As part of his grassroots campaign, Russ Feingold famously wrote his promises on his garage door:
1. I will rely on Wisconsin citizens for most of my contributions.In his 2004 race, after taking a good amount criticism from his party for having put his “seat at risk” in the ’98 campaign with his self-imposed funding cap, he did not set a cap this time. This decision, conversely, opened him up to accusations of “hypocrisy” from his opponent Tim Michels, as he spent almost $11 million in the campaign. However, Feingold was able to demonstrate that more than 90% of the funds came from Wisconsin residents giving an average of $60 and once again Feingold prevailed.
2. I will live in Middleton, Wisconsin. My children will go to school here and I will spend most of my time here in Wisconsin.
3. I will accept no pay raise during my six-year term in office.
4. I will hold a “Listening Session” in each of Wisconsin’s 72 counties each year of my six-year term in office.
5. I will hire the majority of my Senate staff from individuals who are from Wisconsin or have Wisconsin backgrounds.
The primary attacks on Russ focused on two areas, the first of which was that he was a “career politician”. It seems that experience is a quality to be touted in a Republican (like Tom Petri who has been our representative in the House for 31 years), but a negative to be overcome for a Democrat.
The second false claim constantly made by Johnson was saying that Russ consistently voted along the party line. This is completely untrue. I have always said that in my opinion, although I may not have always agreed with every vote Russ has cast…the one thing that I could be confident of was that he was voting in the way that he honestly believed to be the best course…not because someone was paying him to vote that way.
- Russ was the lone Democratic vote against the Motion to dismiss the impeachment case against President Clinton in order to give the prosecution “every reasonable opportunity” to prove the guilt of the accused.
- He also went against his party when he stood against NAFTA and other so-called “free trade” agreements.
- Russ was the lone vote against the “Patriot Act” in 2001 (as he actually READ the bill and believed that it infringed on Civil Liberties). He has since voted against reauthorization several times as his concerns were not addressed.
- Russ angered his party when he voted for the confirmation of John Ashcroft as Attorney General and for John Roberts for the United States Supreme Court.
- Russ voted against TARP and the banking industry/Wall Street bailout.
- Five days after Obama’s inauguration, Feingold and Robert Byrd were the only Democrats to vote against confirmation of Timothy Geithner to be Secretary of the Treasury.
- He introduced a bill that bans lobbyists from giving gifts to senators and put serious controls on Senators using corporate gifts (like free use of corporate jets, etc.). Additionally, this bill blocked members of Congress and their staffers from becoming lobbyists for two years after leaving office.
- The Iraq War
- Exporting American jobs overseas
- Social Security Privatization
- Expanded Military Spending
- The Patriot Act
- Prayer in Schools
- Public Education
- Gay Marriage
- National Health Care
- Women’s Reproductive Freedom
- Fair Trade
- Civil Liberties
- And other causes of social justice
“Gay and lesbian couples should be able to marry and have access to the same rights, privileges and benefits that straight couples currently enjoy. . .”
“The proposed ban on civil unions and marriage is a mean-spirited attempt to divide Wisconsin and I indicated that it should be defeated.” ~ Senator Russ Feingold
Ron Johnson opposed the Recovery Act, which created more than 640,000 jobs here in Wisconsin. He also supports teaching creationism in schools, is opposed to equal marriage rights and believes in the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in the US military. He is opposed to stem cell research and called scientists who attribute the climate crisis to man-made causes “crazy”.
Also, apparently, even though the commercials his advocates ran on his behalf constantly referenced the old adage, "When you're in a hole, stop digging", apparently our Senator Elect NOW thinks that further "digging" is the way OUT.
“Let me ask you one question…is your money that good?
Will it buy you forgiveness? Do you think that it should?
I think you will find when your death takes its toll…
All the money you made will never buy back your soul.” ~ Bob Dylan
~ John Stuart Mill – Considerations on Representative Government, 1861