Russ Feingold promised that one-half of his campaign money would come from Wisconsin donors in his run U.S. Senate in 1991.
He honored this promise during the 1990s-2000s while building on his pledge of rejecting outside money, and pushing for campaign finance reform. He proposed that all candidates for federal office raise more than half their money from their home states.
Feingold’s continued strategy led to the McCain/Feingold Campaign Finance Law.
In January 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that parts of Feingold’s campaign finance reform were unconstitutional. Feingold himself was found in violation of Federal Election Commission reporting requirements for failing to report $54,726 in his campaign contributions. He paid a civil penalty of $9,000.
In February 2011, Feingold reversed his fundraising strategy, and launched his own PAC, called “Progressive United”,,after having fought against PACs for over 20 years.
Progressive United was to raise money for candidates running for public office. However, only 5 percent was used as stated, with 95 percent going into Feingold’s pockets, and to pay for his future campaign staff, and more fundraising for his national donor apparatus.
Also, 70 percent of this money came from outside Wisconsin, with much of it spent on lavish travel, a plush office and for his personal apartment. He also collected $500,000 from lobbyist bundlers, and accepted dark money from Super PACs.
This whole strategy change, from fighting against PACs, and getting at least 50 percent of his money from within Wisconsin, to forming his own PAC, and getting 70 percent of his money from outside Wisconsin, was to enable Feingold to fund his 2016 campaign to recapture his old Senate seat from our current U. S. Sen. Ron Johnson. Rather sneaky and self serving, to put it mildly.
Johnson deserves your vote on Nov. 8.