ICYMI: Senator Feingold’s Blind Support for Iran Deal Raising Questions in Wisconsin
In case you missed it, Senator Feingold’s blind support for President Obama’s reckless Iran deal is raising serious questions in Wisconsin about his national security record and ties to outside money.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported today on Senator Feingold’s statement Friday that the Iran deal is one of the “great things that the president has done,” even in the wake of a missile test and the temporary detention of 10 U.S. sailors.
Wisconsin Watchdog and the Washington Free Beacon also recently reported on Feingold’s ties to J Street, a far-left DC group and lobbyist bundler backing the Iran deal that has given Senator Feingold more than $300,000 – despite his career of supposedly battling the influence of outside groups and lobbyists.
… During a Friday interview with Sherwin Hughes on WNOV (860-AM), Feingold discussed the “great things” President Barack Obama has accomplished, including the Iran deal.
“He’s helped us avoid a war with Iran by having a nuclear deal that hopefully will work and prevent us from being in a situation with a country where we’ve had a very, very bad situation for like 40 or 50 years,” Feingold said.
During an interview that aired Sunday on NPR, Johnson criticized the agreement.
“So just very simply, why in the world would you want to enter into an agreement that would inject tens and now hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy and military of your self-proclaimed enemy, the largest state sponsor of terror? It just makes no sense whatsoever,” Johnson said.
Johnson added that sanctions should have been increased against Iran.
In many federal races in Wisconsin, international issues often take a back seat to economic concerns. But in recent months, the Johnson campaign has emphasized foreign affairs.
Sensing an opening on the Iran deal, a spokesman for the Johnson campaign issued a statement Tuesday deeply critical of Feingold with a claim that the former senator’s “left-wing ideology and support for President Obama’s failed foreign policy have become downright dangerous.”
“Ron Johnson fought the Iran deal tooth-and-nail and has made clear we shouldn’t be sending billions of taxpayer dollars to the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism,” campaign spokesman Brian Reisinger said.
“Senator Feingold is saying the deal ‘hopefully will work’ even as the Iranians show they’ll do whatever they want – further proof he’s the wrong choice on national security and would put our safety at risk.” …
The nuclear agreement, opposed by Republicans and some Democrats, lifts economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for Iran agreeing to give up its nuclear weapons program. There are no guarantees, however, that a nation that has declared “death to America” will abide by the terms of the agreement, despite more oversight granted to international inspectors.
Obama administration officials argue the deal already is paying peace dividends, and that the amelioration of tensions between the two nations was on display following last week’s release of 10 U.S. Navy sailors captured and held briefly by Iran.
But footage of the sailors being captured, on their knees with their hands behind their heads, doesn’t sit well with many Americans and their lawmakers. CNN reported Friday that, according to a well-connected U.S. defense official, the sailors were told by their captors to “act happy” while they were being videotaped during their detention.
The sailors were held at gunpoint, according to new information released Monday by the U.S. military. …
Feingold, based on his comments to the Milwaukee radio show, is all-in on the Obama deal.
The godfather of campaign finance reform has been less-than-Russ-Feingold in his latest campaign, breaking with his past pledges to avoid special interest donations, out-of-state cash and big bundlers.
Feingold has the big-money backing of J Street PAC. The liberal Jewish Middle East policy group that ardently supports Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran has announced it will target Johnson and other Republicans opposed to the agreement.
… J Street threw its support behind Russ Feingold, the former Democratic senator from Wisconsin, early last year. Feingold was one of three candidates who were first endorsed by the PAC.
J Street has bundled hundreds of thousands in lobbyist contributions for Feingold since 2010, despite the former senator pushing for campaign finance reform that included stricter rules on lobbyist disclosure during his 18-year career in Washington.
“Regardless of how reforms might impact us, our priority must be to convince our constituents that we are here to advocate their best interests, not those of well-connected lobbyists,” Feingold said in August 2007 in relation to lawmakers accepting bundled lobbyist contributions.
However, in 2010, during the months leading up to Feingold’s defeat, he accepted over $200,000 in bundled lobbyist contributions from the J Street PAC.
In addition, J Street has bundled more than $100,000 in lobbyist contributions for Feingold during the 2016 election cycle.
“Senator Feingold is so liberal that his foreign policy is downright dangerous. His support for President Obama’s reckless Iran deal is another example of how Senator Feingold’s far-out ideology would put our nation at risk,” Johnson spokesman Brian Reisinger told the Washington Free Beacon. “Senator Feingold’s decision to take gobs of money from a special interest group that lobbied for the Iran deal like J-Street proves he’s even traded in his principles on campaign finance too.”