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Russ Feingold Gets It Right Again, Votes NO on Bailout

By October 2, 2008

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Of all members of the U.S. Senate, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) is the most reliable bellweather of both the constitutionality and ethical propriety of legislation.

And by all appearances, Feingold is also the senator most impervious to pressure from donors and lobbyists.

Long a champion of fiscal ethics, the end of deficit spending and the basic right of all Americans to affordable healthcare, Russ Feingold has consistently shown wise judgment on the most important issues of our time. Sen. Feingold:

  • was the lone Senator who voted against the USA Patriot Act in 2001, despite enormous pressure for a unanimous vote.

  • voted against the Iraq War in 2002.

  • authored the Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2002, along with Sen. McCain, to clean-up election campaign finance abuses.

  • was the first senator to call for a specific timetable for US exit from Iraq.

  • on March 13, 2006, called for censure of President Bush for illegal wiretapping of Americans.

And yesterday, Sen. Russ Feingold voted against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, the $1 trillion bailout of wealthy Wall Streeters from the avarice-saturated mess they created of the U.S. economy.

Sen. Feingold explained, "I will oppose the Wall Street bailout plan because though well-intentioned, and certainly much improved over the administration's original proposal, it remains deeply flawed.

"It fails to offset the cost of the plan, leaving taxpayers to bear the burden of serious lapses of judgment by private financial institutions, their regulators, and the enablers in Washington who paved the way for this catastrophe by removing the safeguards that had protected consumers and the economy since the great depression.

"The bailout legislation also fails to reform the flawed regulatory structure that permitted this crisis to arise in the first place. And it doesn't do enough to address the root cause of the credit market collapse, namely the housing crisis. Taxpayers deserve a plan that puts their concerns ahead of those who got us into this mess."

Why Isn't Feingold a Presidential Candidate?
I know that Barack Obama will be a smart, thoughtful and fair U.S. President... but with Obama's great personal drive to please all possible people, he sometimes compromises important principles too much for my comfort. (Remember Obama's FISA vote in June to permit Bush to continue wiretapping our private phone calls and emails?)

At times like this, I just can't help but wonder... why isn't Sen. Russ Feingold taken more seriously as a candidate to lead our nation?

Read my Profile of Senator Russ Feingold, Democrat with Courage of Convictions, and wonder along with me.

You can support Russ Feingold's good works and good judgment by supporting his Progressive Patriots Corps & Fund which "is dedicated to promoting a progressive reform agenda and supporting candidates across the country" in "both so-called red and blue states."

(Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Related Reading
Iraq War Vote in 2002: 156 Congress Members Who Voted NO


October 2, 2008 at 11:42 pm
(1) Robert Hamer says:

“…authored the Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2002, along with Sen. McCain, to clean-up election campaign finance abuses.”

I did not find this to be a very successful piece of legislation at all, but that’s for another day. I like Russ Feingold, too. I don’t agree with him on many issues, but the fact that he has maintained his principles for so long in the U.S. Senate is admirable…but that’s also probably why he will never be a presidential candidate.

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