Russ Feingold is running again for the United States Senate. That’s got DC insiders excited, because the former senator is way ahead in the polls and his victory in 2016 could play a critical role in tipping control of the Senate backed to the Democrats.
But Feingold has never been one for simple partisanship. His independence is legendary—as is his determination to stand on principle against not just Republicans and Wall Street but his own party and its leaders.
To a greater extent than anyone who has served in the Senate in recent decades, Feingold has a reputation for getting ahead of major issues and getting them right. It is a reputation forged not by reading polls or accepting the compromise-prone Washington way of doing things but by rejecting a failed political “consensus” and instead choosing to champion civil liberties, peace, clean elections, and, above all, economic fairness.
Russ Feingold cast the sole Senate vote against the Patriot Act in 2001. He was right about that, and most people who pay attention to politics are aware of his visionary stance.
Russ Feingold was in the minority that voted against authorizing George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to take the United States to war with Iraq in 2002. He was right about that, and most people who pay attention to politics are aware of his visionary stance.
Russ Feingold fought for the better part of a decade (usually with Arizona Senator John McCain) to address the worst abuses of a campaign finance system that the Wisconsinite warned was becoming a vehicle for the “legalized bribery” of elected officials. Feingold was right to fight when he did, and most people who pay attention to politics are aware of his visionary stance.
What fewer people are aware of is the fact that when he served in the Senate from 1993 to 2011 Feingold was equally visionary on the great economic issues of the our times. Indeed, long before there was an Elizabeth Warren in the Senate, there was a Russ Feingold—opposing bad trade deals, taking on the big banks and battling to forge an economy that worked for all Americans.
As he bids again for the Senate, in a candidacy announced Thursday, Feingold will focus on the economic fairness issues that have been his passion since his days as a state legislator representing the farms and factory towns of south-central Wisconsin.