that I don't know about, Russ Feingold is among the greatest senators ever elected.

Originally posted to Bundy on Thu Feb 05, 2004 at 10:42 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yup, Russ rocks (none)
    He's my favorite step-uncle in law ;)

    (we've never actually met, but he's my wife's brother's wife's uncle, whatever that is).

    Russ makes me wish I lived in Wisconsin. Or, rather, that I lived in Portland, Oregon, and he was a senator there (since I don't really want to live in Wisconsin).

    Always be sincere, even if you don't mean it.

    by justinb on Thu Feb 05, 2004 at 10:45:29 PM PST

  •  Feingold rocks a lot (none)
    Totally.  One of the only Democrats worth the time, effort, and money it takes to get elected...

    Kerry sucks. Bush sucks more.

    by ChicagoDem on Thu Feb 05, 2004 at 10:45:44 PM PST

  •  Re-election (none)
    Isn't Wisconsin very conservative?

    If Wisconscin puts an anti-gay marriage amendment on the ballot in November, do you think that will lead to increased fundie turnout and make him lose reelection?

    •  dunno (none)
      I don't honestly know how liberal/conservative Wisconsin is, but Kos thinks his re-election odds are good. I'm from California, but I'd love to contribute to Feingold's campaign if I was't a jobless college student.
      •  wow (none)
        I was going to comment about how liberal wisconsin is but it turns out that its a swing state or at least only leans dem and went to gore by only 5,000 votes out of about 2.5 million, but nader got 94,000.

        On the other hand he isn't actually all that liberal. He voted to confirm ashcroft as AG and his national journal rankings are only %70-%80 liberal. Indeed, he actually less liberal than John Kerry. Funny that. He also won his last election by only 51%-48% allthough he does seem likely to win again. In general he seems to be a really courageous guy.

        Put your money where your mouth is.

        by samiam on Thu Feb 05, 2004 at 11:26:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  no opposition (none)
      Feingold's possible GOP opponents at this point are jokes, and are making the mistake from what I hear of going after him for opposing the Patriot Act-- something that liberals and conservatives alike in Wisconsin apparently praise Feingold for these days. I'd be shocked if he had a tough time.
    •  hmm... (none)
      Wisconsin is more maverick than conservative.  The libertarians got over 10% in the 2002 gubernatorial elections, and the Greens were over 2%.  Everyone around here, though, seems to assume Feingold is safe.  In 1998, he ran without taking any PAC money (I was something like that, anyway), and had a close shave since he was outspent by so much, but I doubt he does that again.  I get the sense that Tommy Thompson's departure has left the Wisconsin GOP flailing a bit, despite their control of the legislature.

      Check out my blog if you like discussion of the Middle East and other random topics.

      by Brian Ulrich on Thu Feb 05, 2004 at 11:16:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not how it goes (none)
      Here in WI, an amendment must pass two consecutive sessions of the legislature (two-year sessions!) before it's on the ballot.  The only thing that will hurt Dems here this fall is if the "Recall Doyle" effort against our D governor takes off.
  •  wow (none)
    God damn, that does rock. I knew his name from McCain-Feingold, but not this other stuff.

    Wisconsin has a very strong progressive/independent streak. Dean's counting on that to push Kerry on the 17th.

  •  Telecomm (none)
    Feingold was one of 5 senators to vote against the atrocious 1996 Telecommunications act, which has basically let Clearchannel rape our radio air waves. (the other senators were McCain, Wellstone, Dorgan..and i forget the last one). Feingold is now leading the effort to overturn a lot of the radio deregulation rules and spoke at the media reform conference i went to in Madison. he's a very eloquent, funny, intelligent speaker. i hope he runs for president someday.
  •  Trade (none)
    Dude, since when did opposing NAFTA become brave for the Democratic party?

    Where do I go if I want to be in the Clinton wing of the Democrats?

    Yeah, Finegold rocks.  But so does trade.

    •  NAFTA and trade (none)
      NAFTA-style trade kicks ass if your horizon is 5 to 9 years out. Anything past that, if you haven't evolved to an economy of pure energy, your consumers are either jobless or drowning in debt, you don't produce anything domestically anymore, and a "recovery" is where corporate earnings get a bump from overseas sales.

      I'm not even considering what it does to the slave-laborers in Guatemala, China, and the Dominican Republic. That "cheap" labor has a pretty high cost.

      Always be sincere, even if you don't mean it.

      by justinb on Thu Feb 05, 2004 at 11:07:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  i live in wisconsin.... (none)
    and he is every bit as great as his record indicates. principled, agressive, and not ashamed to fight for what he believes.

    kinda like a presidential candidate i support....

    wisconsin has a great progressive tradition, but both houses of the legislature are controlled by republicans. a democrat lives in the governor's mansion though. just the other day an effort to override the governor's veto of a conceal and carry bill failed by only one vote.

    bush lost wisconsin by only a few thousand votes.

    in my mind, russ feingold proves that a democrat who strongly advocates for what he believes can win here - even if his beliefs go against popular opinion.
    •  about Feingold... (none)
      Does anyone think it would be a good idea for us to write to him to politely ask him to endorse Dean before Wisconsin's primary? He might do it; it might make a difference in the primar; it can't hurt.
  •  Ashcroft (none)
    Feingold did vote to confirm the whackjob whom he now criticizes with such frequency and ability. However, this is to be chalked up to his fierce standing on principle as well-- it wasn't the deciding vote in the least, and he said that any President should be able to appoint whomever he chose to the Cabinet within the bounds of ethical norms and proper experience (he said, and this was when there was speculation he might run for Pres. himself, that if he were in Bush's shoes he'd want the ability to appoint someone just as liberal as Ashcroft is conservative).
    •  Ashcroft... (none)
      ...was nominated when there were 10 D and 9 R on the Judiciary commitee. Feingold was the only D to approve; without his aye Holy John would not be ruining Justice. I will never forgive or forget that.
  •  I (heart) Russ (none)
    He makes me proud to be a Wisconsin native.  As a 7th grader I (and the three other Young Democrats in my middle school) hatched our own plan to go door to door to help Russ win his first senate race against the odious Bob Kasten.  Didn't make a lick of difference in our conservative town, but it felt good and makes me smile even more today.
  •  He's easily.... (none)
    my favorite senator. I know if I lived in Wisconsin I'd do everything I could to support him this November. All I can really do is donate to his campaign, and I probably will.

    Feingold in '08!

  •  A blemish (none)
    He voted to confirm John Ashcroft. I remember when I was campaigning against Asscrack's nomination, how dismayed I was that Russ went along. I sent him a very mean fax letting him know how I felt. ;)

    "I, too, was detained." George W. Bush, speaking to survivors of Argentinian dictatorship about a DUI bust in his youth

    by Pops on Fri Feb 06, 2004 at 03:11:17 AM PST

    •  Me, too (none)
      I received a solicitation from Feingold a while back when he was "exploring" a run for president and I also replied quite strongly to him that he should realize that his commitee vote for Ashcroft permanently ruined his chances.
  •  Feingold Fansite (none)

    I agree.

    That's why I volunteer for his campaign, and I set up Fox For Feingold, a community website for local supporters of Russ Feingold in the Fox Valley of Wisconsin. It's an industrial/paper part of the state, including Green Bay, Appleton, Menasha, Neenah and Oshkosh; towns along the lower Fox river.

    He's not as secure as you might think. He won narrowly last time, and his lone vote against USA PATRIOT is red meat for talk radio. His three main Republican challengers have smoked the peace pipe together and are "pledging to run issue-oriented campaigns" (however, WisDems note that some of the effects might be starting to wear off already)

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