October 23, 2015

Russ Feingold’s Awful Week

Lifetime politician Russ Feingold has had plenty of bad weeks over the course of his long 28-year political career, but this past one has to be up near the top of the list for him. Here’s a list of reasons why this week was a major headache for the Feingold campaign:

-Carrying over from last week was the drip-drip story about Feingold actually being alerted about problems at the Tomah VA Medical Hospital back in 2009, but taking not taking action to help Veterans in trouble.

-On top of that, Former Senator Feingold’s PAC hypocrisy was back in the news with a Daily Beast article titled: “Senator Clean’s Dirty Money.” The article noted that campaign finance experts are still concerned about what Feingold did with Progressives United.

“Feingold’s inter-campaign activities have raised some watchdogs’ eyebrows. ‘It seems to run counter to what he has talked about in the past in terms of being up front and clear about what you’re doing,’ said Larry Noble, the senior counsel for the Campaign Legal Center. ‘It’s not clear whether he plans to use the PAC for support of his campaign, but some of the things he seems to have done are old tricks, like putting people on your PAC payroll while you’re not in office. Also it’s unclear what he’s actually doing with all that money. He says he’s supporting other candidates but he’s not making contributions.’ ‘What I’m most bothered by is it’s not clear what he’s doing,’ Noble added. ‘Raising money for a progressive PAC and then spending it on staff and administrative expenses is not the most up front way of doing business.’”

-The Appleton Post-Crescent also took note of the controversy surrounding Progressives United, writing that Feingold “has come under fire” for what he did with the PAC. In addition, The Post-Crescent pointed out that Feingold has two Super PACs that are helping him, which flies in the face of past pledges he has made to refuse outside money.

-Additional Feingold hypocrisy was pointed out by The Washington Free Beacon’s report that the former three-term Senator accepted bundled lobbying donations, despite past rhetoric railing against lobbyist campaign cash. Although Feingold supported stricter ethics and lobbying rules and called for legislation that regulates lobbyist donations, he took more than $200,000 in bundled lobbyist contributions in 2010 and has already taken lobbyist money this cycle from the controversial J Street PAC.

-Finally, RedState showed even more of Feingold’s tendency to say one thing but do another when it comes to hiring interns. Although Feingold wants to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, it appears he’s unwilling to pay his campaign’s interns, because while Senator Feingold talks the talk, he refuses to walk the walk when it’s in his best interest.

Being a political professional, Former Senator Feingold knows that bad press like this will put his desperate efforts to get back to Washington in jeopardy. Unfortunately for him, his consistent inconsistencies are not going anywhere.