When we’re asked to give an example of a true progressive, Russ Feingold is the first name that comes to mind.
From McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform, to his opposition to the Iraq war, to standing alone against the Patriot Act, Feingold has never hesitated to stand by his principles and stand up to Republicans or Democrats whenever necessary.
In 2010, Feingold lost his Senate seat to Tea Party leader Ron Johnson. It was an expensive race and an even more costly loss for Wisconsin and progressives everywhere. But Feingold is ready for a rematch against Johnson, the Tea Party and the Koch brothers.
Since leaving the Senate, Feingold has been a visiting professor at Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee and was the inaugural Mimi and Peter Haas Distinguished Visitor at Stanford University, where he will continue to teach international relations and law in 2015.
And from June 2013 to March 2015, Feingold was the U.S. special envoy to Africa’s Great Lakes region, leading U.S. attempts to end the conflict in the region.
- Worked for campaign finance reform through the McCain-Feingold bill
- Stood up to protect our civil liberties in the wake of the September 11 attacks as the lone vote against passage of the Patriot Act in October 2001
- Opposed and voted against the Iraq war
- Spoke out against NAFTA and other free trade agreements
- Advocates for full equality for the LGBTQ community
- Supported robust single-payer health care reform
- Pressed for substantive immigration reform by granting undocumented workers a path to attain citizenship
Why We Like Him:
Russ Feingold has a long history of being a true progressive and steward of the people’s trust. He has proven that it is possible to reach across the aisle in drafting legislation without sacrificing a solidly progressive agenda in the process.
“We must redouble our vigilance to ensure our security and to prevent further acts of terror. But we must also redouble our vigilance to preserve our values and the basic rights that make us who we are. The Founders who wrote our Constitution and Bill of Rights exercised that vigilance even though they had recently fought and won the Revolutionary War. They did not live in comfortable and easy times of hypothetical enemies. They wrote a Constitution of limited powers and an explicit Bill of Rights to protect liberty in times of war, as well as in times of peace. There have been periods in our nation’s history when civil liberties have taken a back seat to what appeared at the time to be the legitimate exigencies of war. Our national consciousness still bears the stain and the scars of those events: The Alien and Sedition Acts, the suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War, the internment of Japanese-Americans, German-Americans, and Italian-Americans during World War II, the blacklisting of supposed communist sympathizers during the McCarthy era, and the surveillance and harassment of antiwar protesters, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., during the Vietnam War. We must not allow these pieces of our past to become prologue.”